At the same time some of our readers asked how you can know your donation is going for the purpose you intend.
Think disaster relief, you think of whom? Not some methodist committee. You think of the America Red Cross.
Here’s why you should start thinking about methodists, and checking out those who seek your cash.
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The American Red Cross gets a B+ rating on Charity Watch. The methodists get an A+. The difference is that the Red Cross spends 11 percent on overhead and spends $30 to raise every $100. The methodist group spends 6 percent on overhead and spends $4 to raise $100.
You might decide the reach and breadth of Red Cross makes them a better choice. That’s fine, but that’s also an informed choice.
Disaster brings out the best and worst in people, and plenty of scammers came scurrying out after the waves of hurricanes to steal your money and identity. Here is some practical advice from the charity watchdogs:
▪ Deal with an established charity, not someone who sounds pitiful or convincing on Facebook or GoFundMe.
▪ Send a check so the charity can efficiently target money to the need. Clothing or other goods must be shipped, sorted and stored, creating too many warehouses filled with yard sale junk as we saw 12 years ago during Hurricane Katrina.
▪ Check out the charity online. GuideStar, Charity Navigator and Charity Watch are all sources used by journalists to verify claims. You can even find some local groups and their tax statements to see if your donation is supporting a lavish salary for a nonprofit executive or if the group is all volunteer with low overhead.
▪ Don’t give to those telemarketers, unless you are OK with 90 cents of your $1 going to those overworked phone jockeys. Do not open attachments from e-mail solicitations.
You worked hard for that dollar. If you want to be sure it helps, you should work a little more before giving it away.