View Full Version : Charities

12-31-2004, 08:04 PM
There is a web site, whose name I cann't recall, that lists various charitable organizations and ranks them according to what percentage of donations actually go to the intended recipients. Those that advertise on TV have the worst percentages, the ones you never hear of have the best - for some reason they seem to be Lutheran. I'd like to make a donation that would actually do something besides go to "overhead". Any suggestions? Since the Red Cross scandal a few years back I've gotten even more skeptical than usual.

Presumably an entity that was already functioning in the area before the tsunami would do the most good. As mentioned on the other thread, logistics is a problem. Money alone won't necessarily do much for the areas that need help right now. Maybe I should send my pennies to the Air Force!

[ 01-01-2005, 11:56 AM: Message edited by: Victor ]

12-31-2004, 08:10 PM
When I needed the make a decision the other night for the flood victims, I looked to www.guidestar.org (http://www.guidestar.org)

See also: www.charitywatch.org (http://www.charitywatch.org)

- M

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-31-2004, 08:22 PM
In the case of the Tsunami victims I would be surprised to see an organization with more global resources that the International Red Cross.

12-31-2004, 08:32 PM
Peter I agree as to global resources, but they also have to have millions in overhead and advertising.

I may well be wrong, but my internal feeling has always been that $100 to the local humane society does more good than $100 to the Fund for Animals or whatever. I just try to make informed decisions on smaller charities, because they don't have the reputations and controls of the larger organizations.

Thus when everyone was mobilizing as the horror of the disaster unfolded, I sought out a smaller organization (and checked their statistics before clicking "contribute") to make a donation to the flood victims.

- Margo

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-31-2004, 08:38 PM
The typical cost of fundraising within a large fundraising organization is between 5 and 10 percent. After that you must factor the cost of their infrastructure, which serves to deliver aid in whatever portion of the world they serve. I would think the Red Cross has significant infrastructure costs since it has global reach. Despite the fact that the Red Cross delivers perhaps less % of contributions directly to the affected population, it makes up for it in speed and accuracy.

In saying that, any gift to any charity makes a difference. Lots of people don't give anything to anybody. ;)

12-31-2004, 09:06 PM
CharityWatch guy on TV the other evening said that, at a minimum, a charity should spend 60+% of it's donations on it's intended target group. Exceptional ones spend 70%+ according to the spokesman.

One of the "save the children" type charites claims in it's TV advertizing to spend 80% of all donations on children...

(Note: It's harsh, but I think donating to "save the children" type charities is a bad idea. It's been shown to make the problem worse by raising another (larger) generation of kids who have kids that tend to be born into the same conditions as the previous generation. Thus, the problem gets larger. We need to teach these people how to fish and not how to eat - that they know how to do! We would also do well to teach them contraception, but that's not a message these (typically christian backed) charities like to deliver, alas!)

12-31-2004, 09:18 PM
Now Meer, you now that's verboten - shame on you! Whenever I see those doleful children I must confess my first thought is "Where are their parents? Out making more kids they can't support?" Maybe some of that money should go to contraception, or - God forbid - sterilization. Well shut my mouth!

Any charity that advertises on TV has, by definition, a poor ratio. The ones that don't advertise at all have the best ratios - most of them are church-funded. No doubt some hustlers are jumping in here. Beware any brand-new charities. Remember how much of the money raised at those big rock concerts actually went to their causes? In some cases, $0.

01-01-2005, 12:06 PM
Meerkat promoting self suffiency for the poor.
Like a whore promoting chastity.

[ 01-01-2005, 12:06 PM: Message edited by: alteran ]

01-01-2005, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by alteran:
Meerkat promoting self suffiency for the poor.
Like a whore promoting chastity.You know Al, you're really cute down on your hands and knees waving your butt in my face, but really, I'm not interested! Perhaps you should paint it orange and volunteer it for ammunition for a pumpkin gun. You'll get a bang for sure that way! tongue.gif

So, when "save the children" charities run a welfare state type operation in Latin and S. America, it's ok, but it's not ok when it's black kids in the US? Hmmmm... OH! Right! It's about tax money, right? :rolleyes:

01-01-2005, 05:37 PM
"Right! It's about tax money, right?"


Its about the hipocracy of a man who praises self sufficency in other ethnic groups but has not chosen that for himself.

Colin Burt
01-01-2005, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by Concordia..41:
Peter I agree as to global resources, but they also have to have millions in overhead and advertising. A: Little organizations have overhead and advertising too. Just on a smaller scale, but there donations received and the good they do are also on a smaller scale. If all else is equal a large organization will get more out of each dollar ( we are talking international aid) then a small one.

B: In this particular incident organizations that either already have an operation in the area or are the type that does large scale disaster relief, Preferably both.


01-02-2005, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by alteran:
"Right! It's about tax money, right?"


Its about the hipocracy of a man who praises self sufficency in other ethnic groups but has not chosen that for himself.Go suck a lemon - you'll be ever so much sweeter!

01-02-2005, 07:57 PM
Colin - you are right, and I stand corrected.

I've heard from several news reports that the Red Cross is one of only a few organizations with enough resources to respond to a disaster of this scale. My bad.

- M

George Roberts
01-02-2005, 08:28 PM
Victor ---

While it is nice to worry about the efficiency of the charity, it might be more important to worry about the efficiency of their mission.

I suspect that it is very cost effective to save people in regions with good infrastructure and very expensive to save people in regions with no infrastructure.

In any case give what you can. You might also suggest to those fine people in Washington that they might match individual contributions.

01-03-2005, 04:55 PM
This was a good thread for a while. A good question and some thoughtful answers before the politics came in. I am the chair of an advisory board for a Y residence camp. I chose to do this to help the kids who need to learn to be self confident. The overhead can be figured many ways. Do the kids get 100% if part of the camp tuition goes to the sponsoring Y to provide for advertising or planning or improvements to the camp they attend? Get involved with your charity of choice and see how they work. I'm glad I did. And no, not everything is perfect, but at least I have a voice in making the system better for helping the kids get to camp and learn at camp.

01-04-2005, 12:43 PM
If your charity of choice has high overheads then give more,,,,,,,, in fact, give more anyway.