The Willis Report: Check your charity - KMSP-TV

The Willis Report: Check your charity

Posted: Updated:

By Gerri Willis
FOX Business Network


Americans are the most generous people in the world giving an eye popping $310 billion to charities last year. But if you like to donate, it pays to be sure your money is being used wisely.

According to the New York Attorney General's office, of charities that used telemarketers to fund raise, 62 cents of every dollar donated were kept by those telemarketers. In half of the fundraising campaigns run by telemarketers, the charities retained less than 30 percent of the funds raised. That's not a good return on investment.

And, it's not just pricey fundraising that puts your dollars at risk. Bloated executive salaries, mushy missions and sound alike charity names can all result in a waste of your charity dollars.

So, be sure to check out your charity before you donate. One great resource is CharityNavigator.org. This website does the heavy lifting for you, vetting many players. If your favorite charity is not on the site, ask basic questions. Is the organization a legitimate not for profit? If the entity doesn't have that designation, you can't deduct contributions on your taxes. Avoid any charity using telemarketers.

Read the mission statement. You should look for organizations that have concrete goals. Charities should also tell you how much of each dollar they receive is going to their cause. Watch for high operating expenses.

Finally, if you have a specific charity you want to give to, be sure to get the name exactly right before you stroke a check. Scammers try to take advantage of your goodwill by promoting ventures whose names sound legit or mimic those of established charities.

Use your charity dollars wisely. Remember, the more care you give in dispensing your money, the more causes you can help.

Interact with Gerri on Twitter @GerriWillisFBN and Facebook for more information, or to voice your concerns and questions.

  • BusinessMore>>

  • Court halts ridesharing service Uber in Germany

    Court halts ridesharing service Uber in Germany

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:52 AM EDT2014-09-02 09:52:22 GMT
    A court has issued an injunction barring ridesharing service Uber from operating in Germany, the latest shot in a fight with the country's taxi drivers.
    A court has issued an injunction barring ridesharing service Uber from operating in Germany, the latest shot in the company's fight with taxi drivers.
  • $2.4B Revel casino shuts down after just 2 years

    $2.4B Revel casino shuts down after just 2 years

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:44 AM EDT2014-09-02 09:44:06 GMT
    Little more than two years after opening with high hopes of turning around Atlantic City's struggling casino market, Revel will close its doors Tuesday morning.
    It opened with a bang one day at dawn a little over 2 years ago amid high hopes it would turn around Atlantic City's struggling casino market.
  • Shares mostly higher, strong dollar buoys Japan

    Shares mostly higher, strong dollar buoys Japan

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:31 AM EDT2014-09-02 09:31:15 GMT
    European shares drifted lower Monday as tensions over Ukraine simmered while Asian stock markets mostly rose on expectations of stimulus in China after manufacturing growth slowed in August.
    World stocks were mostly higher Tuesday as investors awaited central bank meetings later this week in Europe and Japan as well as U.S. employment figures. The U.S. dollar extended its rally against the euro and the yen on...
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices