While we were solving the problems of the world, one of my friends wondered how much money was actually going to the disaster relief going on around the world. This is a time of giving and I thought about this as well. People will not open their hearts and wallets if they cannot be assured that the money they are sending is being used to reach the people in need. I know that I wouldn't and neither should you. I recommend giving to your local Food bank, I know the one I help spends less than 10% on admin costs and receives no government funds. If you want to donate to other causes I recommend you read this article. The following was taken from an article written by Valorie Delp whp is a editor, contributing writer and topic expert for LoveToKnow.com
There are sites such as Charity Navigator that are very helpful in showing you what percentage of your giving goes to support the mission of the nonprofit, as opposed to administrative expenses. Some nonprofits may have quite a bit of overhead, but according to the charity ratings site, if they are spending more than 33.3% of their total budget on overhead, the organization is simply not meeting its mission.
American Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
Great Charities That Spend Their Money Well
- Greater Chicago Food Depository
- Oregon Food Bank
- The Conservation Fund
- Give Kids the World
- Save the Children
Questions You Can Ask
- Is the nonprofit actually a charity? You can find this out by searching for its 990. This information is typically found on a charity watchdog site; however, you can also visit the Wise Giving Alliance at the Better Business Bureau to see if anything has been filed for your charity. Note that religious institutions such as churches and synagogues typically do not have to file a 990.
- Are there complaints against the charity's practices? Again, this information is found easily on the Wise Giving Alliance website.
- Do the charity's marketing materials clearly state the problem and explain what they are doing to help? Be wary of charities who drone on about the problem but fail to state what they are doing to help it.
- Ask the organization what percentage of donations go to actually support the programs in lieu of overhead and administrative costs. Be wary of a charity that says 100% of donations go to support the cause. After all, there has to be at least some overhead.