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OT. Charity Ratings...

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Dean Hoffman

Guest
This is definitely off topic but might be of general interest.
<https://www.charitynavigator.org/>
 
D

Don Y

Guest
On 11/27/2021 9:50 AM, Dean Hoffman wrote:
This is definitely off topic but might be of general interest.
https://www.charitynavigator.org/
In general, their \"ratings\" are pretty useless. Sort of like
calling the BBB to check up on a vendor before doing business
with them -- *everyone* has an \'A\' rating! And, when you dig
into how they generate those ratings, it has nothing to do with
the number or types of complaints that they\'ve received. Just
whether or not the business *addressed* the complaint (even if they
said \"Screw off!\")

The problem with most charities is their mission statements
*sound* good. But, rarely represent what they actually do
or how well they do it. No one audits their reports of
their success in achieving their *stated* goals (audits
just make sure all the monies are accounted for -- even if
*how* they were actually used is unspecified).

And, until you\'ve been \"under the hood\", you don\'t really
understand where the monies go, in practice. E.g., I
can call someone a \"program manager\" and treat their
salary/compensation as part of \"program expenses\".
Regardless of what those day-to-day duties actually entail.

On a 990, it looks like those monies are going to The
Program (mission). If I call them a Marketing Director,
then their same salary is considered \"overhead\" -- even
if they are performing the same duties! When many
donors look at the \"percent overhead\" figure, you can
see which way of titling employees makes most sense!

What charities are good at is perpetuating themselves.
They provide jobs for some number of employees -- who
typically aren\'t targeted as part of the mission being
addressed by the organization!

A local group essentially just accepts (cash) donations
and redistributes them to their \"clients\". I.e., they
are, basically, a \"payroll department\" in terms of
functionality. But, it takes 20+ people to do this??
(I\'ve never worked at a place that had 20 folks in HR,
let alone \"payroll\"!)

Local charities tend to be more efficient in terms of
getting \"donations\" into the \"mission\". But, their
quality varies greatly, over time.

National organizations tend to have more consistency
but higher overheads.

Give in ignorance and tell yourself you\'re doing something
worthwhile. Or, actually spend some time looking at the
organization to decide if your donation would be more
effective somewhere else.

[I met a couple at a dinner party and got into a discussion
of charities. They told me which local ones they regularly
underwrote. I naively asked them what the charities *did*
with their donations. After stumbling for a bit, they
rattled off some things -- that they THOUGHT the charities
would be doing. They were chagrined when I told them what
actually happened *inside* those organizations as I\'d
first-hand experience with them (and could name their staff,
titles, etc. from memory). Forget what I\'ve just told you
if you want to maintain your ignorance. Look, first-hand,
if you disbelieve me. But, don\'t be naive enough to ASK
them what they\'re doing because they\'ll just continue to
\"make you feel good\" with whatever half-truths they think
will appease you]
 
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