Last week, we talked about the best charities to get the biggest bang for your buck https://wordpress.com/post/thebackyardpoet.com/1237 so let’s flip that rock over and find out what kind of bugs are hiding under it. Today, we take a look at the 9 worst charities, if you can call them that, competing for your pennies.
Every day, it seems like we are constantly being bombarded with those phone calls soliciting money for, what seems to be, some worthy charities. Wonderful organizations like Police Association, Firefighters Foundation, State Troopers Associations and Veterans Service Fund; Each and every one, a truly worthy organization that deserves our money, right. Not so fast. Before you decide to sign on the dotted line, take a look this list of some of the lowest rated charities.
Remember, the program expense is the total dollar that actually goes to help the charity.
Disabled Police and Sherriff Foundation
Mission: The Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation works to reduce the number of Law Enforcement Officers injured and killed in the line of duty through training and education and support those who risk their lives every day for the safety of our community. With your help, DPSF offers advanced training programs to help law enforcement officers remain safe as they perform their duties, provide assistance to disabled officers and supports the families of officers killed in the line of duty.
Total Revenue: $1,541,219 Administrative Fees: $42,704(2.8%) Program Expenses: $85,839 (5.6%) Fund Raising Expenses: 1,401,140 (91.6%)
Cancer Survivors Fund
Mission: Cancer Survivors’ Fund (CSF) provides scholarships for young cancer survivors, give them a new purpose and meaning in life and enable them to continue their college education. CSF provides prosthetic limbs to disadvantaged young adults. CSF counsels, provides emotional support, and motivates young cancer survivors and channel their thoughts and dreams to a healthy and productive future. CSF supports young survivors to become volunteers themselves, give others courage and hope to develop a strong willpower to continue their fight with cancer. CSF supports efforts to save lives through cancer research to find more effective treatments and the cure – to win the fight against cancer.
Total Revenue: $1,366,341 Administrative Fees: $37,607 (2.7%) Program Expenses: $85,839 (9.1%) Fund Raising Expenses: $1,232,857 (88.2%)
Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation
Mission: The Firefighters Charitable Foundation’s (FFCF) primary focus is to provide much needed financial assistance to individuals who have been affected by a fire or disaster, to support other disaster or prevention related charities and institutions, and volunteer fire departments. FFCF also has a nationwide volunteer brigade that acts as our eyes and ears to identify those in critical need. Since our founding in 1991, our funding assists fire and disaster victims; and supports volunteer fire departments; supports outreach programs for fire safety, first aid education and aids children in need; and delivers grants to other charitable organizations that help victims of fire.
Total Revenue: $6,318,812 Administrative Fees: $329,399 (5.2%) Program Expenses: $444,712 (7.0%) Fund Raising Expenses: $5,581,434 (87.8%)
The Association of Fire Fighters and Paramedics
Mission: The purpose of The Association for Firefighters & Paramedics (AFP) is to support the work of crucial burn centers, fund patient care, provide burn medical education and support injury prevention initiatives and community burn awareness programs. AFP believes it is our community duty to protect those who are most vulnerable and most at risk, contributing grants and gifts to burn victims and burn programs at hospitals throughout the United States for the purpose of treating burn patients. AFP’s board directs much needed funds to help the survivors of catastrophic fires.
Total Revenue: $1,732,449 Administrative Fees: $175,805 (9.4%) Program Expenses: $172,755 (5.3%) Fund Raising Expenses: $1,414,861 (85.3%)
Children’s Charity Fund
Mission: Founded in 1991, Children’s Charity Fund, Inc., educates and informs the public concerning the needs of handicapped and disabled children. We provide referral services and maintain a toll-free national hotline for handicapped children. Children’s Charity Fund, Inc. acts as children’s advocates and provides services in whatever form possible for handicapped and disabled children and the parents of said children. We purchase medical equipment for handicapped and disabled children and provide educational grants to help children further their education. Children’s Charity Fund, Inc. has helped over 400 children and institutions around the United States.
