When it comes to making donations, many of us have felt some angst in deciding where our money can do the most good. We often hear stories of ‘charities’ that are less than… charitable. In a recent report by Adrienne Hill on NPR’s Marketplace, Americans give more to charities, per capita, than any other developed country. In 2011, we gave $200 billion dollars.
Tampa Bay Times compiled a list of the Top 50 worst charities. I am listing the top 10 here. Many names of the worst charities are very similar to legitimate charities. For instance, the number one worst charity, Kids Wish Network, sounds much too similar to, Make A Wish Foundation - a legitimate respected organization, where donations go to helping very sick children see one of their dreams come true. With the Kids Wish Network, only 2.5% of the $127.8 million they raised, went to direct cash aid. So where did the other millions go? $109 million of it went to paying solicitors to raise the money.
According to Kendall Taggart, of The Center For Investigating Reporting, many charities exist pretty much to pad the pockets and salaries of their founders. Often the value of goods that are shipped overseas cannot be verified. And then there are charitable goods shipped domestically that are outright insults to the recipients. One cancer victim in Knoxville, Tennessee, reached out to Cancer Fund of American to help with medical costs. He received a package containing paper cups, napkins and plates, along with children’s toys, you know, things that help a cancer patient pay for medical costs. The patient’s wife was so disgusted, she threw the entire package away.
Thankfully, there are a few reputable organizations online that can help us search charities to differentiate the good from the unscrupulous.
WOW, if there is one thing I am more conscious of in my life
is I watch every penny I donate and make absolutely certain I am
in the know of exactly what my money is funding.