"Stolen Valor" .... it's ok.Seems like this fraud is too:http://www.blackfive.net/main/2012/07/veterans-charities-and..."I don’t have to be told there are a lot of generous supporters of our military and veterans that read this blog. And many of you support a variety of military and veteran charities that have popped up since we’ve been at war.A word to the wise – be careful about to whom you contribute your hard earned money:A national charity that vows to help disabled veterans and their families has spent tens of millions on marketing services, all the while doling out massive amounts of candy, hand sanitizer bottles and many other unnecessary items to veteran aid groups, according to a CNN investigation.The Disabled Veterans National Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., and founded in 2007, received about $55.9 million in donations since it began operations in 2007, according to publicly available IRS 990 forms.Yet according to the DVNF's tax filings with the IRS, almost none of that money has wound up in the hands of American veterans.Instead, the charity made significant payments to Quadriga Art LLC, which owns two direct-mail fundraising companies hired by the DVNF to help garner donations, according to publicly available IRS 990 forms.Those forms show the charity paid Quadriga and its subsidiary, Brickmill Marketing Services, nearly $61 million from 2008 until 2010, which was the last year public records were available.The independent group CharityWatch gave the DVNF an "F" grade. More than 30 veterans charities were rated by the independent group by the amount they spend on fundraising compared to actual donations, and two-thirds were given either a D or F grade, according to CharityWatch president Daniel Borochoff.Charity Watch (and others watchdogs) should be one of your first stops when you’re trying to decide whether or not to give. We all know the unfortunate truth – there are scam artists out there that will (and do) try to take advantage of the desire of honest Americans to help their military and its veterans.Do your homework. Be careful. But don’t let it stop you from supporting the many honest and extraordinarily supportive legitimate groups doing this wonderful work.UPDATE: Our own LW isn’t particularly impressed by CharityWatch (and I take his opinion seriously on this) but he does recommend two other watchdog groups for the same purpose:Charity Navigator and Guidestar." ~McQ
I have used Charity Watch in the past, but will look at Charity Navigator and Guidestar in the future.Just went to Charity Navigator and found a page for all military matters in support of the troops.....thought this might be helpful...http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&a..."rosie" (have contributed quite a bit to Soldiers Angels in the past...not so much in the last year or two.....their rating does not look as good as many of the others....hmmm)
Is it true that a good rule of thumb for all charities is that at least 80% ( 85% and up is even better* ) of all gifts should go directly to the cause and the remaining 15%* to 20% go for administrative costs , and etc. ?... James ....
"Is it true that a good rule of thumb for all charities is that at least 80% ( 85% and up is even better* ) of all gifts should go directly to the cause and the remaining 15%* to 20% go for administrative costs , and etc.? "Ideally. Unfortunately the truth is far crueler. Contrary to their emotional appeals, charities, even good ones, differ greatly in the way they use donations once they receive them. A well-run charity should demonstrably spend a minimum of fifty percent of its money on actual program services, more if possible. But many spend far less than a third, with the rest going toward administrative, and so-called fundraising costs. Meaning...well, you know... the top guy gets rich and the supposed beneficiaries receive little or no benefit.If you really want to judge a charity's credentials before making a donation to them, ask these questions: is the organization registered with the State Attorney General? For another, has it filed Form 990 with the IRS, and is it listed in IRS Publication 78, the Cumulative List of Tax Exempt Organizations? You could also check it with the National Charities Information Bureau, and the American Institute of Philanthropy to see whether they're enjoying a good reputation with them.~aj
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