I always believed that giving to a good cause or helping victims of a disaster was a noble thing to do. I mean, “There but for the grace of God go I”, right? With the recent uncovering of scandals within the government, more and more investigators are digging to uncover other cases of fraud and mismanagement. Is nothing sacred anymore?
A recent investigation exposed by CNN, The Center for Investigative Reporting and the Tampa Bay Times have found that there are dozens and dozens of charities that basically do next to nothing for the causes they raise money for.
50 of the worst charities were looked at and it was concluded that they received 1 billion dollars over the last ten years, but the charities received only 50 million. Where did the money go? Well, the majority of the funds collected went to solicitors. These are the people who go out and raise the funds and collect the donations. This basically amounts to them raising money to pay themselves.
There are still many, many charities that actually distribute the majority of the monies collected to the intended recipients but these days it is wise to look before you open your wallet. For instance, one of the worst charities listed is an organization called “Kids Wish Network” that is supposed to collect money for terminally ill children and grant their wishes. Sound suspiciously familiar? The name is awfully close to the very legitimate “Make A Wish Foundation” which promises the same thing.
This is where the donor can be conned. Many people are told the names of these organizations and they feel that they have heard of them and what they do, so out comes the checkbook. Unfortunately they don’t realize that the “Kids Wish Network” raised $127 million dollars, paid their solicitors $109 million, paid their employees most of the remaining funds leaving less than 3% for granting wishes!
The 50 worst charities give less than 4% of donations raised to direct cash aid. One diabetes charity raised almost $14 million dollars over a ten year period and gave about $10,000 to patients. Another cancer charity paid a company owned by the president’s son almost $18 million dollars over eight years to solicit funds.