Donors Beware: Watchdog Reveals the Top 50 “Worst Charities” in America

June 19, 2013

More often than not, it’s the best intentions that guide charitable organizations and the causes they support.  But there are a few exceptions. According to the nonprofit watchdog group “America’s Worst Charities”, certain charity groups are either not as altruistic as their titles suggest or woefully unable to rein in outside or fundraising costs.

America’s Worst Charities is a round-up of organizations that allocate more than thirty-five percent of donations on soliciting costs and less than ten percent on direct cash aid. Some of the worst offenders on this list are raising millions, only to spend less than five percent on the causes they claim to support. In the past decade, the 50 ‘worst charities’ raised more than $1.3 billion and directed $1 billion of that back to their own fundraising companies and solicitors. The report estimates that, properly directed, those funds could have:

  • built 20,000 Habitat for Humanity homes,
  • bought 7 million wheelchairs, or
  • paid for nearly 10 million mammograms for uninsured women.

The database of “America’s Worst Charities” is a collaborative effort by the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting, in partnership with CNN. Data gathered is intended to track nonprofit performance based on public records and total donations diverted to fundraising costs. Click here to see the list of America’s Worst Charities.