Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gimme a Buck and I'll Buy You Fifteen Cents Worth of...

Many of us complain when our charitable organizations spend more than fifteen percent of their donations on non-program activities, like administration and fundraising. That's the standard I've used when I've been on non-profit boards. Some think it's okay to spend 35% on such activities. Some big-name charities spend much higher than 35%. Recently, Time reported that some Republican Political Action Committees (PACs) are in the same rarefied atmosphere as the worst charities, spending 75-85% of their donations to get more donations.

When we donate, we expect to 'do good works' through the organization. Whether it's to cure cancer or elect an official, we want our money to mostly go towards the mission and purpose of the organization. We do not expect most of the money to be used to send our more envelopes, staff call centers, send out emails, put on fundraising banquets or 'Star Wars' themed festivals. If we wanted to be a pest or have a party, I'd hire the right people to do that, not someone who claims to have the best interests of the poor, unfortunate or politically connected. This seems like fraud. Shame on them! Shame on me for donating to any of them.

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