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It's giving season... How do the most popular charities measure up?

Posted by Complete Payroll | Nov 25, 2016 7:34:00 AM

It's giving season... How do the most popular charities measure up?

Americans donate over $300 billion to charities every year. 30% of those donations come in the month of December. And a whopping 10% ($30+ billion) come in during the last 48 hours of the year. So it got us thinking about the most popular charities, how efficient they are and how people decide where to send their charitable donations.

We found a cool site called Charity Navigator, which is kind of like an online database for non-profit organizations. You can find a ton of information about various charities, like total revenue, expenses and balance.

We decided to take a look at the 10 most followed charities on Charity Navigator and compared their basic financial information, plus their fundraising efficiency (how much they spend to raise $1) and other metrics like financial rating, accountability and transparency rating and overall score (all issued by Charity Navigator, not Complete Payroll to be clear).

The list is below. And we're curious... if you're planning on giving to charity this holiday season, would any of this information influence your decision - or do you give solely based on the charity itself?

 

Doctors Without Borders

Doctors without Borders is an international medical humanitarian organization that raises funds to recruit field staff, provide awareness, and advocate with the United Nations and US government on humanitarian concerns. This charity provides aid in nearly 60 countries to fight epidemics, malnutrition, and exclusion from health care.

Total Revenue: $344,606,451

Total Expenses: $282,401,795

Balance (+/-): + $62,204,656

Financial Rating: 90%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 97%

Overall Score: 92.6%

Fundraising Efficiency: $0.10

 

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is the nation’s premier emergency response organization. By ensuring shelter, comfort and food to people affected by disasters this charity provides never ending support to families, patients, communities and our men and women in military bases around the world.

Total Revenue: $2,726,672,619

Total Expenses: $2,886,003,368

Balance (+/-): $-159,330,749

Financial Rating: 77.5%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 93%

Overall Score: 83%

Fundraising Efficiency: $0.21

 

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy works globally to safeguard ecologically important lands and waters for people and nature. This charity protects grasslands, coral reefs, millions of acres, and thousands of miles of rivers worldwide. The Nature Conservancy protects these habitats from climate change, fire and invasive species by addressing threats to conservation.

Total Revenue: $958,808,662

Total Expenses: $796,011,941

Balance (+/-):  +$162,796,721

Financial Rating: 79.4%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 92%

Overall Score: 84.4%

Fundraising Efficiency: $0.13

 

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund works to conserve nature. They protect endangered areas and ecosystems,  preserve diversity and abundance, and provide sustainable approaches for the usage of renewable natural resources.

Total Revenue: $218,083,765

Total Expenses: $225,035,121

Balance (+/-): $-6,951,356

Financial Rating: 80.7%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 96%

Overall Score: 86%

Fundraising Efficiency:  $0.19

 

United States Fund for UNICEF

The United States Fund for UNICEF raises funds for the protection, development, and survival of children.  The UNICEF supports children in more than 190 countries and territories, fighting to stop abuse and exploitation while providing health care and education.

Total Revenue: $514,503,434

Total Expenses: $541,310,310

Balance (+/-): $-26,806,876

Financial Rating: 79.9%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 97%

Overall Score: 85.6%

Fundraising Efficiency:  $0.06

 

Save the Children

Save the Children is dedicated to ensuring all children the best chance for success and opportunity. This charity's mission is to teach and support children so they can better the future around the world.

Total Revenue: $667,604,478

Total Expenses: $671,540,517

Balance (+/-): $-3,936,039

Financial Rating: 87.46%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 97%

Overall Score: 91%

Fundraising Efficiency: $0.05

 

Natural Resources Defense Council

The Natural Resources Defense Council works to protect the Earth: its people, animals, plants and natural systems that life depends on. This charity safeguards endangered areas while promoting long-term welfare of nature in future generations.

Total Revenue: $155,192,637

Total Expenses: $126,749,686

Balance (+/-): $28,442,951

Financial Rating: 96.8%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 96%

Overall Score: 96.35%

Fundraising Efficiency:  $0.08

 

ALSAC -St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital  

The ALSAC (American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities) are dedicated to raising funds for the operation and maintenance of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Research taken place at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are to find cures and treatment of catastrophic diseases in children like cancers, immunodeficiencies and genetic disorders.

Total Revenue: $1,330,639,597

Total Expenses: $990,276,810

Balance (+/-): $340,362,787

Financial Rating: 77%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 100%

Overall Score: 83.8%

Fundraising Efficiency: $0.20

 

World Vision

World Vision is a Christian Humanitarian organization motivated by their faith in God and unconditional love for all people. World Vision works with communities, families and children to fight poverty and injustice.

Total Revenue: $1,005,144,556

Total Expenses: $993,127,196

Balance (+/-): $12,017,360

Financial Rating: 72%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 100%

Overall Score: 80%

Fundraising Efficiency: $0.10

 

Oxfam America

Oxfam is a charity that works to battle poverty. Oxfam helps save lives in more than 90 countries. They work with big issues like inequality and discrimination. During disasters, Oxfam helps provide access to resources like food, water, and shelter while ensuring safety.

Total Revenue: $92,324,198

Total Expenses: $81,190,780

Balance (+/-): $11,133,418

Financial Rating: 81%

Accountability/Transparency Rating: 97%

Overall Score: 86.2%

Fundraising Efficiency: $0.15

 

Fundraising efficiency of most followed charities.png

For a better understanding of how efficient your favorite charity is or what percentage of your donations actually make it to the people who need it, it is important to evaluate the fundraising efficiencies and overall scores of your charity of choice.

Save the Children and the United States Fund for UNICEF have the best fundraising efficiencies among these 10 charities.

The charities with the best overall ratings are the Natural Resources Defense Council and Doctors Without Borders, USA. Their accountability, transparency, and financial ratings ranked the highest out of the top 10 charities discussed.

Charitable donations through a payroll deduction

In case you missed it, earlier this week we published an article about important information to consider when setting up a charitable donation through a payroll deduction. Read it here.

Topics: Employees, Human resources

Written by Complete Payroll

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