100% Charitable

What you should know when you donate to a charity

by Caroline Cravens, Assistant Editor

When donating money to a charity, it’s safe to say that if there’s a CEO, the charity doesn’t donate 100% of the profit to the cause. Unfortunately, charities don’t always advertise up front how much of the money goes to the cause. As young adults, students need to be aware of this so that they can use their money in the most beneficial way.

While a charity may be popular among the community, it may not always be the best one to donate to. For most disease related causes, there is more than one charity donating to a cause. The trick is to find the best charity that will benefit the cause the most from the donation.

Charities require a lot of work and lot of people to put on. People aren’t always willing to work for free, some are, but not all. When putting on a large fundraiser people must be hired and paid, so that’s part of where fundraiser money goes. Some of the money also has to go into making the event. All the t-shirts, and free things, aren’t really free. Someone had to pay money to get them. There’s a lot of money that goes behind the scenes and isn’t donated.

There is a website that helps aid people in deciding on a charity to donate to: Charity Navigator. They have some tips on what to do and what questions to ask when donating, and they review charities. Charities are given an overall score, a financial score, and an accountability and transparency score, all out of 100. In addition to those scores, the income statement and graphs about the charity’s spending are presented. If the charity being looked at does not look acceptable, there are  links to similar charities at the bottom.

For example, Susan G. Komen scores an 81.96 overall on Charity Navigator. Their financial score is only a 74.67 and brings them down compared to their 97 in accountability and transparency. This is because 82.9% goes to breast cancer research. Their mission statement says they have donated “more than 1.9 billion,” which sounds pretty great, but, according to Charity Navigator, that was only 82.9% of what they made. Another charity shown at the bottom, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., scores a 96.98 overall; that’s because 93.1% of money goes to breast cancer research, so National Breast Cancer Foundation. Inc. would be a better option than Susan G. Komen.

It’s always great to donate to a charity, but there are some charities that are better than others. Students can’t just trust that 100% of their money goes to a cause because they participate in a charity; there are ways to check the reliability of a charity and students, and all donators, should know where their money is going.