Picking a Charity

April 6, 2007

Today was the third time I’ve received a call from the Childhood Leukemia foundation charity. Every time they have called, I told them I have not yet decided upon a charity for this year. This reminded me of a website stumbled upon a while back called Charity Navigator.

America’s premier independent charity evaluator, works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of America’s largest charities.

So, based upon this, I checked out the ranking for the Childhood Leukemia Foundation. Needless to say, I was not happy when I saw 84% of the proceeds goes towards Fundraising Expenses!!  It was a bit more shocking to see the executive director of the charity bring in roughly $111,000 annually!

After being a bit distraught, I decided to check out March of Dimes. I often receive mailing addresses and little notepads from them in the mail. This was much better as 16.7% went towards fundraising and 7.1% went towards administrative expenses. I didn’t feel too badly about contributing to this charity after seeing the mix.

But I still was not set on my choice. My wife and I have often contributed to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) but I’m having second guesses now seeing that 17.4% goes towards Fundraising Expenses. Guess it shouldn’t really surprise me based on all the goodies I’ve received from them in the mail.

Ultimately, I decided to contribute to Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), working to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. Only 1.4% for Fundraising, 4.1% for Administrative and a whopping 94.5% of my proceeds goes towards Program expenses! I’ve found the first charity to receive my donation for the year.

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