> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Monday, December 10, 2012

Think Before You Donate

I received an email that encourages everyone to "Think Before You Donate".  As I do like to use Snopes.com to see what is known about such emails, I found that they reported that this email is outdated, some insights not accurate, and they also shared more accurate insights.  Either way, this email and Snopes has a good message. It is important to think before you make a donation.  There are many great causes out their and great charity projects.  I do recommend that you look into any program before you donate to know what their mission is, what percentage of donations makes it to their respective cause vs consumed in overhead.

Again, their are many wonderful charity programs.  I'd actually love to have you add a comment to this post to share insights on programs you support. I personally support too many to list, plus this would take away from the message I'm trying to share, which is "think before you donate".

While I do donate and support many charity programs, two that are at the top of my list are Doctors without Borders and Operation Homefront.  Both have an excellent track record of getting the highest percentage of dollars donated applied to their mission statement.

For Operation Homefront, 96% of the donation $$$ are used towards programs that fit with their mission.  Only 4% is used for overhead (e.g. rent, PR, salaries, administrative activities, etc.).  This is an amazing ratio as many non-profits have overhead rates that consume 25-50% of funds donated.  Don't forget their mission is to help military families that need assistance, the same military families that sacrifice to help protect us (and fight to help others defend or gain their freedoms throughout the world). Not every military family is qualified for assistance by Operation Homefront (their focus is on enlisted ranks with minimal salaries, young military families where they may be located in an area without family assistance).

I also want to give a final plug, if you are interested in winning a prize through the  Quilter's Christmas Party, which 100% of the funds donated will go directly to Operation Homefront, you have until December 13th to make a donation.  For insights on many of the prizes, but not all, as well as info on how to donate (aka buy raffle tickets) click here.   While the party may be over, there are still a few days left for you to buy raffle tickets (donations to Operation Homefront) to win prizes.

SewCalGal wishes to thank the following Sponsors that have generously donated prizes for the Quilter's Christmas Party:
ASF/Lightware Solutions/The Reading Light (Beam N Read), Kelly Jackson of I Have A Notion (IHAN), Island Batik,  MartingaleAmerican & Efird LLCSewEZI QuiltingLark CraftsCozy Quilt DesignsCraftsy, Judy Chain of Sew Fun QuiltsNew Leaf Stitches, Rebecca Goldsmith of  Piece O' Cake DesignsFabric.com, Ebony Love (Love Bug Studios), Lily Patch Quilts and Sizzix.

Below is the email message that I received and their is a good chance you'll receive it, or have already received it.  And,  you can get more insights on this message from Snopes.com.  As noted earlier, their is a good chance you've received this email or will receive it as it seems to be getting shared via email frequently.  Do be sure to check snopes for insights on what they've been able to validate on this message.  I also hope you don't forward such emails, but I also hope believe it is important to think and know what any charity program, that you are looking at making a donation to, to understand what percentage of the donation makes it to support their mission vs used as overhead.

In addition to using Snopes.com to validate such emails, when you want to learn more about various non-profits, you may also want to visit GuideStar, which works closely with non-profits to gather information, validate the information and rate the overall quality of the organization with respect to their ability to efficiently utilize donations to their respective Mission.

As you open your pockets to do a good thing and make yourself feel good, please keep the following facts in mind:
The American Red Cross
President and CEO Marsha J. Evans'
salary for the year was $651,957 plus expenses
It is called the March of Dimes because
only a dime for every 1 dollar is given to the needy.
The United Way
President Brian Gallagher
receives a $375,000 base salary along with numerous expense benefits.
CEO Caryl M. Stern receives
$1,200,000 per year (100k permonth) plus all expenses including a ROLLS ROYCE.
Less than 5 cents of your donated dollar goes to the cause.
GOODWILL CEO and owner Mark Curran profits $2.3 million a year.
Goodwill is a very catchy name for his business.
You donate to his business and then he sells the items for PROFIT.
He pays nothing for his products and pays his workers minimum wage! Nice Guy.
$0.00 goes to help anyone!
Stop giving to this man.
Instead, give it to ANY OF THE FOLLOWING
The Salvation Army
Commissioner, Todd Bassett receives a small salary of only
$13,000 per year(plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organization.
96 percent of donated dollars go to the cause.
The American Legion
National Commander receives a$0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
The Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Commander receives a$0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
TheDisabled American Veterans
National Commander receives a$0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
The Military Order of Purple Hearts
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
The Vietnam Veterans AssociationNational Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
Make a Wish:For children's last wishes.
100% goes to funding trips or special wishes for a dying child.
St. Jude Research Hospital
100% goes towards funding and helping Children with Cancer who have no insurance and can
not afford to pay
Ronald McDonald Houses
All monies go to running the houses for parents who have critical Children in the hospital.
100% goes to housing, and feeding the families.
Lions Club International

Please share this with everyone you can.

