How much of your charity dollars make it to those it’s intended to reach?
There is a common belief that the more money and aid that reaches those in need the better. It seems logical enough, but it just doesn’t work. Every time I see someone giving to a charity because “all the money goes directly to the person in need” I cringe. Good charitable work comes with a cost. If you’re not willing to do the work yourself and only write the check, you better be prepared to pay someone to get the job done. It’s the only way a mission can be sustainable.
However, there are those organizations and non-profits in the United States that are abusing the goodwill and giving nature of so many Americans. Take a look at some of America’s worst charities–this is shocking (but mostly sad and maddening):
As you can see from the screenshot, below, these numbers really get your attention:
You can take a look at the entire list and see how these charities rate.
Would you give to these? Have you given to any of these? How would you feel about it–even if you didn’t?
This article states that,
“Watchdog groups say no more than 35 percent of donations should go to fundraising costs. There is no standard for how much should be be spent on direct cash aid.”
But why 35%?
I am afraid these kind of stories do non-profits more harm than good. If people weren’t already too hesitant to give, it’s this kind of news that makes it worse. We need better education on giving, not year-long exposé by news reporters.
Here’s something that can bring some balance to the issue of how much is too much for non-profits to spend:
Did you catch that?
“In five years the events netted $194 million in unrestricted dollars for breast cancer research — more money raised more quickly for breast cancer research than any event in history.” [emphasis added, source: Wikipedia]
…by spending 40%.
So, the next time you think about giving to a charity or cause, don’t be lazy. Do some leg work. Get to know those involved. And give all that you can to them.
I don’t think it’s about percentages, I think it’s about people.