The Willis Report: Check your charity - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

The Willis Report: Check your charity

Posted: Updated:

By Gerri Willis
FOX Business Network


Americans are the most generous people in the world giving an eye popping $310 billion to charities last year. But if you like to donate, it pays to be sure your money is being used wisely.

According to the New York Attorney General's office, of charities that used telemarketers to fund raise, 62 cents of every dollar donated were kept by those telemarketers. In half of the fundraising campaigns run by telemarketers, the charities retained less than 30 percent of the funds raised. That's not a good return on investment.

And, it's not just pricey fundraising that puts your dollars at risk. Bloated executive salaries, mushy missions and sound alike charity names can all result in a waste of your charity dollars.

So, be sure to check out your charity before you donate. One great resource is CharityNavigator.org. This website does the heavy lifting for you, vetting many players. If your favorite charity is not on the site, ask basic questions. Is the organization a legitimate not for profit? If the entity doesn't have that designation, you can't deduct contributions on your taxes. Avoid any charity using telemarketers.

Read the mission statement. You should look for organizations that have concrete goals. Charities should also tell you how much of each dollar they receive is going to their cause. Watch for high operating expenses.

Finally, if you have a specific charity you want to give to, be sure to get the name exactly right before you stroke a check. Scammers try to take advantage of your goodwill by promoting ventures whose names sound legit or mimic those of established charities.

Use your charity dollars wisely. Remember, the more care you give in dispensing your money, the more causes you can help.

Interact with Gerri on Twitter @GerriWillisFBN and Facebook for more information, or to voice your concerns and questions.

  • BusinessMore>>

  • Spanish, Catalonia leaders meet on secession push

    Spanish, Catalonia leaders meet on secession push

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:09 AM EDT2014-07-30 07:09:52 GMT
    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the leader of the economically powerful Catalonia region are holding a crucial face-to-face meeting Wednesday in what could be a last chance for the two men to resolve a...
    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the leader of the economically powerful Catalonia region are holding a crucial face-to-face meeting Wednesday in what could be a last chance to resolve a bitter dispute over the...
  • Terror threats at chemical plants underestimated

    Terror threats at chemical plants underestimated

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:09 AM EDT2014-07-30 07:09:42 GMT
    Congressional investigators say the government is underestimating the threat of a chemical attack on America's densely populated cities and has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it...
    Congressional investigators say the government is underestimating the threat of a chemical attack on America's densely populated cities and has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it...
  • West seeks to inflict more economic pain on Russia

    West seeks to inflict more economic pain on Russia

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:27 AM EDT2014-07-30 06:27:34 GMT
    U.S. and European officials hope a new round of sanctions targeting energy and defense entities, as well as major banks, will deepen Russia's economic pain and force President Vladimir Putin to end provocations...
    Citing Russia's stalled growth rate and a flow of foreign capital out of Moscow, U.S. and European officials hope a new round of sanctions targeting energy and defense entities, as well as major banks, will deepen...
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices