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50 Worst Charities Ranked by Money Blown on Soliciting Costs

Sep. 28, 2016By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio
Here is an interesting report frin 2013 on America's Worst Charities was just released by the Tampa Bay Times. It ranks charities based on how much they spent on fundraising vs. what actually went toward fulfilling their mission. Below are the rankings. 

           Charity name Raised by solicitors Paid to solicitors % to aid
1 Kids Wish Network $127.8 million $109.8 million 2.50%
2 Cancer Fund of America $98.0 million $80.4 million 0.90%
3 Children's Wish Foundation International $96.8 million $63.6 million 10.80%
4 American Breast Cancer Foundation $80.8 million $59.8 million 5.30%
5 Firefighters Charitable Foundation $63.8 million $54.7 million 8.40%
6 Breast Cancer Relief Foundation $63.9 million $44.8 million 2.20%
7 International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO $57.2 million $41.4 million 0.50%
8 National Veterans Service Fund $70.2 million $36.9 million 7.80%
9 American Association of State Troopers $45.0 million $36.0 million 8.60%
10 Children's Cancer Fund of America $37.5 million $29.2 million 5.30%
11 Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation $34.7 million $27.6 million 0.60%
12 Youth Development Fund $29.7 million $24.5 million 0.80%
13 Committee For Missing Children $26.9 million $23.8 million 0.80%
14 Association for Firefighters and Paramedics $23.2 million $20.8 million 3.10%
15 Project Cure (Bradenton, FL) $51.5 million $20.4 million 0.00%
16 National Caregiving Foundation $22.3 million $18.1 million 3.50%
17 Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth $19.6 million $16.1 million 0.00%
18 United States Deputy Sheriffs' Association $23.1 million $15.9 million 0.60%
19 Vietnow National Headquarters $18.1 million $15.9 million 2.90%
20 Police Protective Fund $34.9 million $14.8 million 0.80%
21 National Cancer Coalition $41.5 million $14.0 million 1.10%
22 Woman To Woman Breast Cancer Foundation $14.5 million $13.7 million 0.40%
23 American Foundation For Disabled Children $16.4 million $13.4 million 0.80%
24 The Veterans Fund $15.7 million $12.9 million 2.30%
25 Heart Support of America $33.0 million $11.0 million 3.40%
26 Veterans Assistance Foundation $12.2 million $11.0 million 10.50%
27 Children's Charity Fund $14.3 million $10.5 million 2.30%
28 Wishing Well Foundation USA $12.4 million $9.8 million 4.60%
29 Defeat Diabetes Foundation $13.8 million $8.3 million 0.10%
30 Disabled Police Officers of America Inc. $10.3 million $8.1 million 2.50%
31 National Police Defense Foundation $9.9 million $7.8 million 5.80%
32 American Association of the Deaf & Blind $10.3 million $7.8 million 0.10%
33 Reserve Police Officers Association $8.7 million $7.7 million 1.10%
34 Optimal Medical Foundation $7.9 million $7.6 million 1.00%
35 Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation $9.0 million $7.6 million 1.00%
36 Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center $8.2 million $6.9 million 0.10%
37 Children's Leukemia Research Association $9.8 million $6.8 million 11.10%
38 United Breast Cancer Foundation $11.6 million $6.6 million 6.30%
39 Shiloh International Ministries $8.0 million $6.2 million 1.30%
40 Circle of Friends For American Veterans $7.8 million $5.7 million 6.50%
41 Find the Children $7.6 million $5.0 million 5.70%
42 Survivors and Victims Empowered $7.7 million $4.8 million 0.00%
43 Firefighters Assistance Fund $5.6 million $4.6 million 3.20%
44 Caring for Our Children Foundation $4.7 million $4.1 million 1.60%
45 National Narcotic Officers Associations Coalition $4.8 million $4.0 million 0.00%
46 American Foundation for Children With Aids $5.2 million $3.0 million 0.00%
47 Our American Veterans $2.6 million $2.3 million 2.30%
48 Roger Wyburn-Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation For Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease $8.4 million $1.8 million 0.00%
49 Firefighters Burn Fund $2.0 million $1.7 million 1.50%
50 Hope Cancer Fund $1.9 million $1.6 million 0.50%
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Worried About Raising Money?

