America's worst charities

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

In detail#27: Children's Charity Fund

Also doing business as: A Child's Wish Association of America

Ken Bowron, a motorcycle mechanic, started Children’s Charity Fund in 1994. Now he draws a retirement check from the charity, which is run by his wife and daughter. In 2011, family members were paid more than three times the amount of cash spent on medical equipment and sick children’s wishes.

Children’s Charity Fund has been targeted by state regulators for its high fundraising costs and minimal services since soon after it was founded. In 1998, Vermont officials found that although the charity told donors that funds would help children in that state, total assistance amounted to $200 worth of walkers and canes dropped off at a hospital.

Over the past decade, Children’s Charity Fund has been disciplined by six states for registration and solicitation issues and paid $3,750 in penalties. In 2011, it signed an agreement to stop soliciting in Iowa after its telemarketer there was closed by the state. But the charity continues to raise donations.

Interviewed in a cluttered office above her husband’s motorcycle repair shop earlier this year, Sheryl Bowron said she’s down to just a couple of telemarketers and donations are drying up. Speaking over a blaring television, she said, “People here don’t want to give until they need it.”


In their own words: the Charity's mission

Public education, children advocates, education grants, purchase medical equipment for handicapped and disabled children,toll free hotline, support non-profit daycares, and other programs ther board deem necessary. The organization has helped over 300 children and institutions around the us. Grant wishes for terminally ill children.

Unedited mission statements provided by the Colorado Secretary of State


Children's Charity Fund

Known state disciplinary actions

Find out more about the actions in our database

States bringing actions Number of known actions Outcomes Total fines
Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Vermont 6 Ban, Consent/settlement, Disciplined-no details, Fine/penalties $3,750

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
2011 pdf $1,293,305 $1,053,193 $240,112 $166,007 $47,936 3.71% $107,232
2010 pdf $1,391,862 $1,122,605 $269,257 $158,009 $58,771 4.22% $117,480
2009 pdf $1,329,710 $1,068,832 $260,878 $136,681 $19,837 1.49% $77,038
2008 pdf $1,257,856 $995,643 $262,213 $130,021 $16,001 1.27% $75,011
2007 pdf $1,228,495 $1,014,580 $213,915 $97,891 $17,560 1.43% $67,306
2006 pdf $1,221,562 $1,023,155 $198,407 $79,311 $33,906 2.78% $131,711
2005 pdf $2,403,853 $1,160,521 $1,243,332 $128,449 $43,337 1.80% $517,383
2004 pdf $1,806,066 $1,163,187 $642,879 $103,547 $40,856 2.26% $253,487
2003 pdf $1,191,679 $934,021 $257,658 $0 $45,614 3.83% $105,319
2002 pdf $1,196,462 $983,919 $212,543 $99,458 $4,477 0.37% $46,721
zTOTALS $14,320,850 $10,519,656 $3,801,194 $1,099,374 $328,295 2.3% $1,498,688

Who raised the money

Year Solicitor Cash raised Cash to solicitor Cash to charity % to charity Activity
2010 Telequal $149,260 $114,296 $34,964 23.40% telemarketing
2010 Campaign Center $59,893 $46,665 $13,228 22.10% telemarketing
2010 PC's Unlimited $561,415 $453,882 $107,533 19.20% telemarketing
2010 Safety Publications $310,605 $249,482 $61,123 19.70% telemarketing
2010 Jak Productions $247,479 $208,217 $39,262 15.90% telemarketing
2010 Community Relations $13,000 $9,254 $3,746 28.80% telemarketing
2010 Lino's $50,210 $40,809 $9,401 18.70% telemarketing