America's worst charities

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

In detail#31: National Police Defense Foundation

The National Police Defense Foundation offers medical and legal support to law enforcement officers and free fingerprinting for children. It also pays cash rewards to people who help solve officer shootings.

Of the $10 million raised over the past decade, $8 million has gone to professional fundraisers. About five percent of the money raised has been spent on legal defense, rewards and other direct cash aid.

Operating out of a small office in New Jersey, the founder, retired INS agent Joe Occhipinti, proudly talks about his days as a federal agent infiltrating a drug cartel. Since shortly after retiring in 1990, he has served as president of the charity. His office is overflowing with copies of donors' checks, weekly fundraising reports and background investigations on the charity's telemarketers. Occhipinti said he reviews them to make sure the charity isn't being duped.

He said professional solicitors guarantee him a stream of cash without requiring his organization to take on any risk. He said he understands why donors are frustrated and wants to wean his charity off of high-cost fundraising. He said he has successfully pressed telemarketers to reduce their fees. But each time he tries to negotiate, he said, he worries that fundraisers will prioritize more profitable contracts and make fewer calls on his organization's behalf.

Occhipinti and other charity officers are unpaid. Occhipinti's wife is paid $66,409 a year as office administrator.


National Police Defense Foundation

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 $1,621,230 $1,305,706 $315,524 $121,385 $77,754 4.80% $278,523
2010 pdf $1,250,371 $1,014,680 $235,691 $99,156 $41,290 3.30% $229,131
2009 pdf $1,220,274 $980,412 $239,862 $88,720 $36,779 3.01% $197,722
2008 pdf $508,884 $405,445 $103,439 $81,052 $32,825 6.45% $192,946
2007 pdf $627,167 $475,916 $151,251 $84,051 $51,470 8.21% $274,436
2006 pdf $841,550 $613,901 $227,649 $77,900 $146,735 17.44% $338,565
2005 pdf $896,268 $658,564 $237,704 $70,675 $97,246 10.85% $266,969
2004 pdf $735,748 $556,824 $178,924 $63,176 $18,484 2.51% $172,376
2003 pdf $1,305,108 $1,100,685 $204,423 $51,705 $28,392 2.18% $165,388
2002 pdf $919,797 $734,832 $184,965 $47,149 $44,141 4.80% $178,409
zTOTALS $9,926,397 $7,846,965 $2,079,432 $784,969 $575,116 5.8% $2,294,465

Who raised the money

Year Solicitor Cash raised Cash to solicitor Cash to charity % to charity Activity
2008 Profit Marketing $168,655 $126,184 $42,471 25.20% fundraising
2008 New Liberty Promotions $97,635 $77,551 $20,084 20.60% fundraising
2008 Menacola Marketing $242,594 $201,710 $40,884 16.90% fundraising
2009 Profit Marketing $285,595 $211,317 $74,278 26.01% fundraisin g
2009 Menacola Marketing $847,613 $704,382 $143,231 16.90% fundraisin g
2009 J & B Projects $87,066 $64,713 $22,353 25.70% fundraising
2010 Profit Marketing $415,197 $322,271 $92,926 22.40% fundraising
2010 USA Marketing $39,885 $24,747 $15,138 38.00% fundraising
2010 Menacola Marketing $795,289 $667,662 $127,627 16.00% fundraising

Who got direct cash aid

Year Recipient Cash received Location
2010 Safe Cop Donations $904
2010 Membership Development Donations $1,328
2010 Operations Kids Donations $29,547