Charities Don’t Need Our Money

September 28, 2014

My issues with charities started many decades ago, long before the Internet, when I was having an informal chat with the president of one of the most well-known charities. I had just made a donation in honor of a loved one and I asked this man how much of our donations go to the cause. He told me 90% goes for administrative costs and 10% goes to the cause.

I was horrified. His explanation was that they spend so much money on advertising that the 10% that reaches the cause, is more than they would have taken in without them. That breakdown felt so wrong, that I never donated to that cause again. Nowadays, you can see the breakdown of expenses of all the organizations on Google before you donate to one.

My next issue with charities was with a nonprofit organization that was supposed to use volunteers to help children who came from broken homes deal with their problems. They were supposed to be with the assigned child a certain number of hours, once a week, and talk about what was going on in their lives. I used to send some of my clients to this organization to volunteer their services.

Unfortunately, the organization was poorly run and the volunteers had disappointing experiences. One of my clients was used to tutor children with their schoolwork and another client was cast in the role of playing the good uncle who took his assigned child to various entertainments that cost a lot of money. None of the volunteers felt their time was well spent.

But, most of all, I sent clients to these nonprofit organizations to raise money for them. We’re always hearing that these organizations are in short supply of donations, so I’ve sent several very qualified professional people to offer their services, free of charge.

One of the organizations wanted my client to get money from her company. They didn’t want her to go to other companies for donations; it was either the company she worked for, or nothing, and they never got back to her.

Another of my clients called lots of charities offering to do fundraising for them, free of charge, to companies that had never been approached. No one called her back and she ended up raising a lot of money, for a different charity, for the company she works for.

Conclusion: charities don’t need our money or our volunteerism.

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