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All charities are NOT created equal

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posted on Dec, 29 2004 @ 01:01 PM
(I hope couldn't find this being addressed before

While many of us may have decided to help aid the tsunami victim by giving to chariites, we should be aware that not all charieites are created equal. Some charities line their own pockets instead of helping others. Others have stellar records for being efficient and helping those they claim to help:

The December 25th tsunami in southern Asia caused billions of dollars in damage, killed tens of thousands, and left many people homeless and hungry. Charities are scrambling to help the victims in multiple countries - no simple, or inexpensive, task. As they begin to repair the destruction and aid the victims, charities need an infusion of donations to be able to effectively deal with this crisis.

Charity Navigator offers the following tips to help you give with confidence to trustworthy charities helping the victims of this devastating catastrophe.

Some recommended charities:

American Red Cross
Direct Relief International
HOPE Worldwide
Mercy Corps
Operation USA
Samaritan's Purse

To find our more or to find out how your charity spends its money, read here:

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 01:55 AM
You are absolutely correct on this one! There are many organizations that pose as 'charities' that skim a large percentage of your donation for administration costs.

Knowing this, however, should not discourage anyone from donating to a reputable charity. All it takes is a little homework to find out how much of your donated dollar reaches the person that needs it.

Good job raising awareness on this issue, DTOM.

[edit on 30-12-2004 by jsobecky]

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 04:45 AM
There's a very good list of charities and the amount of money spent on their administrative overheads in the PDF linked to below:

AmeriCares is one of the lowest out there.
Only 1.4% of all expenditures are on overhead.

Direct Relief International is even lower at only 0.9%

HOPE Worldwide is not as good with 19.5% spent on overhead.

Mercy Corps isn't too bad at 9%

They don't have anything on Operation USA, Samaritan's Purse or the Red Cross.
(I'm surprised at the lack of info on the Red Cross)

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 05:45 AM
A lot of that depends on their infrastructure. Red Cross for example has outposts all over the place with lots of vehicles and staff and the like. They can get aid wherever and whenever it's called for. Others that have very low overhead may not be able to get staff support into the field and just cut a check to the local aid agencies.

Most non-profits do post financials and you need to look at them closely as a simple percentage does not tell the whole story. No plug for anyone in this in particular, just used ARC as they are big and do have major infrastructure around the planet.... The bigger they get the more that gets chewed up in those fixed costs of operation....

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 05:50 AM
Yes, but unfortunately, your list is upside down. If you will check out this thread (which has already discussed this issue), you will see that the Red Cross/Red Crescent falls at the lower half of the list based on the percent of donation that actually gets applied to a program instead of overhead.

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 06:05 AM
Yup - my point. Infrastructure cost goes up typically way faster than aid donations hence the lower thruput rate. I'd be hard pressed to name a disaster where the Red Cross was not the first on the scene. Like a virus they are everywhere, with piles of equipment and staff i.e. helos, trucks, ships, stockpiled supplies, staff, etc.... That stuff costs money and I have no problem with that as reach is a good thing IMO....

Again no particular plug for them - they are one of many and used as a case in point....

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 06:32 AM
Well, I think the good news is, that you just can't pick wrong. Whether it goes to a top-heavy organization like the Red Cross which may, in fact, be able to mobilize more capital equipment, or to a lean machine that can apply more funds directly to immediately needed supplies, I think these organizations know how to work symbiotically and in the end...

it comes out good!

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 07:23 AM
I can't believe the unanimous trumpeting of the Red Cross, you folks make them sound like giants. Has everyone forgotten the gross misappropriation and subsequent disappearance of 9/11 relief funds? I'm amazed people would give the Red Cross a dime after that fiasco.

I know I only give directly to people in need, when I meet them or hear of them, on an individual basis. How else do you know the money is being used well?

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 07:45 AM
save the children uses 90% of funds on programs. It's a charity that I have long contributed to and will continue to contribute to.


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