What's the deal with Telefund (charitable solicitor)?

Amnesty International called me, and I pledged some money. I was going to send them more than I pledged, but I noticed a little blurb on the back about “How Contributions Are Allocated Between Amnesty International and Telefund, Inc.”. It doesn’t actually say how the allocations are divied up, and I was worried that if I donated more, they might just take any extra, so I did some Googling.

One of the pages was this one, which gives “Percent received by charity” for some of their campaigns for several charities. Some of the returns were worrying: 18%, 2%, 0%, -79%. Ummm, what?

I think I’ll probably donate directly to AI’s website, but what’s going on with Telefund? More generally, what’s the best way to donate to a cause, for them to get the most of my money?

Give direct. These soliciting businesses contract with a charity to raise say, $1,000,000. Any money above that amount goes to the soliciting company.

Never, EVER give anything at all to a telephone solicitor.

You have just signed up for a lifetime of phone spam.

Not to mention, your charity gets almost nothing.