We all know that I work in retail and all throughout the holidays, from sunrise to the wee hours of the night, I was bombarded by the ringing bell and gleaming red kettle. I must have heard this comment a thousand times,
“Don’t throw your change in the bucket. It only goes to line some CEO’s pocket. Nothing really gets to the people in need.”
So with tax time coming upon us so quickly and people looking for a charity where they can make their hard earned penny count for as much as possible… just where should my donation go to do the most good?
So, I jumped to the internet in search for the truth and here is what I found.
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian denomination and an international charitable organisation structured in a quasi-military fashion. Wikipedia
The combined stats on the Salvation Army (National Corporation) according to http://www.give.org. meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. The following financial review covers the National Office of the Salvation Army and all of its affiliates in the USA. This information is based on the unaudited combined financial review in The Salvation Army’s 2013 annual report.
Total Revenue: $4,078,331,000
*A worthy cause indeed but one that comes with a few problems that this article will not address.
So if you are wondering where I can get the biggest bang for my measly pittance. Have no fear, here is a list of:
The Top 9 Best Rated Charities
#9 National Council of YMCA of the USA (Founded 1844) – For Youth development, for healthy living, for social responsibilities.
- Total Revenue: $143,906,903
- Administrative Fees: 8.7%
- Fundraising Expenses: 1.9%
- Mission: Build strong kids, strong families, strong communities
- Program Expenses (amount spent on the cause): 89.3%
- CEO Compensation: $ 819,512
- Fundraising Expenses: 1.9%
- Website: www.ymca.net
#8 Patients Services Incorporated (Founded 1989) – Ground breaking premium and co-payment assistance foundation for the chronically ill.
- Total Revenue: $128,352,7162.
- Administrative Fees:
- 4.4%Fundraising Expenses: 1.3%
- Website: www.patientservicesinc.org
- CEO Compensation: $ 570,296
- Program Expenses (amount spent on the cause): 94.1%
- Mission: PSI helps chronically ill patients with affordable medical expenses.
#7 Americares (Founded 1979) – With good health anything is possible: education, employment and active community life. That’s why we are committed to placing health at the center of action and conversation.
- Total Revenue: $915,733,646
- Administrative Fees: .5%
- Fundraising Expenses: 1.3%
- Website: www.americares.org
- CEO Compensation: $ 363,186
- Program Expenses (amount spent on the cause): 98.1%
- Mission: Save lives and improve health for those people affected by poverty or disaster so they can reach their full potential.
#6 Doctors Without Borders (Founded 1971) – Helping people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care.
- Total Revenue: $296,059,937
- Administrative Fees: 1.1%
- Fundraising Expenses: 10.4%
- Website: www.doctorswithoutborders.org
- CEO Compensation: $ 163,783
- Program Expenses (amount spent on the cause): 88.3%
- Mission: Medical aid where it is needed most. Independent. Neutral. Impartial
#5 The Carter Center (Founded 1982) – Commitment to human rights and alleviation of human suffering.
- Total Revenue: $407,514,800
- Administrative Fees: 3.0%
- Fundraising Expenses: 3.5%
- Website: www.cartercenter.org
- CEO Compensation: $ 125,178
- Program Expenses (amount spent on the cause): 93.4%
- Mission: Prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.
#4 The Conservation Fund (Founded 1985) – Creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense.
- Total Revenue: $215,096,466
- Administrative Fees: 1.4%
- Fundraising Expenses: .4%
- Website: www.conservationfund.org
- CEO Compensation: $ 576,224
- Program Expenses (amount spent on the cause): 97.5%
- Mission: Practicing conservation to achieve environmental aid and economic outcomes.
#3 Rotary Foundation (Founded 1905) – A global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem solvers
- Total Revenue: $284,602,519
- Administrative Fees: 3.0%
- Fundraising Expenses: 5.9%
- Website: www.rotary.org
- CEO Compensation: $ 294,925
- Program Expenses (amount spent on the cause): 90.9%
- Mission: To advance world understanding, goodwill and peace.
#2 MAP International (Founded 1954) – A Christian organization providing life changing medicine and health supplies to people in need.
- Mission: In times of disaster, MAP provides immediate humanitarian assistance and relief aid including medicines and health supplies to those left homeless and without access to basic services.
- Total Revenue: $606,488,670
- Program Expenses (amount spent on the cause): 99.3%
- Administrative Fees: .1%
- CEO Compensation: $204,233
- Fundraising Expense: .5%
- Website: www.map.org
#1. Direct Relief (Founded 1948) – humanitarian aid organization active in all 50 states in the USA and over 80 countries worldwide.
- Mission: Improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies.
- Total Revenue: $772,762,184
- Administrative Fees: .3%
- Fundraising Expenses: .2%
- Website: www.directrelief.org
- CEO Compensation: $384,276
- Program Expenses (amount spent on the cause): 99.4%
Now, I can hear those numbers cha-ching-ing like the Vegas slot machines on Saturday night. Wow, charities paying their head honchos over 800 thou??? Sign me up. But wait, how does that stack up to the private sector where these people could land some ‘Easy Street’ jobs? Let’s just take a little look see?
#10-Time Warner(32.6 Million), #9-Hewlitt Packard Enterprises(32.9 Million), #8–Activision Blizzard(33.1 Million), #7–Discovery Communications(37.2 Million), #6-Oracle(41.1 Million), #5-Walt Disney(41 Million), #4-Nike(47.6 Million), #3-Estee Lauder(47.7Million), #2-CBS(68.6Million), and #1-Charter Communications(a staggering 98 Million). As a matter of fact, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, of the 350 companies surveyed, the average CEO compensation for 2016 was $15.6 million.
I think I can feel secure in saying that, with these charities at least, my money will be put to good use. There are many other charities across the world that also do some great things. This is just a list of, in my opinion, those with the highest ratings.
However, I’m not saying that all charities are run by saints. There are hundreds of charities that are hell-bent to milk you dry. Stay tuned for next week when we take a look at the 9 worst charities to give your money to.
Meanwhile, it only takes some simple Googleing to find the answers you are looking for. So, whether it’s electing a president or donating money, never make an uninformed decision. You know what happens if you do…