Charity and corruption go hand and hand sadly.
Tampa Bay Times has released an article listing the top most corrupt charities in the US. Take a look and think twice before donating to the money hungry organization who are more interested in personal gain than bettering society.
Courtesy of a report by TampaBay.com, in a collaboration between the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting, here are America’s most corrupt charities. While it’s a general belief in the world of non-profits that no more than 35% of donations should go to fundraising, these groups go above and beyond, sometimes funneling as much as 83% of their cash into the pockets of solicitors.
8. National Veterans Service Fund
National Veterans Service Fund says it offers guidance to veterans to help them qualify for aid they otherwise would go without. It also touts the “limited medical assistance” the charity hands out to needy veterans. Those promises have helped persuade donors contacted over the phone and in mailers to give $70 million over the past decade. The for-profit solicitors paid to raise that money kept more than half. On average, the charity gave assistance it valued at about $500,000 a year to needy vets.
7. International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO
The International Union of Police Associations is headquartered in a glass and concrete mid-rise in downtown Sarasota, Fla. As a trade union and member of the AFLCIO, donations to the group are not tax-deductible. The nonprofit hires professional solicitors to raise most of its money. Telemarketers call people across the country and tell them donations will be spent providing financial aid to the families of fallen police officers who were union members. The group also gives scholarships to students seeking degrees in law enforcement.
But of the $57 million in donations given by the public over the past decade, more than 72 cents of every dollar was spent paying professional solicitors. Less than half of one percent — about $28,000 a year — was spent on survivor benefits. Recent campaigns have been even worse. In 2011, professional fundraisers kept about 92 percent of the $8.1 million raised. IUPA netted about $650,000.The group spent $25,000 on its cause that year, giving $15,000 in scholarships, $5,000 in death benefits and $5,000 to a handicapped children’s foundation outside Sarasota.
6. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation
When Donald G. Tarver formed the charity that would become Breast Cancer Relief Foundation, it was a chance to start over. He had been president of another cancer charity. It was accused by the IRS of paying too much money to its for-profit fundraiser. But when Tarver started over in 1987, he hired the same fundraising company at Breast Cancer Relief Foundation and continued paying the corporation the vast majority of donations raised in his charity’s name. Breast Cancer Relief continued diverting millions away from cancer patients after Tarver’s death in 2002, when his brother and sister-in-law took over.
For the past decade, it has been one of the nation’s most wasteful charities, IRS records show. Over that time, it has raised nearly $64 million through professional fundraisers and allowed those companies to keep 70 percent of donations. Just more than 2 percent of donations raised were given directly to hospitals or to women in need of breast cancer screenings. The charity has also reported shipping medical supplies worth millions of dollars to Africa and Central America over the past four years.
5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation
Firefighters Charitable Foundation was created to provide financial assistance to people who have been affected by a fire or disaster. Over the past decade, its professional solicitors have been the biggest beneficiaries. From 2002 to 2011, it raised $64 million in donations and paid $55 million of that to its solicitors. The charity spent less than 10 cents of every dollar raised on direct financial assistance to those in need.
The charity’s founder, Louis Pelico, left the organization in 2006. He said he couldn’t reduce fundraising costs and decided he had had enough. “I tried for years to get it down. I figured if I hadn’t gotten it down by now that I wasn’t going to,” he said. “It’s a sword that really cuts you. It helps you and then it cuts. It’s doubled-edged.” Frank Tepedino, who became president of the charity after Pelico, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinelin 2007 that he planned to slowly change the way the charity raised money. That hasn’t happened. Today, the charity pays its for-profit solicitors 90 cents of every dollar raised.