People giving directly to the One Fund Boston can watch their contributions pile up via a donation tracker on the group’s website. But can consumers tell how much of their money gets to Marathon bombing victims when they shop at retailers pledging to donate portions of sales to the cause?
The short answer is often no.
While the intent may be honorable — and there is little indication that it is not — many retailers maintain a veil over the amounts they send to charity from fund-raising efforts tied to sales. Book publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for example, plans to release an anthology of Boston-themed essays in October with net proceeds — “all revenue less production and distribution costs,” a spokeswoman explained — benefiting the One Fund. But Houghton Mifflin declined to translate its promise into a percentage of the sale price or provide a specific dollar figure per book that will go to the One Fund, saying it is too early to know.
The Yankee Candle Co. said it will donate to the One Fund all profits from its new “Boston Strong” jarred candle, but declined to specify how much of the $27.99 purchase price will end up at the charity, also saying it is too early to tell.
Recording artist Kenny Chesney is giving his share of money earned on single-track downloads of the song “Spread the Love” to a bombing victim fund he started at Boston Medical Center. But the New England Country Music Festival headliner cannot disclose how big that share is because of deals with distributors like iTunes, which prohibit him from disclosing such information, a Chesney spokeswoman said.
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