By Jake Thomas
This is the season when many people open their wallets to charities, but the Oregon Attorney General’s office is warning Oregonians that some organizations might not be worth giving money to.
The AG’s office has released a list of Oregon’s 20 worst charities. It based its ranking on how much money the organization actually directs toward its stated mission in comparison to how much is gobbled up by administrative costs and management.
Every non-profit organization authorized to operate and solicit contributions in Oregon has to periodically file statements with the Ag’s office (which are public records) outlining how it’s managed financially.
“Although many charities do great work, some are little more than scams with good-sounding names but that do little to actually help the people they claim to support,” said Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, in a statement.
The list relies on Better Business Bureau guidelines for charities that dictate that no more than 35 percent of an organization’s money should go toward administrative and managerial expenses.
The worst charity in the AG’s rankings is Shiloh International Ministries, based in California, directs less than 4 percent of its money toward its cause.
The AG’s office recommends not making hasty decisions about giving, but rather doing research on an organization and making sure it is registered to operate in the state. People should also look out for notices they receive in the mail stating that they have given them a donation. The AG’s office also advises people not give cash donations.
Here is the list of the charities:
Association for Firefighters and Paramedics
Santa Ana, California
$3,594,139 total money
3.1 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to provide assistance to victims of
Shiloh International Ministries
La Verne, California
$1,023,215 total money
3.65 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to improve the quality of life of
disabled and needy children by providing
medical necessities and moral support.
Korean War Veterans National Museum & Library
$2,265,809 total money
7.25 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to preserve a record of participation in
the Korean War, educate the public, and promote
friendship among vets.
Foundation for American Veterans
West Bloomfield, Michigan
$4,128,831 total money
8.67 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: Promoting social and recreational
welfare for current and past U.S. Armed Forces
members, dependents, widows, widowers and others.
Anderson, South Carolina
$3,240,441 total money
8.67 actually went to cause
Purpose: to bring relief to orphans, sick children,
and families in need.
Law Enforcement Education Program
$1,649,401 total money
9.35 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to provide educational programs and
materials to school children.
National Vietnam Veterans Foundation
9.62 actually went to cause
Purpose: to benefit American veterans
and their families.
Dogs Against Drugs/Dogs Against Crime
$1,147,930 total money
10.62 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to promote law enforcement K-9 operations
and educate youth on the danger of drug abuse.
Firefighters Charitable Foundation
Farmingdale, New York
$4,561,013 total money
10.86 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to provide financial assistance to
individuals affected by a fire or disaster.
Committee for Missing Children
$2,953,585 total money
11.48 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to assist in the search and recovery of
missing children and educate on safety and prevention.
The Wishing Well Foundation
$1,345,016 total money
12.08 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: fulfilling the fondest wish for any terminally
ill child not expected to reach 18 years of age.
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
$3,163,281 total money
12.78 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to provide legal assistance to law
Children’s Cancer Fund of America
$7,159,759 total money
13.42 actually went to cause
Purpose: to assist and support children with
cancer and their families.
Children with Hair Loss
South Rockwood, Michigan
$1,128,670 total money
13.68 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to support children who have
medically-related hair loss.
Disabled Police Officers of America
$894,660 total money
14.65 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to provide educational programs for
Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center
$594,408 total money
14.75 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to provide police officers, whether active,
Retired or disabled, counseling services upon request.
Foundation for Children with Cancer
St. Louis, Missouri
$2,959,726 total money
16.99 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to provide financial information to families
with children suffering from cancer.
Cancer Support Services
$7,412,271 total money
17.87 percent actually went to cause
Purpose: to provide financial support for indigent
Dakota Indian Foundation
Chamberlain, South Dakota
$1,170,587 total money
19.47 percent of actually went to cause
Purpose: to assist with the education of Indian people
and the preservation of Native American culture.
National Association of Police and Lay Charities
$740,221 of total money
Purpose: to provide assistance to victims of criminal
activity and support actions to assist in crime prevention
and other humanitarian endeavors.