November 5, 2013

America's Worst Charities: 50 Organizations That Raised Billions Of Dollars, But Gave Hardly Any Of It To The People Who Need It.

Marketplace, Your Money
written by Adriene Hill
Friday June 14, 2013

Americans give generously. We give more to charity per capita than any other developed nation; more than $200 billion in 2011. But all that money may not be going where we think. The Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting have released a list of "America's Worst Charities," 50 organizations that raised billions of dollars, but gave hardly any of it to the people who need it. In some cases, these charities gave no money at all. Instead, much of the money went to paying fundraising firms -- those people who bombard us with calls and direct mail. Kendall Taggart is a data reporter at the Center for Investigative Reporting.

"I think for a lot of these groups that are using outside fundraisers, it's an easy way to cover their own salaries and there's very little regulation to making sure that they follow through on the promises that they've made to donors," says Taggart.

Taggart says these charities provide help to the causes they are supposed to support with what's called "gifts in kind" -- things like medical supplies that they ship overseas. The problem is that there's no way to verify the value of those goods, so they can be used to inflate a charity's revenue on the books and what it looks like they're doing in terms of programs.

"The top of our list is an organization called Kid's Wish Network. They operate out of a metal warehouse in Holiday, Fla. Over the past decade they've raised millions of dollars. Of that, about 80 percent -- $110 million -- has gone to professional solicitors, $4.8 million has gone to the charity's founder and his consulting firm, and only $0.03 of every $1 that they've raised has actually spent directly on helping kids," says Taggart. "Most of the causes are popular causes that appeal to donors and may sound like a more well-known group."

Snapshot of the top 10 worst U.S. charities:
To make sure that you're sending your money to good places, Taggart says there are many resources to research charities online.

The 50 worst, ranked by money blown on soliciting costs. Totals from the latest 10 years of available federal tax filings:

1. Kids Wish Network
2. Cancer Fund of America
3. Children's Wish Foundation International
4. American Breast Cancer Foundation
5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation
6. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation
7. International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO
8. National Veterans Service Fund
9. American Association of State Troopers
10. Children's Cancer Fund of America

11. Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation
12. Youth Development Fund
13. Committee For Missing Children
14. Association for Firefighters and Paramedics
15. Project Cure (Bradenton, FL)
16. National Caregiving Foundation
17. Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth
18. United States Deputy Sheriffs' Association
19. Vietnow National Headquarters
20. Police Protective Fund

21. National Cancer Coalition
22. Woman To Woman Breast Cancer Foundation
23. American Foundation For Disabled Children
24. The Veterans Fund
25. Heart Support of America
26. Veterans Assistance Foundation
27. Children's Charity Fund
28. Wishing Well Foundation USA
29. Defeat Diabetes Found
30. Disabled Police Officers of America Inc

31. National Police Defense Foundation
32. American Association of the Deaf & Blin
33. Reserve Police Officers Association
34. Optimal Medical Foundation
35. Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation
36. Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center
37. Children's Leukemia Research Association
38. United Breast Cancer Foundation
39. Shiloh International Ministries
40. Circle of Friends For American Veterans

41. Find the Children
42. Survivors and Victims Empowered
43. Firefighters Assistance Fund
44. Caring for Our Children Foundation
45. National Narcotic Officers Associations Coalition
46. American Foundation for Children With AIDS
47. Our American Veterans
48. Roger Wyburn-Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation For Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease
49. Firefighters Burn Fund
50. Hope Cancer Fund

Want to evaluate a charity you want to donate to? Check out these helpful websites:
Many celebrity run charities were not included in the article above and should also be reported. Celebrities are able to attract contributions based on their popularity. The public never bothers to verify how their contributions are being spent toward the charitable cause. So I suggest before you get excited about wanting to donate some of your hard earned income, please visit the charity watchdogs listed above to find out if what they're advertising is true. Don't be so trusting. Don't lose sight that you love and admire a celebrity for their hosting, acting, singing, dancing, comedy skills. But what they portray to us publicly doesn't necessarily mean they are honest. So verify their charities financials to confirm whether they are totally wonderful like you thought or actually scumbags, poverty pimps who deliberately take advantage of their adoring fans.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. Let's FLASHBACK to September 2010 shall we:

OMG, Music
written by Staff
Friday September 24th, 2010 at 1:10pm

Bono's anti-poverty organisation has come under fire after the New York Post revealed that only 1.2% of donations in 2008 were given to charities.

