My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Monday—When one visits California, one can be almost certain to discover something new.

While there recently I received a little magazine, called Frauds, in which there is an article entitled "Nation's Only Woman Charity Racket Buster." The name of this lady is Evelyn Spaulding, and because of her work Los Angeles has no major charity frauds.

One particular reason for this is ordinance number 77000. This law was passed by the city of Los Angeles 38 years ago and has been amended several times as it became necessary to do so. The law sets up a board, a staff and certain rules and regulations. The board has discretionary powers and the law prescribes that every charitable fund-raising campaign must be conducted with "Truth, honesty and equity."

The board is made up of the city's Social Service Commissioners, and Miss Spaulding is the general manager of the Social Service Department which supervises the law.

A great many people throughout the country are fooled every year in giving charity but in Los Angeles, organizations seeking money must adhere to the regulation that "every fund drive must prove its need, every presentation must be fully honest and fully truthful. It must be equitable, fair for all." There is no way of getting around such a law, and as a result nobody does.

The mayor appoints the board and they have to be confirmed by the city council. There is consideration on the board of representation for various religions and various racial minorities.

The person who really sees that all these things come about is Miss Spaulding in her role as director of the Department of Social Welfare.

Any group planning a campaign must obtain a permit before it begins operations, and, much more important, within 30 days after the end of the campaign a full and detailed report must be filed. This report must contain how much money was obtained and how much spent, and the report must be audited.

The major national charity organizations that are endorsed by the Social Service Commission must not allow their solicitation expenses to exceed 15 percent of their goal. In cases of benefits from dances and entertainments where costs run higher, the expenses must not exceed 50 percent of the gross receipts, and 50 percent at least must go to the charity.

This story goes on into many more details as to how people are protected from fraud. I must say I was really interested to find that such protection was being given the public and so little was known about it in the country as a whole. It would be a help in any big city.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL