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Journal of No. 118

June 8th, 2013

Feeling too happy? Too pleased with your fellow man? @ 04:53 pm

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Read this multipart story on the worst charities in the US.

"Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families.

Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.

Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity's operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations.

In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity's founder and his own consulting firms."

"America's Worst Charities" is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the Tampa Bay Times and California-based The Center for Investigative Reporting, the nation's largest and longest serving nonprofit newsroom dedicated to watchdog journalism. CNN joined the partnership in March.
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Date:June 8th, 2013 11:55 pm (UTC)
To disguise the meager amount of money that reaches those in need, charities use accounting tricks and inflate the value of donated dollar-store cast-offs — snack cakes and air fresheners — that they give to dying cancer patients and homeless veterans.

Over the past decade it has raised nearly $30 million from donors by promising to educate children about drug abuse, health and fitness.

About 80 percent of what's donated each year goes directly to solicitation companies.

Most of what's left pays for one thing: scuba-diving videos starring the charity's founder and president, Rick Bowen.

The sheer volume is on display in California, where office workers at the Registry of Charitable Trusts spent more than four years scanning 5 million paper documents into computers.

The office has been described by lawmakers as a massive filing cabinet. Today, about a dozen clerks spend their days sorting, scanning and cataloging 1.2 million pages every year filed by more than 230,000 charities and fundraisers registered to do business in the state.

The regulatory office has 11 lawyers and eight auditors to keep up with the never-ending onslaught. Although the office says it has opened dozens of cases in the past 18 months, few enforcement actions have come of it. In the past year, the state has taken just one legal action against a charity.

Edited at 2013-06-09 12:11 am (UTC)
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Date:June 9th, 2013 05:19 am (UTC)
I'm always impressed how fast scam charities swing into operation after a natural (or man made for that matter) disaster. Sometimes within minutes. And people are willing to give money to charities that didn't exist days early. A lot of people want to help others and are too lazy to look up the best way to do it, so when someone comes to them, they take that opportunity to feel good about what they've done. So long as they stay ignorant of how the money's being used they can tell themselves they are doing good.

I don't give money over the phone even to charities I have supported for years, which isn't to say someone isn't getting some sort of commission (or processing fees) off a website donation, but it's generally less than the phone solicitors get.
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Date:June 10th, 2013 04:36 pm (UTC)
It seems a shame that spree killers never target assholes like this.

Journal of No. 118