Deceptive fundraising at “America’s Worst Charities”

The Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting have just released a list of America’s 50 worst charities. When telemarketers and other solicitors contact you on behalf of these charities, they keep almost all of the money that they raise. According to the report:

The 50 worst charities in America devote less than 4 percent of donations raised to direct cash aid. Some charities give even less. Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. Six spent nothing at all on direct cash aid.

America’s 50 worst charities rake in nearly $1 billion for corporate fundraisers, on

Our list of the 50 worst charities, on

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.


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3 Comments on "Deceptive fundraising at “America’s Worst Charities”"

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Ya gotta love “Survivors and Victims Empowered.” That about covers it, huh?

A lot of these organizations are medical charities.

Medical charities are no-accountability zones. I would steer clear of them generally. This article about the largest AIDS organization in the country sheds some light on another fundraising tactic: suing pharmaceutical companies when they don’t pony up the cash:

Personally, I think the drug company here has performed a distinguished public service by taking people dumb enough to mix Viagra and crystal meth out of the gene pool.

The Tampa Bay News article doesn’t even cover the kinds of organizations that might indeed spend a lot of money on their missions, but that mission might consist of running thrift stores, truly disgusting nursing homes, and newspapers set up to bash their critics. I’d put New York City’s “Housing Works” in that category. They run some spectacular thrift stores and the most beautiful bookstore in Manhattan, providing jobs for a lot of idealistic people. The problem is, the money raised pays their salaries and business expenses, and not a lot actually helps AIDS patients.

But it’s the usual sociopathic organization. It hides behind a good cause (subsidizing housing for indigent AIDS patients, who actually get generous city aid to pay their rents anyway), while just serving its own employees. Look at the literally billions of dollars raised to help AIDS patients — and then speak with the average AIDS patient near you and find out how well they’re doing financially. Notice how they’re living. They can’t speak out because they’re afraid of being identified, and because their complaints will just be plowed into the next appeal for indigent patients. The business model is just brilliant.

You are so right. The most vulnerable, who KNOW, are in a bind if they report the fraud. They stand to lose everything, the help they are dependent on in order to survive. It’s my exhusbands favorite satisfaction, getting people to participate in their own abuse.

I worked for a business that supported a certain charity. All employees were shamed into donating. I did not and was seen as suspect. That same charity was eventually exposed for the enormous salary and perks of the organizers. This type of charity is more careful now, they hire their own companies, or family members companies, as contractors.

My exhusband is an accountant. He scams people. I don’t call him by his name. I call him “Enron”. He is so good at creative accounting.

I am an accountant, too. That’s why I do not donate to charities. I donate direct. Fundraiser for firefighters? I donate to the family of the firefighters. They don’t have to pay taxes on my piddling check, they only pay when a gift from a single source is over a certain amount.

Good idea, giving directly to people in need. I think you have to give quite a lot of your income to charity to make itemizing your deductions worth it anyway. I just use the standard deduction.

One of the Law of Attraction ways to make more money is to give more money to things that inspire you. So really? An organization called “Survivors and Victims Empowered” inspires people? You really think that breast cancer research needs more money than it already gets from your tax dollars and college tuition? Does Bill Gates really need more cash from you to fund his foundation?

People and organizations who inspire you are everywhere. Keep track of the money you bring in as a separate book, and enter your donations to everyone in there, at a certain percentage, as a tithe. You could even take a homeless person to lunch or anonymously pay your elderly neighbor’s winter heating bill in January. Trust me, you’ll start noticing things that merit your attention and ignoring the big media appeals to causes like cancer and AIDS — these are rife with fraud.

Who knows, if you become a regular contributor to your local city park, they might even name a playground after you. You become a major donor instead of a nobody. And it’s fun. My theory is that hanging around positive things makes me less of a needy mark for swindlers and spaths.

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