America's worst charities

Our ranking based on cash paid to solicitors in the past decade

In detail#9: American Association of State Troopers

American Association of State Troopers is a fraternal organization of active and retired state troopers and highway patrol officers who join to qualify for low-cost life insurance benefits.

Dues from the 6,000 members account for just $180,000 of the more than $3 million raised in 2011. The public gave the rest after being solicited by the group's professional fundraisers, who kept more than 80 percent of donations. Donations are not tax deductible.

The nonprofit spent nearly $500,000 cash last year, most of it on members' life insurance premiums. That means the police officers represented by the charity get only about 16 percent of the money raised. Over the past eight years, the average percentage of funds spent on direct aid to members has been much lower -- only about 9 percent.

Since 2004, the organization has raised about $45 million and spent less than $4 million on member benefits.

American Association of State Troopers has been disciplined five times by regulators in three states for misrepresentations by its solicitors. Since 1994, it has paid more than $300,000 to settle these claims.

The association's longtime director, Ken Howes, retired last year. His successor, director of operations Joan M. Breeding, said, "We'd all love to get more (money from fundraising), but there's no way we'd even be able to make that amount of calls. Printing and postage alone would take you under."


In their own words: the Charity's mission

American Association Of State Troopers, Inc. was organized for the purpose to specifically include development of strong bonds of nationwide camaraderie, providing benefits for trooper members as well as their families, promotion of professional law enforcement training and educational opportunities, securing financial support to subsidize scholarship grants for trooper members and their dependents, and involvement in public safety and consumer information campaigns.

Unedited mission statements provided by the Colorado Secretary of State


American Association of State Troopers

Known state disciplinary actions

Find out more about the actions in our database

States bringing actions Number of known actions Outcomes Total fines
Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania 5 Consent/settlement, Fine/penalties $321,115

Fundraising and spending history

For years prior to 2008, cash raised from other sources might be included in the "cash raised by solicitors" column.

Year 990
form
Cash
raised by
solicitors
Solicitor
was paid
Cash to
the charity
Charity
salaries
Cash to
direct aid
% cash to
direct aid
Reported
totals to
programs
2012 pdf $3,119,017 $2,531,653 $587,364 $412,327 13.22% $676,108
2011 pdf $3,086,285 $2,536,161 $550,124 $496,074 16.07% $787,934
2010 pdf $3,836,018 $3,113,097 $722,921 $140,094 $502,467 13.10% 0
2009 pdf $4,836,178 $3,913,983 $922,195 $143,762 $453,911 9.39% 0
2008 pdf $5,141,267 $4,210,930 $930,337 $190,885 $485,314 9.44% 0
2007 pdf $6,531,577 $5,226,906 $1,304,671 $109,733 $486,051 7.44% 0
2006 pdf $6,665,254 $5,354,401 $1,310,853 $192,649 $458,666 6.88% 0
2005 pdf $7,781,086 $6,145,609 $1,635,477 $210,071 $473,853 6.09% 0
2004 pdf $7,090,015 $5,534,969 $1,555,046 $205,038 $520,006 7.33% $733,971
zTOTALS $48,086,697 $38,567,709 $9,518,988 $1,192,232 $4,288,669 8.9% $2,198,013

Who raised the money

Year Solicitor Cash raised Cash to solicitor Cash to charity % to charity Activity
2008 Xentel (Edmonton, CN) $5,141,267 $4,210,930 $930,337 18.10% telemarketing
2009 Xentel (Edmonton, CN) $4,836,178 $3,913,983 $922,195 19.10% telemarketing
2010 Xentel (Edmonton, CN) $3,836,018 $3,113,097 $722,921 18.80% telemarketing
2010 Public Awareness (Irving, TX) $494,615 $410,531 $84,084 17.00% telemarketing
2011 Safety Publications $557,155 $445,728 $111,427 20.00% telemarketing
2011 Xentel (Edmonton, CN) $1,028,963 $854,537 $174,426 17.00% telemarketing
2011 Community Welfare Service (Oakdale, MN) $190,038 $152,030 $38,008 20.00% telemarketing
2011 Telcom Services $101,550 $81,243 $20,307 20.00% telemarketing
2011 Statewide Appeal $713,964 $592,092 $121,872 17.10% telemarketing