Know Your Charities!

hcharities_0613 image credit: Good Search

Have you ever given to a charity such as Susan G. Koman? Do you know where your money goes when you give to a charity? How much of the money you give goes to administration, or to cover costs spent toward an event? Those water booth at The Walk—they’re not donated. Neither are the porta-potties. They say participants join events for the tee-shirts. I could do without a huge tee that ends up as a night-shirt, a rag, or donation to a thrift store. How about you?

Did you know that .50 of every $1.00 raised for Susan G. Koman walks goes to pay off event expenses? Knowing that, are you more drawn to give to a charity that uses money “for the cure” to actually spend it on things as such?

I’m a strong advocate of researching a charity—no matter what the size or name, before giving any money. You’d be surprised at how sloppy some of the most well-known charities are with money raised. Charity Navigator is America’s largest independent charity evaluator. It provides free ratings of the financial health, accountability, and transparency of thousands of charities.

If you wonder why so money is raised for cancer research, and are astounded that it seems to inch forward, maybe it’s time to look more closely at how the money is used, not how much is given. Do your research before giving money. Don’t give trusting the charity’s name, and size without knowing for yourself how they rank. Stop being used by charities who have you ask friends and family to raise the money “for cancer” and spend it on promoting their name.

When I was going through chemo, there was a fundraiser for cancer. Buy a yogurt with the pink ribbon, go online and type in the code from the yogurt lid, and earn ten cents for breast cancer. I did it. The code was “invalid.” I kept entering the code, and it kept being rejected. I called yogurt company phone number on the lid. They told me I was doing it wrong. In exasperation, I scanned the lid and emailed to them while we were on the phone. They finally agreed the lid had a faulty code! My question to them was how many other faulty codes were out there in the name of “help us find a cure by purchasing our product”? They tried to assure me I found a needle in a haystack. At that point, it felt I’d been told I’d won the lotto— “and rest assured, ten cents will go to your charity.” I buy a different yogurt now, one that never claims to be a front-runner in the cure for cancer.



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