Charity or Shell game?
May 24, 2012, 6:47 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

Two Senators are beginning an investigation into a 501c3 which says it helps disabled veterans. They use a Marketing Company to raise their funds, and there is the rub. A few years ago I began asking these phone solicitors how much of the money collected actually gets to the people it is supposed to help. What I found out was that fifteen to twenty-five cents of each dollar collected goes to the charity for the people it is helping. the rest of that dollar goes to the marketing agency to cover their “overhead” costs.
That is not a good percentage going to those who really need the help. These days I am very careful who I give my money to. I will support only those organizations who actually spend the money on the folks in need. One of my favorite charities is UMCOR the United Methodist Committee on Relief, because their administrative costs are covered by a special offering taken in UM churches for that express purpose once a year. Any time there is a disaster needing assistance, they will ask for donations and the money collected is spent on that disaster relief effort, not on administrative costs. Of course there is the American Legion, they have many programs to help veterans, as does the VFW, the money collected is used to help the vets, not pay adminstrative costs.
These “charities” that have come on the scene in the last few years might just be cash machines for marketing firms, instead of helping machines for the veterans who gave their limbs and lives for the nation.
The next time you get a letter, or a phone call asking for a donation to help wounded veterans, or cancer victims, or children, check them out, don’t just give them your money. Find out where those dollars will be spent. Give to those who spend the money on the actual people or research that is needed.

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