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Non-profits pocket donations

After any natural disaster Americans look to do their part in donating to relief funds. It is amazing how much money can and does get donated to the various relief funds and organizations. But how much of our money donated goes directly to relief? A sad fact is that research is needed before donating.

The massive typhoon that hit the Philippines has now accounted for more than 4,000 deaths and has also caused millions of dollars worth of damage. According to the nation’s disaster agency, more than 9 million people were affected in 44 provinces, 536 municipalities and 55 cities. Around 2 million people were displaced from their homes, with about 400,000 of them finding shelter inside evacuation centers.

Many relief efforts and charities are doing their part to raise money for the Philippines. As fortunate Americans, many citizens make donations to those in need. However, most people do not research the organizations their money is sent to. The problem with not doing research on a certain “non-profit” organization is that one may never truly know where their money goes.

The Red Cross is a very well known and well-publicized non-profit organization. The Red Cross markets their organization more than others so many people donate to them. However, many people do not know the controversy behind the donations. According to the CEO of Operation USA, Richard Walden, 70 percent of the $1.2 million donated to relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina went to the Red Cross. But many of those who donated did not realize that the Red Cross is fully reimbursed by the government for any shelters or emergency supplies they contributed. The Red Cross has also been called out for putting a large amount of donations into their personal “national disaster account” but no money has ever been donated from that account.

Whether it is a natural disaster, a fund for an illness or disease or any other issue that you donate to, make sure that the money is going to the cause and people who you want it to go because there are far more corrupt organizations than the Red Cross. The best way to make sure you are not donating to corrupt organizations is simple: just look it up before you donate.

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