It is rare indeed when almost all our Readers Who Comment agree. We have that today. Our RWC are appalled by an article that says eight veterans charities gave less than a third of the money raised to the causes they champion.
Philip Rucker tells us that the American Institute of Philanthropy suggests that 20 of the 29 military charities studied were managing their resources poorly, paying high overhead costs and direct-mail fundraising fees. There are some big names on the failed list, including the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, the AMVETS National Service Foundation and the Freedom Alliance. Better Business Bureau has 20 standards for reviewing charities, including that a charity's fundraising and overhead costs not exceed 35 percent of total contributions.
In addition to being outraged, our RWC also offer solutions, including federal legislation capping overhead for charities and public ratings of charities.
Several RWC complained that they could not find the list of the charities and their ratings; the list is on the site, but washingtonpost.com's automated publishing system buried the link at the bottom of the article page and broke the list itself into three pages. We still have a ways to go when it comes to internet news display.
We'll start with AppeaseThis, who filed the first comment and said, "This is disgusting (except for the A's and A minus charities, bless their hearts). I think this is finally something us common Repubs and Dems can agree upon: those who shaft our Vets and enrich themselves in the process should thrown in jail, driven out of town, or worse..."
And stikyfingas said, "Well, this is the last time I donate money to AMVETS or purple heart,"
as901 suggessted that "There is a simple fix, that is, if Congress would act. A 20 percent cap on overhead should be the law of the land. Going over that amount should bring fraud charges."
And OldProgessivefromWisconsin wrote, "Face it, many charities believe 'charity starts at home'. They over pay themselves and spend excessively on marketing. Any organization that spends more than 20% on overhead should be shunned. Executives that make more than a $100,000 per year in salaries and perks should be fired..."
DwightCollinsDuarte said, "this mess should be cleared up in favor of the vet.
everone should stop exploiting anyone."
rj2z suggested that "There should be an annual, or semi-annual, public rating for all charities. Let the sunshine in."
And msackett said, "Simple: All written and spoken solicitations must begin and end with 'XX% of your donation will benefit veterans'."
bawrytr wrote, "...The fact that these fraudsters and thieves are subsidized by our tax system ought to be a crime... it is even more shameful that the fact that the Washington Post did not list the charities and the names of the people running them. This is wrong because it unfairly tars many of the better organizations.."
Last word goes to Elephant-in-the-Hood, who said, "WOW! As I read these posts it struck me that we really CAN all get along. Blue or Red, it seems that we all agree that the disgusting practice of bilking charities is of the most reprehensible of acts..."
All comments on the charities article are here.
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