CharityWatch REPORT
Issued August 2016

CharityWatch Articles & Donor Alerts

CharityWatch conducts research and publishes articles on charities. Current and archived articles we have written about this charity are posted here, as are select articles we have published with topics related to this charity or its cause. Visit our Articles page to view CharityWatch's entire library of posted articles.

CharityWatch Articles

 
Planet Aid's Recycling Program, Debunked!

CharityWatch has been keeping an eye on Planet Aid, a charity known for its ubiquitous clothing collection boxes, for many years. This charity consistently reports low overhead and high program spending in its annual financial documents, but a closer analysis by CharityWatch reveals a different picture of how efficiently Planet Aid is operating.

Beware of Inflated Charity Efficiency Claims!

When I founded the American Institute of Philanthropy 14 years ago, I often said that there is a vacuum of independent information available to help donors make giving decisions. Now in 2006, particularly as a result of the Internet, Americans are being inundated with charitable giving information. The problem is that most of the information out there is either directly from the charities who are hesitant to criticize themselves for fear of losing contributions, or unexamined compilations of charities' self-reported information.

In the News

 

Government officials warned colleagues this charity was a cult -- to no avail

UNICEF cuts off funding to nonprofit linked to alleged cult

Planet Aid's ubiquitous clothing donation boxes aren't so charitable

"Alleged cult leader plays shell game with US foreign aid" is the title of the Center for Investigative Reporting's (CIR) in-depth investigation into Planet Aid, broadcast in March 2016. For years CharityWatch has warned donors about Planet Aid's financial reporting and has consistently assigned the charity low ratings for its low program spending and high fundraising costs. The CIR investigation asserts that "money from USDA grants, over $130 million, up to 70% was allegedly taken from the projects it was meant for and stripped from employees salaries," and attempts to answer the question, "for what?" Planet Aid's ties to an alleged overseas cult and millions in clothing sales to fund projects in Africa with few visible results are just some of the concerns raised by CIR as it traverses continents to follow the charity's cash.

My Fox DC Investigation: Planet Aid, Part 1

My Fox DC Investigation: Planet Aid, Part 2

Hot Topics & Donor Alerts

 
Can You Spot Nonprofit Accounting Tricks?

Barron’s is urging donors “to be as rigorous in vetting nonprofits for accounting chicanery as you are with public companies trading on the stock exchanges.” Since nonprofits have the room to use "some fast accounting moves," it's up to donors "to ferret out such bad accounting practices.” CharityWatch helps donors see through nonprofit “accounting tricks.”

(Illustration credit: Brad Yeo for Barron's)

F Rated Planet Aid the Subject of a New Investigation

"Alleged cult leader plays shell game with US foreign aid" is the title of the Center for Investigative Reporting's (CIR) in-depth investigation into Planet Aid, broadcast in March 2016. For years CharityWatch has warned donors about Planet Aid's financial reporting and has consistently assigned the charity low ratings for its low program spending and high fundraising costs. The CIR investigation asserts that "money from USDA grants, over $130 million, up to 70% was allegedly taken from the projects it was meant for and stripped from employees salaries," and attempts to answer the question, "for what?" Planet Aid's ties to an alleged overseas cult and millions in clothing sales to fund projects in Africa with few visible results are just some of the concerns raised by CIR as it traverses continents to follow the charity's cash.

 

 

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