Sunday, February 14, 2016

Donating to Charity | Where does the money go anyway?

Who should we really be donating to? Lately I've been wondering more and more about the contributions which are made to many of the "big name" charities - and how much actually goes to help these good causes. Finding a couple of sites offering information and details, I dug around to find if there was truth in some of the often-shared graphics or if we are just biased against the larger-sized organizations.


I also wanted to research the information on this graphic which has been widely circulated across facebook for several years.



According to http://snopes.com/: "When deciding which charities to donate to, many people consider an important factor to be the "efficiency" of these organizations — that is, what percentage of the monies taken in by a given charity goes to funding its mission rather than being eaten up by costs such as fundraising activities, salaries, and other administrative overhead."

The e-mail reproduced above, which began circulating in 2005 and has been re-circulated every year since then around Christmas time, attempts to steer potential donors away from inefficient charities. Unfortunately, much of the information it presents was inaccurate back in 2005, and it has grown only more so in the years since then, resulting in a misleading and outdated view of various charities. Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/charities.asp


Here are some links I found useful:

http://charity.lovetoknow.com/What_Percentage_of_Donations_Go_to_Charity http://www.thesimpledollar.com/how-to-investigate-a-charity
http://www.charitynavigator.org/
http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/charities.asp
http://overheadmyth.com/faqs/
https://www.mainstreet.com/article/20-worst-charities-america
 
From the Overhead Myth site I looked at their FAQ and this would probably be one that many people wonder about: "I don’t have a lot of time to make this decision. I’m looking for a simple, easy-to-digest statistic that tells me about a nonprofit’s performance. Are you telling me there isn’t one?"



To me it appears that no one chart or valuation would be suitable to correctly rate an organization. It's something you are doing to have to dig down into and research yourself, because if not you are just passing on the opinions of others. However, please do take the time to see where the funds go before making your donations to ensure they are actually working for the best use possible. 





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