Time to Give

It’s been a tough year, tougher for some than others, but unless you’re a bum reading this on a library computer, your life is pretty good. No matter how bad off you think you are, almost everyone else in the world has it a lot tougher than you, so cough up!

There are a lot of deserving charities vying for your donation this time of year, but there are, unfortunately, a lot of scams. Scams range from professional fundraisers who keep 80% or more of the money they collect on a charity’s behalf (WARNING — this includes many websites purporting to be guides to charities) to once legitimate charities that have become nothing more than fronts for radical activist agendas.

Sadly, wherever there is a lot of money you will find scam artists, both those motivated solely by opportunities for larceny and those looking to pervert charitable organizations to promote their political agendas.

I have 3 simple criteria for charitable giving:

“¢ The organization must have low overhead — meaning that almost all the money you give goes to the stated cause.
“¢ The organization must not be political or activist in nature
“¢ The money I give must stay in the United States.

There are not that many charities that meet these criteria. The level of waste, fraud and hidden activism in so called charities is staggering. A charity that spends as much as 35% of its budget on fundraising and administration is considered efficient (must be a lot of former government types in the charity business), Many once respectable old-line charities play political favorites or have become little more than fundraising arms for extreme agendas (remember when the United way cut off the Boy Scouts? Know about the ties between the Human Society and PETA?). Scumbags set up legal but despicable sound-alike charities to enrich themselves (the Breast Cancer Research Foundation granted nearly $25 million or 87% of its budget to medical research, whereas the closely named American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) spent nearly 87% of its budget on solicitations).

How do you keep from getting scammed?

My advice would be to give your money to The Salvation Army and the Portland Rescue Mission, but if you’ve got someone else in mind you can check out the BBB charities and donors site to check out a charity.

Merry Christmas!