Business

Transparency lacking in purchases earmarked for Marathon bombing victims

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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. “Consumers have a right to be told how much of their purchase or contribution benefits a charitable cause,” said Marc Lavine of the graduate business program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. “The public should expect this.”

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