Syrian Humanitarian Relief
CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria.
The extremely violent conflicts that began in March 2011 have claimed the lives of more than 191,000 people so far, leaving millions of people in need of emergency assistance.
As many as 12.2 million people in the region are in need of emergency assistance. As of early 2015, the violence has displaced 7.6 million people within Syria. According to the United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees 3.7 million Syrians are registered as refugees seeking assistance in neighboring countries—including Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey—and the total number of people fleeing Syria may be much higher than that. Distribution of aid within Syria is difficult, and the large number of refugees into neighboring countries has overwhelmed social service providers.
(Image: © UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0153/Tiku)
South Sudan Relief Efforts
Tens of thousands of people have died and more than two million people have been displaced since civil war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013. Because of the war a food crisis is underway, with full-blown famine afflicting some regions. In June, USAID warned that nearly 4.6 million people in South Sudan will soon be facing life-threatening hunger. The conflict's widespread displacement of people has interrupted the usual planting season for two years in a row, fishermen have had to abandon rivers, and usually-bustling markets have been deserted.
The bleak situation has been made worse by confirmed cholera outbreaks.
Funding for aid is urgently needed in South Sudan. CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to the people of South Sudan.
New York Attorney General Sues Children's Leukemia Charity For Deceiving Donors
From 2009 to 2013 National Children’s Leukemia Foundation (NCLF) raised nearly $10 million in charitable donations from generous donors throughout the United States. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office has filed a lawsuit against NCLF, alleging that the group has used the vast majority of the donations they've raised for non-charitable purposes.
Click here to read the press release from A.G. Schneiderman’s office.
Senator Calls for IRS Review of Veterans Charity
“[Wounded Wheels] talk a lot about helping veterans, but to date it doesn’t appear they’ve done anything to help a veteran,” Daniel Borochoff, president of the watchdog group CharityWatch, said last week after reviewing Wounded Wheels’ financial records. “It seems like a cool idea, but they really need to show some kind of benefit to veterans to justify this as a nonprofit.” – The Virginian-Pilot, 7/8/2015
Click here to read the whole story and see the letter written by Senator Mark Warner
Yemen: Humanitarian Relief
Yemen has been added to the United Nations list of severe humanitarian emergencies, with twenty one million citizens in need of urgent help. Approximately 13 million Yemeni people are hungry and 15 million have no access to health care. An ongoing bombing campaign by Saudi Arabia began in March 2015. The armed conflict has claimed an estimated 3,000 lives, and is the biggest obstacle for relief groups attempting to reach the Yemeni people most in need of aid.
CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen.
New Charity Failing to Help Kids with Cancer
CharityWatch president and NBC 7 San Diego investigate WishWarriors' alleged failure to provide any financial assistance to the kids they claim to help.
CharityWatch offers these tips when donating to a new charity:
- You need to be able to trust the people running it.
- Research the organizers online.
- Ask for their qualifications. They should have relevant past experience.
Veterans Support Organization consistently rated F
CharityWatch criticizes Veterans Support Organization (VSO) for doing very little to help veterans.
Click here to watch CharityWatch president, Daniel Borochoff, and NBC West Palm Beach, FL investigators ask the founder of VSO tough questions about how it solicits and spends donations intended to help veterans.
FTC, D.C. and all 50 States Take Action Against F Rated Cancer Charities
Four charities which have consistently earned F ratings from CharityWatch, Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services (an affiliate of Cancer Fund of America), Children’s Cancer Fund of America, and Breast Cancer Society, have been charged with bilking $187 million from donors in four years. Charges are being pressed by the Federal Trade Commission and 58 law enforcement partners from every state and the District of Columbia, in one of the largest legal actions to date against charity fraud.
The CharityWatch Hall of Shame now features defendant James Reynolds, Sr. and 24 of his family members for their web of deceitful charities. Our article Long Running Family Charity Scheme Exposed goes into more detail.
Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts
CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to earthquake victims in Nepal.
Following the devastating earthquakes that hit Nepal in late April and early May, relief efforts to provide food and shelter are likely to be needed for the three months following the earthquakes. Up to two million survivors will need basic relief, such as tents, tarpaulin sheets, toilets, dry food, and safe drinking water.
The earthquake has killed thousands of people in Nepal, and dozens in neighboring India, Tibetan China, and Bangladesh. Thousands more have been injured and are displaced in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia, so relief efforts and reconstruction will be largely dependent on aid from international governments and nonprofits.
In addition to the human devastation, many of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Nepal have been irreparably damaged.
CharityWatch Takes a Tough Stand on Charities with High Assets
Navy Seal Foundation, aren't doing any favors for those who need help now. Charitable dollars are limited, having remained at about 2% of GDP for over four decades, while the needs of society are not. Charities that hoard the funds they raise and keep assets greater than three years worth of their budgets are making those donated funds unavailable to other groups with urgent needs.
CharityWatch President, Daniel Borochoff, spoke with the Virginia Pilot about downgrading charities that keep high assets. Click here to read the article.
Thrift Store Donations for Veterans Charity Investigated
Veterans benefit very little when clothes and household items are donated to Vietnam Veterans of America. Watch CharityWatch president talk with Portland, OR KATU TV investigators about CharityWatch's analysis of this F rated charity.
