Reported Charity Salaries May Not Tell the Full Story
Posted on April 04, 2017
Donors often seek out information on charity executive salaries when considering whether or not to donate to a particular nonprofit. Such information is widely available online from aggregator websites that use software to pull and republish data from public tax forms. Unfortunately, the presentation of such salary data often causes donors to incorrectly conflate low salaries with financial efficiency. In addition, donors are prone to inferring that the salary data they are viewing represents the total payments received by a particular executive from the charity that employs them, when this is not always the case. To identify a worthy charity, donors must look beyond the face value of the salary data they encounter online and dig deeper.
Costly and Continuous Kars4Kids Ads Disguise Charity's Real Purpose
Posted on March 10, 2017
Described by many as annoying and by SFGate.com as the subject of "widespread, ubiquitous hate," the catchy advertising jingle for the charity known as Kars4Kids can now be heard not only on radio stations nationwide, but also on major TV networks. ...The TV spot has aired on popular networks such as ESPN and Fox News and has been viewed over 880,000 times on YouTube, with each play of its earworm jingle lightheartedly encouraging people to "donate your car today." By now, you are probably (begrudgingly) familiar with the Kars4Kids jingle, but just how familiar are you with how Kars4Kids spends the money it makes from all those "kars" that get donated "4" kids?
Crowdfunding Popularity Continues to Soar Despite Risks to Donors
Posted on January 20, 2017
Several years ago most people probably had never heard the word "crowdfunding." Defined as the process of funding a project or cause by raising money from a large number of people, typically through a website, crowdfunding has become so popular that over $34 billion in funds were raised via crowdfunding platforms in 2015. The extraordinary amount of money that is being raised through crowdfunding is astonishing considering how relatively easy it is for those with questionable intentions to try to take advantage of crowdfunding donors.
Celebrity Charity Finances Are Hidden Behind Closed Doors
Posted on November 01, 2016
In addition to giving back to the community or supporting a cause with a personal connection, there are a variety of reasons (public image and tax relief among them) why it is fairly common for celebrities and professional athletes to start a charity. Perhaps you are familiar with some of them, such as the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, Gary Sinise Foundation, or Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, each of which are rated by CharityWatch. Such celebrities can use their star power to raise funds with relative ease. Before you become a star-struck donor, though, CharityWatch wants to warn you about a certain type of celebrity charity that may be ducking the transparency standards for which all public charities should be accountable.
Multiple Names + Exaggerated Programs = Two Related Charities, But Little Help for Vets or Cancer Relief
Posted on September 20, 2016
Veterans and cancer are two of the most popular charitable causes to which Americans direct significant donations. While these two causes seemingly have little to do with one another, one set of charities proves otherwise. Help the Vets (HTV) and Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation (BCOF) are two relatively new charities that share the same address and phone number, as well as the same family members in leadership positions, including president. But of more concern to donors should be another shared trait between HTV and BCOF -- the likelihood that most donations will go towards paying for-profit, professional fundraisers rather than for helping veterans or cancer sufferers.
Follow the Money: Beware of Groups that Pass Your Donations to Inefficient Charities
Posted on June 03, 2016
Say that you hear on a news report that a veterans charity has a ninety-six percent program services ratio. You think, "Wow, I'm going to donate $50 because almost all of it will be used for the needs of veterans," and so without further thought, you go ahead and make a $50 donation that day. It turns out, though, that instead of about $48 of your $50 going to veterans services, only about $25 was used for such programs. If the charity really spends 96% on programs, how is that possible?
Update: The IRS Has Made It Too "E-Z" to Start Charities
Posted on March 08, 2016
Less than a year ago CharityWatch warned donors to get ready for a stampede of solicitations thanks to the IRS's July 2014 introduction of a new "streamlined" application process for certain eligible organizations to apply for 501(c)(3) public charity tax-exempt status by submitting IRS "Form 1023-EZ."
Help Hospitalized Veterans Is Banned from VA Hospitals
Posted on January 30, 2015
Another startling fact concerning the "F" rated Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) has come to the attention of CharityWatch.
Huge Amounts of Donations Squandered by "F" Rated Charity Before Settlement Is Reached
Posted on September 24, 2014
Believed to be the largest amount of financial relief ever obtained in the U.S. for deceptive charitable fundraising, a $24.6 million settlement will be paid by the for-profit direct mail vendors of what has become one of the largest veterans charities in the U.S., Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF). The settlement, announced in July 2014, was secured by New York's Office of the Attorney General (OAG) as a result of its investigation into the alleged direct mail fundraising abuses by Quadriga Art (and its affiliates, including Brick Mill Studios ) and Convergence Direct Marketing in connection with their services on behalf of DVNF.
The GuideStar Exchange Program: Sometimes Gold, Silver and Bronze Mean Less Than You Think
Posted on April 09, 2014
If we see a gold insignia associated with a charity, that charity must be a highly worthy one to which to donate, right? Unfortunately, this may not always be true, and in the case of the GuideStar Exchange program, even unworthy, financially inefficient charities can receive a gold, silver or bronze level designation.
Update: Good Charity You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover or a Charity by its Name
Posted on April 09, 2014
Good Charity has been operating for less than the three-year period CharityWatch requires before a rating is conducted, but our initial research and follow-up review shows ample reason for concern regarding the creation of Good Charity and its fundraising and program service activities.