Worst Non-profits in Oregon

Worst Non-profits in Oregon

Tis the season for giving.  I’m a fan of charities, and regularly set aside 10% of my income for charitable giving.  But how do you check to see if that guy standing on the street corner is a *real* charity; or if that charity actually will get the money to those in need?  After Bono’s ONE charity scandal this year, we are learning how to be more careful with our giving:

According to New York Post investigation of tax records – of the just under $15 million that U2 singer Bono’s ONE charity collected in 2008 – only $184,732 was distributed to actual aid organizations. $8 million went to executive pay and most of the rest went to ad agencies for promotions.

Turns out that the Oregon Department of Justice allows you to look up the records of your favorite charity to see if they actually *are* a charity, and also to see exactly how much of that money they’re gathering is actually going to the cause; and how much of it’s going into their own pockets.  To be considered a charity, a charity cannot have over 35% of their money going to ‘administration’.  While 35% is still a huge amount of potential abuse IMHO, it’s the law at the moment and I can understand it for some particular causes.  My own take is that the charities I give to are in the 10% or less in overhead category (90%+ going to actual programs).

While not an exhaustive list of dubious charities, the official Top 20 worst charities in Oregon for 2010 are mind-numbingly bad with about half of them under 20% going to actual programs/aid.

Here’s the list with the percentages of how much goes to their actual activities.  In order for them to be considered in accord with a non-profit, these numbers need to be 65% or HIGHER.  I encourage you to check out your charity, and give to those that will do the most good with the money you give.

Shiloh International Ministries 3.63%
Purpose: To provide medical necessities and moral support to needy children and to
provide assistance to the homeless

Law Enforcement Education Program 6.26%
Purpose: To educate teenagers on the effects of alcohol

Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library  7.03%
Purpose: To preserve a record of participation in the Korean War, educate the public, and to promote friendship among vets

Foundation for American Veterans, Inc. 10.22%
Purpose: Promoting social and recreational welfare for current and past U.S. Armed Forces members, dependents, widows, widowers and others

Dogs Against Drugs/Dogs Against Crime  10.30%
Purpose: Drug Education and Crime Prevention

National Vietnam Veterans Foundation 10.92%
Purpose: Support of Veterans Organizations

Firefighters Charitable Foundation 11.09%
Purpose: To provide financial assistance to individuals affected by a fire or disaster

Committee for Missing Children 11.51%
Purpose: Distribution of photos of missing children, education and case management, and the development of an international database

The Wishing Well Foundation 11.57%
Purpose: Fulfilling the fondest wish of any terminally ill child not expected to reach 18 years of age

Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund 13.16%
Purpose: To provide legal assistance to law enforcement officers

Disabled Police Officers of America
Purpose: Educational Programs for Police Officers

Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center, Inc. 14.84%
Purpose: Assist disabled police officers

Foundation for Children with Cancer (formerly Reach Our Children)
Purpose: To provide financial assistance to families with children with pediatric cancer

American Medical Research Organization 16.19%
Purpose: To support medical research in the cause, cure, and treatment of macular degeneration

National Veterans Service Fund, Inc. 20.44%
Purpose: Inform and educate in conjunction with service-related illnesses and work to raise public awareness of the contributions veterans make to our society

Children’s Leukemia Research Association, Inc. 20.49%
Purpose: To support research efforts into the causes and cure of leukemia and to provide assistance with expenses incurred in leukemia treatment

Dakota Indian Foundation 21.55%
Purpose: Assist in education of Indian people and preservation of Native American culture

Cancer Support Services  22.27%
Purpose: To support the charitable mission of Cancer Fund of America and to provide financial support to indigent cancer patients

Project Cure, Inc. 24.28%
Purpose: Increasing public and professional awareness about the prevention, detection, and treatment of various chronic diseases

Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth 24.53%
Purpose: To provide free services 24 hours a day 7 days a week regarding missing youth

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