The One Foundation received almost £9.6 million (around US $15 million) but just £118,000 (about $185,000) actually went to those living in poverty.

Incredibly, over half the money raised was spent on paying wages, meaning ONE gave its employees and executives over 40 times more money than it gave to good causes.

A spokesman for the foundation has said the money is used for raising awareness rather than being given directly to those in need.

Just a few weeks ago it was revealed that Bono's fashion label Edun has moved its factories from Africa to China. The U2 frontman was heavily criticised for the change, as Edun was originally set up to alleviate poverty in Africa.

Here is part of the ORIGINAL New York Post article that did the investigation into Bono's SHAM of a charity and broke the story!!! KUDOS NY Post!!!

New York Post
written by Jeane MacIntosh
Monday September 20, 2010

ONE gives only a pittance in direct charitable support to its causes -- something Borochoff said the average donor might not realize.

The Bono nonprofit took in $14,993,873 in public donations in 2008, the latest year for which tax records are available.

Of that, $184,732 was distributed to three charities, according to the IRS filing.

Meanwhile, more than $8 million was spent on executive and employee salaries.

The Daily Mail UK
written by Staff
October 12, 2012

Hip hop artist Wyclef Jean started a charity called Yele to help his struggling homeland of Haiti, but eight years later, the group shuttered its doors amid allegations of fraud and mounting debt.

The collapse of the organization once labelled by its founder as Haiti’s 'greatest asset and ally' comes after years of accusations of mishandled funds totaling $16 million.

The group, which the Haitian-born Jean stated in 2004, was small in its first years of operation, with assets amounting to only $37,000, but according to the New York Times, after the devastating 2010 earthquake, donations started pouring in.

Jean said he raised $1 million in 24 hours after issuing a plea for help on Twitter. But rather than using the money to help the millions of displaced residents living on the quake-ravaged streets of Port-au-Prince, the Times reported that Yele funneled a large portion of the funds to pay for 'offices, salaries, consultants' fees and travel' to say nothing of Jean's family, friends and legal team.

In one case, the group allegedly shelled out $30,763 to fly Hollywood starlet Lindsay Lohan from New Jersey to a charity event in Chicago that raised $66,000.

In another instance, Yele spent nearly $58,000 on private jets to fly actor Matt Damon and Jean's other celebrity friends to Haiti.

'If I had depended on Yele, these kids would all be dead by now,' says Diaoly Estime, who runs an orphanage in Haiti's capital.

Following the earthquake, Yele spent $9 million of its $16 million on office space, workers' salaries and other expenses.

About $600,000 in donations went toward Yele's headquarters, which have since been abandoned; another $375,000 was used to cover 'landscaping' costs; and more than $470,000 was spent on food and beverages.

The singer, who made an unsuccessful bid for Haiti's presidency in 2010, reportedly paid himself $100,000 to perform in a charity concert and gave his family over $500,000 for unspecified work. Also, $37,000 was paid by Yele to cover the rent of Jean’s Manhattan studio.

According to The Smoking Gun, the charity also made payments of more than $100,000 to the alleged mistress of the married 42-year-old singer.

As for Yele's much-hyped revitalization plans, many of them never got off the ground. The group paid $146,000 to build a medical center inside geodesic domes and another $93,000 to erect temporary housing, but neither project was completed.

A New York attorney general’s investigation into Yele’s pre-earthquake activities has already found financial improprieties.

The forensic audit covering the time period between 2005 and 2009 found $256,580 in illegitimate benefits to Jean and other Yรฉle board and staff members, as well as other improper transactions.

At the end of August, Derek Q. Johnson, Yele's chief executive, announced his resignation after Jean rejected a settlement offered by the attorney general that would have required the singer and the two other Yele founders to pay $600,000 in restitution ‘to remedy the waste of the foundation’s assets.’

Actor Sean Penn, who founded his own charity, J/P Haitian Relief Organization, told The New York Times in 2010, ‘My impression is that Yรฉle is at the service of Wyclef Jean and his reputation.’

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