How Is Your Charity Money Spent?
Around this time of year, you may start to notice an uptick in charity events and the visibility of charities. There is the familiar tingling of bells as the Salvation Army takes up collections for the poor. The season of Christmas is about giving, so it is no surprise that giving to the less fortunate is on the minds of so many. However, not all charities are created equally.
When one gives to a charity, one expects that their money is going to the less fortunate or some other cause which they care about. They do not expect it to go to padding the pockets of administrators or executives.
Unfortunately, many charities do just that. There have been cases of charity scams. Some arose in the wake of Hurricane Harvey which devastated the state of Texas this year. Many websites were set up to collect Hurricane Harvey donations and it remains unclear how many of them were fraudulent. Criminals also sent people emails steering them towards bogus websites. These websites were set up to convince people to send money or to provide financial information for the purpose of identity theft.
Even supposedly legitimate charities can be scandal ridden. To give one example, the Susan G. Komen foundation is supposedly dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer. Some of the money they collect actually does go to that purpose. Much of it, however, goes to raising money to support the CEO’s incredibly high salary of $684,000 a year.
Indeed, charity is a rather profitable business it seems. Charitywatch.com has a list of high paid charity CEO’s. Susan G. Komen’s CEO makes a modest salary compared to the CEO of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who makes $3.6 million dollars a year. The CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis foundation makes over $2 million dollars a year.
Not all charities are suspicious in the use of their donor’s funds. The Salvation Army is an excellent organization known throughout the world. Their CEO makes $94,000 a year, modest compared to others. They focus on a number of issues, from providing for the less fortunate to helping disaster survivors.
Another good charity is Compassion International, an organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged children all around the world. Each child is paired with a sponsor, who gives money specifically set aside for the child. Their administrative expenses are only 7 percent and they scored 100 percent on accountability from Charity Navigator.
Before giving to a charity, make sure to research them so you know your money is going to secure places where it counts.