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Can You Guess the 8 Most Corrupt Charities in the United States?


Americans are a generous bunch.  We frequently donate at least a small portion of our earnings to charities.  Most charities try to use the most funds they can towards their causes.

It is no surprise that they must also pay their employees.  For the most part, a respectable charity will not exceed 35% of their funds for fundraising.  However, some charities are guilty of lining their pockets with almost 83% of the earnings – this stinks of corruption.

A report from (in collaboration with Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting) have compiled a list of the 8 most corrupt charities in America.

Can you guess them all?  Some might surprise you.

  1. National Veterans Service Fund

This charity has raised almost $70 million in the last ten years.  They claim to aid needy veterans with predominantly financial assistance.  They pay rent, provide gift cards, and even buy wheelchairs; but solicitors kept almost 82% of the $9 million earned in 2011.

2. The International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO

While there is nothing wrong with using telemarketers for fundraising, 72 cents of every dollar were used to pay their solicitors.  Survivors have seen less than 0.5% of the fundraising efforts.  In 2011, the charity raised $8.1 million, but guess how much went to their “efforts”?  Barely $50,000.

3. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation

With only 2% of the donations actually going towards breast cancer screenings and hospitals, the Breast Cancer Relief foundation is by far one of the most wasteful charities operating today.  Considering they’ve raised almost $64 million, this number is simply staggering.

4. Firefighters Charitable Foundation

Louis Pelico, the founder of this charity, made admirable (but failed) attempts to reduce the costs of the fundraising efforts.  The charity still has made no effort to reduce the cost of solicitors: almost 90 cents on the dollar.  The charity’s funds, or lack thereof, go towards victims of fires and disasters.

5. American Breast Cancer Foundation

This charity, under the guise of raising money for breast cancer screenings, has had some very questionable activity.  Joseph A. Wolf, son of the charity’s founder, owned a telemarketing company that was paid almost $18 million for manning the fundraising efforts.  The relationship wasn’t disclosed to the IRS until 2006.  If you need a more telling comparision, founder Phyllis Wolf got over $100,000 in the year that she was forced to resign.  Patients saw only $20,000 for mammograms.

6. Children’s Wish Foundation International

This charity is the cheaper, more wasteful version of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Less than half of donations go towards granting the wishes of children that are terminally ill.  Linda Dozoretz, the charity’s founder, says telemarketing has helped find their beneficiaries.  Clearly, that raises more questions than answers them.

7. Cancer Fund of America

This charity essentially sends gift baskets of toiletries to cancer victims and their families.  While this could be a unique spin on helping victims, the charity’s wastefulness negates any effort. Since 1991, the company has vowed to slash the “costs” that go to fundraising.  Sadly, it seems like this is all talk.  Twenty years later, this company is absorbing 83% of the funds that are raised.

8. Kids Wish Network

Another bogus charity that “helps” terminally ill children.  The children see three cents for every dollar, and it’s been this way for almost sixteen years.  The founder, in addition to paying himself $130,000 annually, owns a consulting company that received over $1.7 million in consulting fees from the charity.  He made even more from other consulting services at Kids Wish.  Finally, the IRS caught wind and came down on the sketchy practices.

By exploiting everything from veterans to dying children, it’s shocking that these people can sleep at night!

We hope this list serves to help you as you make your donations in the future.  Always stay informed of just how much actually goes towards a charity’s cause.


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