American Morning

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January 25th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Tracking how charities spend your money

Many times it's hard to find out whether the money you give is going to the right place, or anywhere at all. Even some of the most reputable charities have come under fire, after Hurricane Katrina and during the Haiti earthquake.

Many times, raising money is big business itself. Our Stephanie Elam looks at how charities do business and why some run into trouble.


Filed under: Business
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. PJ Troy

    http://www.providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,4654-1-3264-1,00.html#5

    This is from the lds.org website- in the FAQ's it addresses the question of how much of the donations are used for administrative or fundraising purposes. Just as Bob said, the Church puts all of the money donated to the cause it is donated for. Other funds are used for costs the Church has, not to mention most of the Church is run with volunteers- non paid.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  2. Tim Ogden

    Actually, Bob, you're wrong. And this is exactly why everyone should be skeptical of any organization that claims the 100%. Overhead costs are never 0% and who pays for them is just an accounting trick. The overhead costs have to be paid. You can allocate dollars from donors to different pots, but that doesn't mean that the overhead costs aren't there.

    Donors should always choose charities based on how effective they are not on how they manipulate their accounting.

    For more information see, "The Worst (and the Best) Way to Pick A Charity this Year":

    http://www.philanthropyaction.com/nc/the_worst_and_best_way_to_pick_a_charity_this_year/

    January 26, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  3. Ginger

    Bob, I was expecting one of your links would be proof of your claim that LDS uses 100% for charity. I've never seen one organization that can do this. Some get close, but I still believe it's impossible. Instead what those links point to is places to donate. I do my homework through Charity Navigator before deciding where to donate. Thanks for your help, but no thanks. I look for accountability in the organizations I support, not evangelism.

    January 26, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  4. Bob

    Actually, LDS (Mormon) humanitarian aid uses 100% of all donations to help those in need in times of crisis. How? The Mormon church and its members donate time and money to pay all overhead costs. Thus, your donations themselves are used totally for helping people in need.

    http://www.lds.org/library/page/display/0,7098,6209-1-3212-1,00.html

    And, you can donate not only money but items they need to help people, like clothing, toiletry items, etc (see "donate items" on this How Can I Help? page).

    http://www.lds.org/library/page/display/0,7098,6433-1-3298-1,00.html

    January 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm |