I recently received this email and because my wife and I do donate to different charities, I decided that I would check out the accuracy of this email, as best I could.  I also went to the Charity Navigator Website and gathered the information on those charities listed in the email.  I found that some of the content was accurate.   Some was lacking due to no national organization, which means that they have state or local associations only.  I also found some content totally false.  The bottom line is that you contribute to those organizations or charities according to your own personal choices.  The figures that I give you are in no way a measuring stick, just figures that I used to try and compare these listed charities.

So, the following is the email as I received it:

 

CHARITY NAVIGATOR     website you will be able to see where the money goes after it is donated.     It might surprise you to find out how many apparently worthwhile charities     are used as a cash cow for some.

THINK BEFORE YOU DONATE

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS:

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The American Red Cross
President and CEO       Marsha J. Evans’

Salary for the year was $651,957 plus       expenses

MARCH OF DIMES
It is now called       the March of Dimes because

Only a dime for every 1 dollar is given to       the needy.

The United Way
President Brian       Gallagher

Receives a $375,000 base salary along with       numerous expense benefits.

UNICEF
CEO Caryl M. Stern       receives

$1,200,000 per year (100k per month) plus all       expenses including a ROLLS ROYCE.

Less than 5 cents of your donated dollar       goes to the cause.

GOODWILL
CEO and owner Mark       Curran profits $2.3 million a year.
Goodwill is a very catchy name for his business.

You donate to his business and then he sells       the items for PROFIT.
He pays nothing for his products and pays his workers minimum wage!       Nice Guy.
$0.00 goes to help       anyone!
Stop giving to this man.

PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE IT WON’T GO TOWARDS HIGH SALARIES, BUT     WILL BE USED TO BENEFIT THOSE APPLYING TO THE ORGANIZATIONS LISTED BELOW.

The Salvation Army
Commissioner, Todd       Bassett receives a small salary of only

$13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2       billion dollar organization.

96 percent of donated dollars go to the       cause.

The American Legion
National Commander       receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Commander       receives a $0.00 zero salary.

Your donations go to help Veterans and their       families and youth!

The Disabled American Veterans
National Commander       receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Military Order of Purple Hearts
National Commander       receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Vietnam Veterans Association
National Commander       receives a $0.00 zero salary.

Your donations go to help Veterans and their       families and youth!

Make a Wish: For children’s last wishes.

100% goes to funding trips or special wishes       for a dying child.

St. Jude Research Hospital

100% goes towards funding and helping       Children with Cancer who have no insurance and cannot afford to pay.

Ronald McDonald Houses

All monies go to running the houses for       parents who have critical Children in the hospital.

100% goes to housing, and feeding the       families.

Lions Club International

100% OF DONATIONS GO TO HELP THE BLIND, BUY       HEARING AIDES, SUPPORT MEDICAL MISSIONS AROUND THE WORLD. THEIR LATEST       UNDERTAKING

IS MEASLES VACCINATIONS (ONLY $1.00 PER       SHOT).

 

Now here are the results of my little investigation:

The following 5 charities were recommended in this email…you decide.

The American Red Cross – rated 59.64 out of a possible 70, is rated 3 out of a possible 4 stars, spends 91cents out of every dollar on victim programs.  Note:  email claimed that the President and CEO was a Marsha J. Evans with a salary of $ 651,957.  False.  The President and CEO is Gail J. McGovern with a salary of $ 501,122 as of June 2011.

March of Dimes – rated 41.05 out of a possible 70, is rated 2 out of a possible 4 stars, spends 66 cents out of every dollar on victim programs.  Note: email stated only a dime out of each dollar.  False.

The United Way – not rated, is divided into state and local organizations.

UNICEF of America – rated 63.30 out of a possible 70, is rated 4 out of a possible 4 stars, spends 89 cents out of every dollar on victim programs.  Note: email claims CEO Caryl M. Stern earns $ 1.2 million plus expenses including a Rolls Royce.  False.  Her  annual salary listed in June 2012 was $ 467,463.  Note: these figures are from the United States Fund for UNICEF only.

GOODWILL – not rated.

Now, here are the results of those charities or organizations that were recommended in the email.  Note: the source of this email seems to favor veteran organizations.

The Salvation Army – not rated due to religious status.

The American Legion – not rated due to local chapters.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars – rated 56.15 out of a possible 70, is rated 3 out of a possible 4 stars, spends 72 cents out of every dollar on victim programs.

The Disabled American Veterans – not rated or listed.

The Military Order of Purple Hearts – not rated or listed.

The Vietnam Veterans Association – rated 14.01 out of a possible 70, is rated 0 out of a possible 4 stars, spends 12 cents out of every dollar on victim programs.  Note: this charity is not recommended.

Make a Wish – rated 58.36 out of a possible 70, is rated 3 out of a possible 4 stars, spends 68 cents out of every dollar on victim programs.  False.  The email stated 100 %.

St. Jude’s Research Hospital – rated 56.91 out of a possible 70, is rated 3 out of a possible 4 stars, spends 58 cents out of every dollar on victim programs.  False.  The email stated 100 %.

Ronald McDonald House – is not rated due to local and state chapters.

Lions Club International –  – rated 65.77 out of a possible 70, is rated 4 out of a possible 4 stars, spends 70 cents out of every dollar on victim programs.  .  False.  The email stated 100 %.

So, there you have it.  For better or worse, it’s a good idea to investigate these charities before you decide to donate and obviously, some are worse than others.  My only advice would be that regardless of what charity or organization that you donate to, you are always better off and you will see a bigger bang for your buck, if you donate to local causes because the money stays in your community.  Also remember that the larger the charity or organization, the more monies have to go for organizational expenses.  Note: a lot of people donate to help people after a natural disaster like the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, or the hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, and they hold these big benefit concerts and events to aid the victims.  Just be aware that these types of charitable events distribute the least amount of direct aid to the victims.  The victims of Sandy have received little in contributions, so far, and the victims of Katrina in New Orleans have gotten less than 2 cents out of every dollar in direct support.

But, just remember…like the old Christmas adage, “it is better to give than receive.”

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