See our article Donors Intentions Violated at For-Profit Thrift Stores for more on the topic.
Iraq Crisis Support
CharityWatch announces its top-rated list of charities offering aid to the millions of people facing displacement, water shortages, power outages, and health epidemics.
F Rated Breast Cancer Charities of America Gets Attention for Paltry Program Spending
Breast Cancer Charities of America heavily promotes direct aid to breast cancer sufferers yet spends only 2% on this.
Click through to see a video with more information.
Ebola Virus Epidemic: Best Way for Donors to Help
As of mid-September 2014, more than 4,784 people have been sickened and at least 2,400 have died. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have been hardest hit, with cases in Nigeria as well. The current epidemic is spreading more widely than previous Ebola outbreaks, with inadequate access to health care in the countries affected making it particularly difficult to bring the epidemic under control.
While the United States and other world governments have made large pledges for treatment and prevention of the virus, the groups that are working to contain the virus are urgently in need of critical monetary assistance.
Million Dollar Pay at Nonprofit Hospitals Is it acceptable for the head of a nonprofit to earn a seven-figure salary? Upon what criteria should a salary be based? A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals that a CEO at a nonprofit hospital earns, on average, about $600,000 a year and the median salary of a CEO at a large nonprofit urban hospital is over $1.66 million. Read more.
See the Top 25 Compensation Packages of charity officers, directors, trustees, and key employees. From the CharityWatch Rating Guide.
For details about one charity executive's unusual compensation package, read Eye-Popping Pay.
F rated Veterans Charity Busted: $24.6 Million Settlement with Attorney General
CharityWatch was the first to warn the public of a $8.4 million debt in 2008 and other serious problems with Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) in Millions in Future Donations to Vets Charity Will Pay Debt Owed to Vendors. The charity continued to dig itself into a huge debt to its professional fundraisers, reaching $16.5 million in 2012.
Only a tiny portion of DVNF's cash donations ever went to helping disabled veterans. CharityWatch applauds the New York AG Office for finally putting a stop to many of this group's bad practices.
Supporting Children in Afghanistan and Pakistan
CharityWatch announces this list of highly efficient charities currently involved in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Update: Greg Mortenson, Central Asia Institute
In April 2012, Montana Attorney General announced a settlement agreement requiring Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, to pay more than $1 million in restitution for financial wrongdoing at the charity he founded, Central Asia Institute. The very same three person board, which includes Greg Mortenson and is responsible for the mismanagement of CAI, is empowered with selecting its replacement board, according to the settlement reached with the Montana Attorney General. Read the CharityWatch article that sparked the investigation, and listen to Daniel Borochoff discuss the settlement agreement on NPR. For Borochoff's comments on how the nonprofit sector could be affected by shortcomings in the AG's settlement, read this AP article.
UPDATE: Click here to read about CharityWatch's continued concern about Central Asia Intitute and its "?" rating.
Lack of Disclosure Makes Giving to Televangelists a Risky Business
Large religious TV networks that repeatedly ask you for charitable donations are allowed to hide how they spend your dollars. If you want to know if your donation is used to fund TV broadcasting or charitable aid, a tax-exempt religious broadcaster does not have to tell you.
Support Relief Efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan
Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms recorded, has devastated the central Philippines. The government estimates that 9.5 million people are affected by the disaster, and several thousand people are missing or dead. In certain coastal areas, the storm leveled 90% of buildings; some towns were completely submerged. Hundreds of thousands of people are urgently in need of humanitarian assistance. Efforts to meet the vital needs for shelter, clean water, food and medical assistance to the storm's victims are underway.
Know Your Options When Giving to the Red Cross
In the wake of any humanitarian disaster that hits the U.S., the American Red Cross (Red Cross) usually takes the lead in providing immediate and long-term disaster relief services. The Red Cross, though, has not been immune from criticism related to how it allocates the spending of donations contributed in response to disasters. Thanks to an October 23, 2013 agreement with New York's Attorney General, the Red Cross will give online donors clear options with respect to how their contributions will be used and provide transparency about such uses.
Leadership Booted at Dishonored Veterans Charity
Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV), which earns an F rating from CharityWatch, has been sued by California's Attorney General. The AG shares CharityWatch's long held position that HHV's accounting gimmicks inflate the reported amount of contributions spent on program services to help veterans. As part of the settlement, officers and directors named in the suit must resign and pay restitution. CharityWatch has been critical of HHV for years, and puts the settlement agreement in context with our article Leadership Booted at Dishonored Veterans Charity. For more CharityWatch reporting on HHV, check out these past articles:
CharityWatch Discusses Executive Compensation at Susan G Komen Foundation
In this video CharityWatch President Daniel Borochoff offers context regarding nonprofit executive compensation. Borochoff suggests factors donors might consider to help determine whether executive compensation at a given charity is appropriate. (Video link will open in a new browser tab or window.)
Supporting Fellow Americans during the Economic Crisis
CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient charities currently offering services to the increased number of Americans suffering from hunger, mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, homelessness, old age, or others who are in need of human services during this time of economic crisis.