Jun. 13, 2016By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

In my experience the number one obstacle people feel when considering missions is money (unless you are Southern Baptist and want to plant churches).  I have met many who feel a great passion for missions, but when reality sets in and the idea of asking friends for money. a heavy burden lands on their soul.

For those of you who are struggling, let me offer a few encouragements.  Some of these you know, but maybe have yet to experience.

  1. God owns everything and if He is calling you to missions, He will provide.  This is just a simple truth that can anchor you when you doubt whether you should go.  I have believed this with all my heart since TLI started, and guess what – God has always provided what we needed. 
  2. The network of friendships God gives you is important.  If you are the kind of person that does not keep in touch with people, I promise that if you go to them after not speaking for 5 years, they will not support you.  There are typically two kinds of donors – one that supports you and ones that are passionate about what you are doing.  The majority of your supporters will be people who love you.  Cultivate friendships.
  3. Look at your request to people as an opportunity for them to invest in an important ministry.  You are not taking their money, but giving them an opportunity to be blessed by investing into what you are doing.  
  4. You need a home church that will write the check for a significant portion of your funding.  Most people heading overseas have 2-3 churches giving more than $500 a month to serve as a steady base of support.
  5. You can not just write a letter.  I once read a study that showed that 10% of people respond with support to a letter while 90% of people will support you if you meet face to face.
  6. There is help.  We recommend this boot camp, which gives people practical training on how to ask for money.

Hope this helps.  

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Helpful Small Group Studies on Poverty Relief

May. 17, 2016By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

The Chalmers Center, which is headed up by Brian Fikkert, who is one of the guys who wrote When Helping Hurts, has some helpful resources for small group studies on their website here. They cover:

Unit 1: Reconsidering the Meaning of Poverty

Unit 2: Seeing God at Work

Unit 3: Understanding Why Good Intentions are not Enough

Unit 4: Joining God's Work

Unit 5: Fostering Change

Listen below to Brian Fikkert talk about the implacations of how we define poverty.

How We Define Poverty from The Chalmers Center on Vimeo.

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How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

Apr. 19, 2016By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

While this happens all the time, one would not believe that $500M in donations to the Red Cross would yield 6 homes. The type of thorough research in this article shines the light again on our well-intented donations gone awry:

In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes.

Today, not one home has been built in Campeche. Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water.

Read the whole thing here.

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Second-Hand Clothing Undermines Africa's Economy

Nov. 16, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Anthony Bradley at the Acton Institute Blog writes:

The second-hand clothing industry in parts of Africa is big business. In fact, many charities receive substantial revenue from the sale of this clothes. Why buy a t-shirt for 10 dollars when you can buy one for 32 cents? These trends should come as no surprise to Americans because consignment shops and thrift stores are plentiful. However, the difference is that in many parts of Africa second-hand clothing is the primary means of buying clothes and is, therefore, inadvertently stifling the growth of local African economies. Sadly, charities are playing a role in killing this growth.

Read the rest of the article here.

If you are interested in more articles, Philemon Yong has written a post on hurting the church in Romania.

Here are some interesting statistics from chapter 1 of Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It)

  • Africa has recieved $1 trillion in benevolent aid in the last 50 year and per-capita income is now lower, life expectancy has stagnated and adult literacy is lower.
  • 85% of aid money flowing to African countries never reaches the targeted areas of need.
  • U.S. missions teams who rushed to Honduras to help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Mitch spent on average $30K per home - homes locals could have built for $3K each.
  • The money spent by one campus ministry to cover the costs of their Central American mission trip to repaint an orphanage would have been enough to hire two local painters and two new full-time teachers and purchase new uniforms for every student in the school.
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