With the holidays just around the proverbial corner, out comes that big end of year push by the majority of charities to meet their annual fundraising goals. Aggressive pursuit of charitable donations is a good, honorable thing – if effective. Americans, and people worldwide, are known for their big hearts, in times of urgency and in general. And give we do. To the tune of nearly a billion dollars annually. But is this generosity really meeting the needs of the causes we support?
The most accurate measure available to us is that of Return on Donation; ROD – the comparison of monies raised v. monies spent on solicitation of those charitable contributions. Below is a list of the nation’s top (worst?) charities as determined by this analysis and as we can clearly see, often the charity is still operating just to exist. The intended recipients of these charities are not benefiting from the monies collected on their behalf. (America’s Worst Charities is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the Tampa Bay Times and the California-based Center for Investigative Reporting, the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit newsroom dedicated to watchdog journalism. CNN joined the partnership in March 2013.)
THE 25 WORST CHARITIES, RANKED BY MONEY SPENT ON SOLICITING COSTS
Totals from the latest 10 years of available federal tax filings
|Rank||Charity name||Total raised by solicitors||Paid to solicitors||% spent on direct cash aid|
|1||Kids Wish Network||$127.8 million||$109.8 million||2.5%|
|2||Cancer Fund of America||$98.0 million||$80.4 million||0.9%|
|3||Children’s Wish Foundation International||$96.8 million||$63.6 million||10.8%|
|4||American Breast Cancer Foundation||$80.8 million||$59.8 million||5.3%|
|5||Firefighters Charitable Foundation||$63.8 million||$54.7 million||8.4%|
|6||Breast Cancer Relief Foundation||$63.9 million||$44.8 million||2.2%|
|7||International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO||$57.2 million||$41.4 million||0.5%|
|8||National Veterans Service Fund||$70.2 million||$36.9 million||7.8%|
|9||American Association of State Troopers||$45.0 million||$36.0 million||8.6%|
|10||Children’s Cancer Fund of America||$37.5 million||$29.2 million||5.3%|
|11||Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation||$34.7 million||$27.6 million||0.6%|
|12||Youth Development Fund||$29.7 million||$24.5 million||0.8%|
|13||Committee For Missing Children||$26.9 million||$23.8 million||0.8%|
|14||Association for Firefighters and Paramedics||$23.2 million||$20.8 million||3.1%|
|15||Project Cure (Bradenton, FL)||$51.5 million||$20.4 million||0.0%|
|16||National Caregiving Foundation||$22.3 million||$18.1 million||3.5%|
|17||Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth||$19.6 million||$16.1 million||0.0%|
|18||United States Deputy Sheriffs’ Association||$23.1 million||$15.9 million||0.6%|
|19||Vietnow National Headquarters||$18.1 million||$15.9 million||2.9%|
|20||Police Protective Fund||$34.9 million||$14.8 million||0.8%|
|21||National Cancer Coalition||$41.5 million||$14.0 million||1.1%|
|22||Woman To Woman Breast Cancer Foundation||$14.5 million||$13.7 million||0.4%|
|23||American Foundation For Disabled Children||$16.4 million||$13.4 million||0.8%|
|24||The Veterans Fund||$15.7 million||$12.9 million||2.3%|
|25||Heart Support of America||$33.0 million||$11.0 million||3.4%|
Keep your hearts open – just ensure a viable ROD for your contribution. To that end, next week in Charities Revealed, we bring you a well-researched list of the top 25 Best Charities, again, in terms of Return on Donation, ROD.
BNI Operatives: Street smart; info savvy.
As always, stay safe.