Hot Topics

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.

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

Posted on April 09, 2015

Charities that keep large assets in reserve, such as the 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

Posted on December 10, 2014

Veterans benefit very little when clothes and household items are donated to Vietnam Veterans of America. Watch CharityWatch president talk with KATU 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.

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.

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

Posted on October 03, 2014

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.

South Sudan Relief Efforts

Posted on May 21, 2014

Thousands of people have died and more than a 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, likely to become a famine. The widespread displacement of people has interrupted the usual planting season, fishermen have had to abandon rivers, and usually-bustling markets have been deserted.

In an appeal to international donors to help aid groups mitigate the crisis, a United Nations press release says that "by the end of this year, half of South Sudan's 12 million people will be either in flight, facing starvation, or dead." The bleak situation has been made worse by a confirmed cholera outbreak, which is likely to spread with the rainy season approaching and so many displaced people living in makeshift shelters without access to clean water.

Funding for aid is urgently needed in South Sudan. Once the rainy season is underway, more than half of the country will not be accessible by road, and humanitarian groups will have to resort to expensive air-lifting of food, medications, and sanitation equipment.

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.

Charity Salaries

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.

CharityWatch Calls for Full Disclosure of Charity Executive Compensation.

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

Posted on January 22, 2015

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

Posted on April 01, 2014

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

Posted on November 11, 2013

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

Posted on October 28, 2013

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.

Read the full article

Leadership Booted at Dishonored Veterans Charity

Posted on September 06, 2013

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 Research Shows Veterans Get Short End of Stick
Attorney General Sues F Rated Veterans Charity

Congressionally Scorned Charity Leader Receives $1.9 Million

CharityWatch President's Congressional Testimony on Veterans Charities

Two Layers of F's

CharityWatch Hall of Shame

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.