America's worst charities

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

In detail#48: Roger Wyburn-Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation For Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease

Also doing business as: The Arthritis Trust of America, The Rheumatoid Disease Foundation, Osteoporosis Fund Of America

Perry Chapdelaine, an 88-year-old doctor, runs this charity from his house on Sweet Gum Road in Tennessee.

Chapdelaine said that after he was cured of rheumatoid arthritis using an alternative treatment program, he dedicated himself to educating others about cures for the disease. He tried to get the Arthritis Foundation interested in his work many years ago. When that didn't work, he joined forces with other doctors to start his own organization.

That translates into a job for Chapdelaine, who took a $20,000-a-year salary to write articles about arthritis that he publishes on his charity's website. He also provides physician referrals.

Chapdelaine has also written science fiction stories, sometimes under the name Anthony di Fabio.

The charity, which raises donations under three additional names, including The Arthritis Trust of America, relies almost exclusively on two related professional solicitation companies to cold call potential donors and send out sweepstakes mailers to home addresses across the nation.

Over the past decade, donors have given about $8.4 million. The charity incorrectly filled out reports filed with the IRS, so its total solicitation costs can't be determined from public records. However, reports filed with state regulators show the charity typically guarantees solicitors will get 80 to 90 cents of every dollar raised.

Chapdelaine said his organization is providing a vital service. "We’ll send you to a doctor to get help. We get 2,500 hits on our website every day. We are giving great benefits to people," he said. "It really bothers me that the cost-to-benefit ratio is so highly used."

In their own words: the Charity's mission

To provide physician referral, publications on complementary/alternative treatments for arthritis victims and to do research when funds are available. Worldwide clientale; clients vary considerably. Ties to organizations in England, South Africa and Canada. We tell folks how to get well from so-called incurable arthritic diseases.

Unedited mission statements provided by the Colorado Secretary of State

Roger Wyburn-Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation For Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease

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
raised by
was paid
Cash to
the charity
Cash to
direct aid
% cash to
direct aid
totals to
2012 pdf $606,231 $96,646 $509,585 $26,916 $0 0.00% $238,427
2010 pdf $445,937 $445,937 $60,388 $0 0.00% $212,714
2009 pdf $437,666 $437,666 $129,166 $0 0.00% $343,250
2008 pdf $681,668 $253,707 $427,961 $64,282 $0 0.00% $457,946
2007 pdf $831,782 $199,560 $632,222 $63,935 $0 0.00% $372,506
2006 pdf $696,269 $164,894 $531,375 $86,525 $0 0.00% $381,644
2005 pdf $1,411,500 $257,547 $1,153,953 $89,600 $0 0.00% $480,006
2004 pdf $1,705,815 $262,256 $1,443,559 $147,457 $0 0.00% $572,306
2003 pdf $986,033 $238,376 $747,657 $25,400 $0 0.00% $440,165
2002 pdf $1,172,699 $394,266 $778,433 $46,397 $0 0.00% $401,616
zTOTALS $8,975,600 $1,867,252 $7,108,348 $740,066 $0 0.0% $3,900,580

Who raised the money

Year Solicitor Cash raised Cash to solicitor Cash to charity % to charity Activity