When we give to charities, how do we know our $ is well-spent?


i get tons of requests for $ in the mail…

i don’t have much $ but i give to some Yet even the ones i give to… i wonder if they are really doing all they claim they are doing?

I’m distrustful of humans in general and frankly, find myself not wanting to give to any of them… but i resist that feeling, at least when it comes to this one organization that feeds poor people in other countries…

How can a person be sure the $ is going for what it’s supposed to?

I only give to Catholic charitable organizations… but I don’t entirely feel comfortable with them either…


I’m not sure where I saw this, but I think that the gov’t has a list of charitable organizations that give the most of your money based on a percentage. I’ll try to find it :thumbsup:


The Federal Trade Commission has been working pretty hard with State agencies and Attorney Generals to stop charity fraud and to maximize the percentage of one’s donation that actually goes towards helping others and minimizes the amount given to the charities’ cost of operation. (This can all be found at www.ftc.gov). They have a reference to nasconet.org/agencies which gives you the contact information based on state with which one can inquire how safe a specific charity is. Also, the Better Business Bureau gives a list of accredited charities: bbb.org/us/BBB-Accredited-Charities/


thank you very much…

only problem is…

i don’t trust the Federal Trade Commission … :smiley:

I’ll just look up some of those high on the list… and when i give… will pretend like I am giving the $$ to God…

which is the way i should be thinking of it anyway…



Haha, ok, well good luck then!


I receive MANY requests for donations each and every day. In fact, if I receive 5 pieces of mail, at leat 3 of them are requests for money. I have come to the conclusion that my name is being distributed EVERYWHERE. As for “distracted” not having any trust in the Federal Trade Commission I got an idea just last week and thought I’d pass it on. I received a request from an organization I had sent money to many times – BUT I thought I would “google” this organization – AND learned that only 18% of their donations are actually used for the people they feed – yes, it was “Feed the Children” – I certainly decided to tear that request up and threw it away. Now that’s what I intend to do in the future – will let you know how future requests turn out.


Often the Safeway grocery stores ask the customers if they would like to give a donation to the Komen Breast Cancer cure. I tell the cashiers that I won’t support the “Komen” Breast Cancer Association until they promise to stop supporting Planned Parenthood. If I have time I explain to the cashiers that Planned Parenthood promotes abortions.

This link may not work but if you are interested just google abortionbreastcancer and find the articles on Planned Parenthood’s connection to the Komen Breast Cancer Society](www.lifeissues.org/abortionbreastcancer/komen)


i’m going to overcome my paranoia and check out their list, though…

i realize my fears are … as most paranoia is… not based in reality… probably…

or is it?? :smiley:


thanks for the info… i don’t believe i’ve given to them… or haven’t in so long can’t recall…

i used to get so much of this kind of mail, i took the time to write to all the ones i couldn’t afford to give to (and didn’t know much about)… telling them NOT to send anymore requests…

they just kept sending it…:mad: plugged up my mailbox and then important stuff had no room…

i hate it that once you give to one place, they seem to just give your name out to everyone…

which doesn’t do much for my “distrust” issues… :rolleyes:


  1. charitynavigator.org has efficiency ratings of many charities and is a good place to check out (or find) potential charities.

  2. Try to be a good steward, but trust that God will use your gift wherever it ends up. Even if a gift appears to have gone awry, God can use it in all sorts of ways to bless you and others.



do you know anything about Food for the Poor?

i know one thing: thye don’t use fancy-looking newsletters, etc… to get our attention…

so i think they probably spend most of their donations on wht they say they are… & i think its Catholic… or inter-denom…


Hey ! My DW used to work for the FTC and they do a great job as far as that goes… at least when she was there about 15 to 20 years ago. They are under funded and under staffed but what else is new.

One of the thingss they came up against is folks who rip people off in one state, get shut down and go to another state and set up the same or similar scheme in another under a different name.


thanks for the info…

do you recall any of the names of those that do that?

(if not, no biggie…)


Since you asked, Food for the Poor is one I looked up on the website once and they give a very large percentage of donations to the people who need it.


This is an issue because some charities spend more than others on things like salaries and overhead and fundraising. Unless the entire charity is staffed by religious, you do need to spend some on salaries because the people working there deserve to make a living wage. Obviously some overhead costs have to be paid (utilities, postage, etc). Fundraising is the issue that bothers me the most because it can be very expensive for a small return. On the otherhand, those direct mail letters with the plastic rosaries in them are much cheaper than you’d expect.

I think the best way to give is first to set aside in your budget how much you will give. Then from that make 3 ‘pots’–1 for your parish, 1 for your designated charity, and 1 smaller amount for random gifts.

Pick a cause you’d like to support–say pro-life issues and investigate several charities that work in that area. Ask them for financial paperwork etc. Then select 1 or maybe 2 that will be your main charities. Focus your giving on them. If you can, let them know you’ll give a set amount each month or year, that will help them to budget and lower their overhead costs also.

Then, throw all the other things that come in the mail away. You can save the medals and rosaries to give to your CCD program, but you are under no obligation to give to every charity. If something catches your eye, you can give a small amount from your random gifts budget. You can also use that money for the special offering a church or when you see a beggar in the street.

But budgeting an amount and picking a specific group or 2 to spend it on, you may find that you can become even more generous!


Personally, I give to a Catholic charity and I don’t worry about it.

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