The 50 worst charities in America

Some charities have made a deal 
with the devil.

The Kid's Wish Network tops the list of the worst charities in America in a comprehensive investigative report on charities by The Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting.

For instance, the Kid's Wish Network raises millions every year, but only gives 3 cents of every dollar raised to help dying kids. Experts say that legitimate charities that use fundraisers give about 65 cents of every dollar.

Here's what else reporters found:
  • Crappy charities name themselves so that their name is similar to other, more legitimate charities. (Were you confused by Kid's Wish Network? Maybe you thought it was the well-known Make-A-Wish Foundation, which doesn't use a telemarketing firm. And don't confuse it with either the Children's Wish Foundation International, or the Wishing Well Foundation...)
  • They inflate the types or costs of the items they give to the needy. ("Here, kid, here's a 25 cent coloring book. Accountant, mark that down as a 25 dollar expense...")
  • Some are merely "charity" fronts for fundraising companies. (And some pay for advice or services from members of their own family, or from themselves as "consultants".)
  • Some have been repeatedly investigated by states and others have been banned. (When regulators slapped one charity down, it popped up again under a new name.)
The article makes the point that lots of money that could have been donated to help people has instead been diverted:
"Collectively the 50 worst charities raised more than $1.3 billion over the past decade and paid nearly $1 billion of that directly to the companies that raise their donations."
The problem for some charities is that they make very little money by fundraising on their own, so they make a deal with the telemarketing devil. The charity makes more money... but of course the devil makes even more.

How can you avoid bad charities who call? The paper advices you to find out exactly who they and where the money goes, but here's better advice: Never give money to anybody who calls you. Never, never, never. Instead, decide for yourself who you want to support, and give them money, or your time, directly.

You can be assured of one thing: charities cannot steal the time that you donate to them.

Want to see if your charity is one of the worst? Search the database of the 50 worst: America's Worst Charities>>

Want to see if your charity has been fined by regulators? Search the database of disciplinary actions>>

Read the entire article: America's 50 worst charities rake in nearly $1 billion for corporate fundraisers, Tampa Bay Times>>

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