Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Charities: Some To Think Twice About; Others To Consider

Today's posting is on charities...

Most people like donating to a specific charity or set of charities that support causes that they hold dear and pretty much all the major Foundations, Associations and the like are legitimate and donation-worthy..

But what makes not all charities equal is how they dole out the money received..

Because we'd like to think if we cut a check to a reputable charity to assist those in need or fight an insidious disease, most of, if not 100% of that money is actually going to make a difference and not paying for miscellaneous things or a bigwig's salary.
Before we provide some info as to how certain charitable organizations spend their donations vs others, a brief personal story..

A very long time ago, yours truly worked as a summer temp and among the various short-term assignments I would be sent to by my agency, was this charity which honestly its been so long ago, I can not recall which..

Anyways, my job was to take the stack of bills that collected from an earlier fundraiser gala and write the checks to pay the people and companies for services rendered.

So I sat down with pen in hand and began writing checks..
To the caterers..  the florists..  the limo service..  the D.J...  the hotel ballroom where the event was held..

I wrote out a lot of checks..

$5k  to $10k here..  $5k to 10k there...

Wrote checks for balloons.. the specialty crab cakes and deluxe seafood the original caterers did not provide..  the thank you gifts given to those who contributed the most for that benefit cycle...
~ This is the interior of a charity ball in Dallas in 2012; I don't think its being held at their local Ramada Inn..

I can't remember the total amount of checks I ended up writing but I do remember it was quite a lot, I was amazed any $$ ever reached the people the charity was intended for and I received $8 an hour for my troubles..

So in that light..

5 Charities to think about before donating to:

1)  American Red Cross --  The salary for the President/CEO for the previous year was $651,957 which is over 50% more than what President Obama receives...  
Also the Red Cross does not earmark donations.  In other words, you may donate money, clothing or non-perishables to think its going to help people of a specific city or community recently suffering, but it doesn't.  Its stored and goes to whoever is needed where ever needed...

So for instance, if you're someone who may have donated to the Red Cross because of a specific event and only want your $$ to help those specific people, well.. sorry..

2)  March of Dimes --   Its called that not just because it started as a charity back in  the 1930s by raising money a dime at a time, but because really only 10% of its money actually goes to where its intended..  

The annual salary for its President was just under $632,000
~ Inside the United Way's annual "Red Feather Ball"

3)  The United Way --  the President of that charity receives an annual salary of $375k with numerous expense benefits

4)  UNICEF -- Its CEO received last year an annual salary of $1.2 million ($100k/monthly) plus all expenses paid including a Rolls Royce

5)  Goodwill -- Last year the CEO made $2.3 million..  

Its an actually insidiously clever concept--  you and I donate everything to them for free, then they sell those items at 100% profit while collecting sales tax yet as a charity are able to keep that extra 5-8 cents per dollar, and the workers work for minimum wage..

10 Charities that will put most of your money into doing some good
1)  Salvation Army -- Its CEO only receives $13,000 annually plus housing based on receiving over $2 billion in donations annually;  96% of your money goes to the cause intended

2)  American Legion -- Its National Commander gets zero salary--  The money you donate goes to help Veterans and their families in need

3)  Veterans of Foreign Wars --  Another charity helping Vets and their immediate families where the person running it gets no salary..

4)  The Disabled American Veterans  -- same
5)  Vietnam Veterans Association -- same

6)  Military Order of Purple Hearts -- same

7)  Make A Wish -- 100% of all donations go toward fulfilling the wishes of children suffering with terminal cancer

8)  St Jude Research -- 100% of donations go to helping children suffering with cancer by paying the medical bills they and their families would not otherwise be able to afford to pay..
9)  Ronald McDonald Houses -- 100% of the money received goes to pay for running the houses that parents of critical children in hospital stay in as well as feeding them..

10)  Lions Club International -- 100% of the funds go to help the blind and hearing impaired as well as support their medical missions around the world.

There's many other reputable charities out there like the ones listed above and of course many well known charities were only a small portion of your money goes where its intended..

And how or if you donate your money is your business, not ours or anyone else.
But if you do feel like giving to a good cause, sometimes its best to take a few minutes and do some research first so you can feel comfortable knowing your money is going exactly where you want it to be reached..

@  A special T.Y. 2 G.P. of M.O. 4 research assistance  @