Check charity efficiency before giving
With the holiday season upon us, Secretary of State Wayne Williams wants to remind Coloradans to be careful to whom they give money.
Most charities are required to register with the state information like the organization’s leadership, mission, financial efficiency and commercial fund- raisers.
The office also tracks how much is given to each charity, including how much donated money actually goes to the charity in question, and how much is paid to fundraising efforts or administrative costs.
Last year, for example, Coloradans gave nearly $472 million to nearly 500 different charities, but only $382 million actually went to them.
That means that about $89.6 million went to cover programming or fundraising expenses, according to a charitable computer database maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office.
Williams said that’s because some private companies are often hired even by the most reputable charities, some of which retain 90 percent or more of the money they raise.
That’s why Williams recommends people take extra care to whom they give.
“It is important for Coloradans to research the charities they support and trust that their donations are being used prudently,” Williams said. “To this end, we encourage everyone to use CheckTheCharity.com to learn more about their favorite charities before making donations.”
For example, the Lupus Foundation of Colorado Inc.‘s fundraising campaign for 2014 saw all of its donations actually go to the charity, but it was only one of two charities that did so. Several others, such as Doctors Without Borders, Children’s Miracle Network and the National Audubon Society, were in the 90 percentile or higher category.