Most of us want to do right by our fellow man. You probably help your neighbor lift heavy furniture when he needs it, visit the old lady on the corner when she’s sick, and volunteer at the local soup kitchen once a month. Donating to a charity is part of the equation, right?
Although giving to a charity seems like the right thing to do, the sad truth is that your money would probably be better spent elsewhere than with a major charity.
That’s because most charities spend a very meager part of their donations on actually helping people. You see, major charitable organizations are run like businesses. They employ people. They do marketing. They have overhead. And all this requires money. In most cases, the majority of the funds you donate go to covering these costs–not helping people.
Now, is this to say you shouldn’t donate? There’s no easy yes-no answer. It depends on your value set. If you really believe in a cause, go ahead. After all, overhead is to be expected; charities can do good even when the majority of funds go to paying organizational expenses.
But there are some charities that take this to the extreme, that use so little of their funds to improve people’s lives that there’s practically no point in donating. The charities on this list are the ones you want to avoid at all cost.
Survivors and Victims Empowered
Survivors and Victims Empowered works to prevent and stop abuse. The organization spends $0 in direct aid. Half of revenues go to selling Native Americans vegetable seeds.
Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth
This charity aims to help find missing children throughout the country. But only $3.4 million of the $14.7 million it raised last year actually went to the charity. Most of the money is used to pay the professional solicitors the charity hires.
Project Cure is a Florida-based charity that promotes awareness of Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Diabetes. It has spent $0 on direct cash aid. Of the $28.3 million the charity pulled in in 2014, $25.5 million went to solicitors. Project Cure is currently in debt.
Cancer Fund of America
Cancer Fund of America has been around since 1984. Its aim is to fund the fight against cancer. What it really does it collect toiletries and other used materials to donate to cancer patients and their families. The majority of the money collected goes to the private fundraisers and the organization’s founder. He and his family received $1 million in salaries last year.
Of revenue, $75.4 goes to solicitors while only $853,491 is used in direct cash aid.
Kids Wish Network
This organization tries to piggy-back off the success of the famous Make-A-Wish Foundation. However, it’s nothing more than a scheme to fatten the pockets of its founders. Less than three cents of every dollar actually go to realizing the wishes of dying children. Mostly, Kids Wish Network pays millions of dollars per year in consulting and licensing fees to companies managed by the founder and his close friends.
If you really want to give money to charity, conduct proper research first and choose wisely. The charities on this list put the needs of the people they pretend to help last.The cumulative effects of buying a burger at McDonald’s would do more good than giving to these organizations.