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50 Worst Charities in America
by Jean-Pierre Ruiz, President & CEO of Ecostar Health, LLC,
ATH Co-Editor of Conscious Consumerism

 

 

Editor's Note from Jean-Pierre Ruiz: Where are your donations going? Is the "Cause" your heart and soul care for served by the non-profit you just donated to? An in-depth investigation by the Tampa Bay Times reveals that some non-profits divert the great majority of the funds to pay their executives, their family and friends, and fund raisers. Often these are actually the same people.

 

To paraphrase a famous saying: “Donors beware!” An in-depth investigation by the Tampa Bay Times reveals the 50 worst charities in America. Led by the Kids Wish Network, these so-called “charities” devote the great majority of their donations to paying their executives, their family and friends. Most have very marketable names but are simply acting as fronts for siphoning money to themselves and their network. In total, almost $1 billion (yes, with a “B”) was siphoned off to these organization’s solicitors; almost $381MM went to the non-profit; and only $49MM went to provide aid (i.e., $332MM went to pay the executive salaries, offices, etc.). So, out of $1B donated, $49MM went to what you thought you were donating to, or 0.000005%.

Kids Wish Network (what a great name), leads the list with only 2.5 cents out of the almost $128MM donated last year going to the organization’s cause. By the end of 2009, there were 1,581,111 registered non-profits in the US (see http://www.tampabay.com/americas-worst-charities/). Assuming a constant growth rate for non-profits, there are somewhere between 1.8M to 2M now. If only 10% of these are as corrupt as the “worst 50”, that means the number of very, very “bad” non- profits (i.e., where little of the money goes to help the stated victims) is 2,000!

Before you donate money, I suggest you look at the 990 forms for that organization, or at least go to one of the charity watchdog sites so you do not inadvertently support the corrupt non profits. A reliable such organization is Charity Navigator which can be accessed at www.charitynavigator.org/ index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=67.

My personal benchmark for non-profits is 90% of money going to beneficiaries and none of the executive management highly paid.

 

 

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About the Author


Jean-Pierre has a diverse background. Born in Paris, and educated in Paris and Spain, while coming to the United States to continue his education and live, has given him a global outlook. He uses his education as a lawyer and engineer to work as a consultant, assisting companies to optimize their profits by maximizing market share; penetrating new markets; designing efficient work processes; and developing growth strategies, while providing for their employees, their families and the environment. Jean-Pierre works is based in his belief that empowered employees working in a healthy environment increases profitability.

Jean-Pierre has worked as a lobbyist for smaller companies, helping them to succeed against much bigger companies.  He has also taught in several institutions. He was a visiting professor at DePaul University’s School for New Learning; a guest lecturer at Seattle University and the University of Washington; as well as an adjunct faculty at Bellevue Community College. Mr. Ruiz has served on several non-profits such as the Children’s Trust Foundation, and the Children’s Response Center. For more information about Jean-Pierre, please visit his website, www.ecostarhealth.com.

 

 

 

 


 

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