When you cut that nice, fat check to your charity of choice, do you know where the money goes? If your answer is no, well, all I can say to you is
prepare to make a mess in your pants.
In a lot of cases, far less than even half of every dollar you donate goes to the people who need it, and sometimes charities actually lose money on every gift. If you’re wondering how that happens, it’s because many charities use for-profit fundraising agencies. If you’re not sure what that means, they’re the telemarketers and junkmail peddlers we all know and love. They’re paid insanely well to bug the shit out of you,and because they’re pretty much the only game in town when it comes to getting the word out to a lot of people, they’ve managed to create a multi-billion dollar industry based on horribly structured contracts and bad accounting.
This issue has gotten some play in Canada in recent years, though not nearly enough. I’m glad to see a nice big mainstream American story on it. I’m probably being overly optimistic, but hopefully the more attention the issue gets, the faster something can be done to rid the world of these shady strong-arming sacks of shit once and for all. A lot more people, including myself, would likely be much more willing to give if there was even a hint of accountability and honesty in the process. As it stands now, I rarely if ever give money to anybody because I, unlike a lot of people, know where it goes, and that’s a bad thing. that said, reading this article and seeing these numbers laid out and broken down into percentages, dollars and cents is astounding. The problem is even bigger than I thought, also a bad thing.
The article is long, but it’s one that any person who considers him or herself generous needs to read. You’ll likely never look at charity the same way again, which is a good thing.