Letter: Reader says watch out for bad charities

Apr. 13, 2014 @ 10:06 AM

Editor,

Ten things your charity won’t tell you:

  • Our real owners are those that control the charity. This is how we make a living. Some national directors draw a salary of one million a year plus benefits.
  • We only collect enough money to pay our director and our overhead. Since there is nothing left over we have no money for charity benefits. Most of our extra money goes for promotions to collect additional money.
  • We don’t plan to give you an income and expense statement with any financial statements. Our charity is only obligated to spend a very small amount per year on actual charitable activities. If we are a church we may not give you any financial records at all. Our church may be privately owned by our pastor so please donate to pay the mortgage off.
  • Our charity collects money for other charities. Therefore we need twice as much money to pay twice as much expenses. We’ll collect money for a charity you can create. Each member of your family can now own a charity and we’ll give you a small percent.
  • Volunteers are used to help with our activities to raise money for us. Since we keep most of the money we don’t want to pay them. Sometimes we will pay if we don’t have enough volunteers. Paying them money makes us money — by the hour or a percent of what they collect.
  • The real purpose of our charity is to spy on you. We may be working for the government. Sorry we got caught recently. We might even send your donations to another country for our friends.
  • We get free news stories through the news media. No one bothers to check where the money goes. If we say we are a charity we are even though we may not be registered as a charity. If you see our advertising on TV it cost us millions of dollars a month. It pays off. Most of our money goes out of state anyway. We have to pay big brother headquarters.
  • We may not be registered with the state as a nonprofit nor are we registered with the state to solicit money as required by the Division of Charitable Solicitation and Gaming under the Tennessee Department of State.
  • Watch for us at your favorite supermarket. The businesses that ask for donations for us know nothing about our finances, not where the money goes, nor do they care. Sounds like a good idea for them. We might even be outside the business to ask for your money.
  • The best way to donate to a charitable cause would be to donate directly to the charity using the donation and not to a charity that lives off the donations. Verify all donations. Check them out. You can start by using either Charity Navigator or Charity Watch on the Internet. And with the state of Tennessee.

Tony Glenn Rast

Pigeon Forge