Total Revenue: $316,249 Administrative Fees: $38,553 (10.6%) Program Expenses: $14,222 (6.7%) Fund Raising Expenses: $244,508 (82.7%)
Disabled Police Officers of America
Mission: The Disabled Police Officers of America (DPOA), formerly known as the Disabled and Retired Police Officers Educational Fund (DRPOEF), was established in 1998. The DPOA mission is to provide financial assistance to disabled and regularly retired officers to pursue the academic degree or vocational training required to obtain civilian employment following their retirement from law enforcement. In addition the DPOA provides financial assistance for a variety of uses to help retired and disabled officers though a short-term financial crisis. Requests for assistance have ranged from help paying for medications, utility bills, rent, and emergency repairs.
Total Revenue: $276,360 Administrative Fees: $8,091 (5.1%) Program Expenses: $38,990 (23.6%) Fund Raising Expenses: $229,279 (71.3%)
Childhood Leukemia Foundation
Mission: Founded in 1992, the mission of the Childhood Leukemia Foundation (CLF) is to lift the spirit and enhance the quality of life of children suffering with cancer. Our goal is to make sure children battling cancer know they are not alone. All of our programs have been designed to: educate and entertain; provide a sense of physical normalcy and help raise self- esteem; encourage physical participation and therapeutic play; maintain a communications lifeline; and provide care management tools. CLF works with more than 140 specialized treatment centers. The organization serves over 15,000 children nationwide with free program and service offerings for childhood cancer patients and their families.
Total Revenue: $4,653,073 Administrative Fees: $223,269 (5.4%) Program Expenses: $1,269,574 (23.6%) Fund Raising Expenses: $3,139,465
National Veterans Service Fund
Mission: Founded in 1978, the National Veterans Services Fund, Inc. (NVSF), formerly Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Victims, provides case-managed social services and limited medical assistance to Vietnam- and Persian Gulf War- veterans and their families, with a focus on families with disabled children. The families served by NVSF have been unable to obtain the social and health services they so critically need from other sources. NVSF uniquely combines family-guided case management (service coordination) and advocacy assistance while strengthening business, social and community support. Services provided by NVSF are carefully designed to empower families so that they can successfully navigate different health and social systems.
Total Revenue: $9,519,712 Administrative Fees: $154,865 (3.1%) Program Expenses: $2,560,310 (28.1%) Fund Raising Expenses: $5,917,212(68.8%)
Kids Wish Network
Mission: Kids Wish Network has been making dreams come true for hundreds of thousands of children all over the world since 1997. We are dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children who are experiencing life-altering situations. We started with the single purpose of granting wishes to children suffering with life-threatening conditions, but have since created additional programs to benefit kids nationwide, including Hero of the Month, Kids Wish Network, On Tour, Holiday of Hope Gift Banks, A Child Forever Funeral Assistance, and our International Relief program. It is our promise to continue to bring much-needed joy to these brave young hearts through our unique programs and services and bring them the hope and comfort they truly deserve.
Total Revenue: $14,104,084 Administrative Fees: $251,802 (1.5%) Program Expenses: $3,304,643 (22.3%) Fund Raising Expenses: 11,055,206 (76.2%)
And so many more that it is mind boggling. I know that over the years, I have donated to 5 of these 9 so called charities; One of them for many years. (Being a veteran myself, you can probably guess which one)
So what am I supposed to do? I want to help these fine organizations.
The best way to support the organizations like the Police, Fire fighters, veterans and others, is to contact your local organizations directly. Keep in mind, if it is a charity located in another state and promises to help your local organization it should be a red flag for you to ask more questions.
Ask to see the charity’s annual report or brochure. Most charities will be more than happy to provide you with the information you are asking for.
Your best bet is to never give to a charity that relies on the phone to solicit money. That is a good indicator that that particular charity uses an outside telemarketing service that charges anywhere from 20% to 90%. Reminder, if you give to one charity, your name goes on a list and is sold to other telemarketing companies.
So never be afraid to say – NO – or simply hang up the phone. If it is something that you find interesting, just tell them you would like to do some research and could they provide you with a phone number that you can call them back.
There are hundreds of very good charities out there happy to pass on your donations to people in need.