Please remember the above email is reported by Snopes.com to have inaccurate and outdated information. If you receive this email you may want to notify the sender to have them review the info on SNOPES.COM, as well as not forward it to others to promote this dated and inaccurate info to be further shared.  Again, do think before you Donate, but also think before you forward such emails without validating them via Snopes.com.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Should SewCalGal host a Quilter's Christmas Party or Holiday Party in 2013? And, of so, what charity should be the recipient of potential charitable donations from this event?

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The Thimblemouse of Country Crossroads said...

Wow SewCalGal...that is sure an eye opener. Thanks for the info....wow.

Snoodles said...

I had seen some of these notes before, but thank you for posting this....what a difference we can make, by carefully choosing where we will donate!

The Quilted Dog said...

My donations this year have gone to Special Olympics, the Alameda County Food Bank, Military Service Dogs and two private individuals who were severely injured in separate accidents. And most recently, Operation Homefront.

I prefer to donate locally or to a group recommended by someone I know and trust.

I think the Christmas Party was a great idea -- but perhaps extend it over several days or the 12 days of Christmas. I really enjoyed visiting the different blogs.

Cyn said...

Thank you for putting this party together. Operation Homefront is my primary for donations. I always know the money will be put to good use.

The Calico Cat said...

If you would like too see the Administration & Fundraising Rate (AFR) on various charities - Operation Homefront is 4.3%, Salvation Army is 0.0%, Goodwill is 7.1%, American Red Cross is 7.3%, March of Dimes is 24.4% most of which are pretty fair compared to say Youth Crime Watch of America at 94.2%

too see more rates go to www.opm.gov/cfc

Quilting Babcia said...

In recent years we have stopped donating to many of the prominent national 'charities' because of the extravagant high salaries and expense accounts provided to the executive elite. One exception is organizations such as Operation Homefront that focus on our military families who sacrifice so much for all of us. Generally we support local programs where we can see the results of our contributions, and often direct aid to individuals who are in dire circumstances. Personally, I would be happy to support Operation Homefront in future years if you decided to make this an annual tradition!

Anonymous said...

I thought that the Christmas Party was wonderful, and would definitely attend one in 2013 if you were to put one on. One of the best organizations that I've found is Samaritan's Purse. There are many areas of need that you can specify that your donation goes to, and I believe that every bit of it goes to fill those needs. It's an organization that I trust to do what they say they will.

Lindi said...

I have been wise to this since '65 when my younger brother passed and my parents needed the Red Cross to bring my older brother home from the war. My parents had to pay all that money back!!!! There was no donation, no charity. So much for their help, so now I am very cautious as to where my donations go.

Terrie Sandelin said...

I definitely like the idea of doing a charity donation event. I would love to do one again next year. Thanks for organizing this one!

Gabrielle Robles said...

Thanks for your post. I don't often share posts on Facebook but your was definately worth passing on. Merry Christmas.

Miki Willa said...

Thank you for this post. I would like to add AAQI, the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. I think you will find that almost every penny donated or earned through the mini art quilt auctions is spent on Alzheimer's research.

Anonymous said...

I second Miki's idea for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. Barbara in Maryland

Ivory Spring said...

Thanks for the post! What apt timing.

Josie McRazie said...

I tell you from first hand that Ronald Mcdonald houses are AMAZING! I don't know what we would have done without them when my daughter has had to have surgeries! They are fantastic! I pop in $ whenever I see a jar!

teachpany said...

I don't donate to Salvation Army. It's a church, and not all the funds go where they claim. The house next to my parents has been owned by SA for more than 40 years. Every few years a new family moves in after a total renovation of the house, from doors, to carpet to kitchen cabinets and appliances. Your donations pay for them to have a free home, because they are "ministers" in the local church. They also get free cars. That's not helping a drug adict, or homeless person. Try St. Vincent De Paul society if you want to see most of your donations go to worthy causes.

Kathleen C said...

Thanks for reminding me about snopes.com. But especially for telling me about Operation Homefront. I've just made a very small donation-wish I could do more.
I always learn something new from you!

Anne Rita said...

Thanks for insightful thoughts. It somehow illustrated the saying that there no winners in war, only loosers. The US military spendings on warfare are monstrous, taking away money that could be spent in better ways. On top of this, we give donations to both victims of the war and the veterans.