The American Charity Scam and True Charity

The disaster and all of the charities clamoring for my money got me thinking. How do the most prominent charities use their money?

After spending an hour this morning searching on the internet, I have found a few good resources.

The best resource is the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Also, I have found a page that lists the top 20 salaries for charities.

I have a tough time with any head of a charity making over $200,000. That seems like a reasonable enough salary to me.

The President of the American Red Cross in 2002 had a base salary of $450,000. That seems a little outrageous to me. To top their outrageousness, I have found two instances of where the American Red Cross paid severance pay in excess of $1,000,000 to former presidents, once to Harold Decker and once to Bernadine Healy. It seems like they call it severance pay, but it is really a planned bonus at the end of one's tenure. But that doesn't compare to the United Way paying their past President/CEO $1,537,837. That is just ridiculous.

The American Cancer Society and the Boy Scouts, apparently the most proficient firestarter in the States, pay their CEOs in excess of $700,000. The list is pilfered with medical charities. They seem to pay the most.

At this time when we are helping Tsunami victims, be careful to not just fill the silk pockets of rich charity executives. Please give wisely. It is important to know where your money is going.
At the recommendation of Shannon last week, I explored more of Rick Warren's program of partnering with churches in the area. I would much rather give my money to trusted locals in the effected regions than to rich suits in America to decide how to distribute. Here is Rick Warren's Tsunami Relief program.

Here is an excerpt from that site:

"We will funnel 100% of the money your congregation sends, getting it to trusted purpose driven leaders in each of the regions devastated by this disaster. These are leaders like Dishan Wickramaratne, in Sri Lanka, who is one of our recent PD Church Health Award winners. Although his church was not directly affected by the tsunami, he is leading a large effort to get the resources distributed to many of the hundreds of small churches who need the help. Many of these small churches don't have access to email or a bank account for wired funds, but they still need the help. Another example: John Kwan, also a recent PD Church Health Award winner, who lives in Batu Ferringhi, Penang (Indonesia). He is now the head of the local Baptist seminary there. Fortunately, the seminary is fine, but many churches in the area are damaged and many others are helping to respond to their neighbors."

So give but give wisely. And the most important thing is giving is to make sure that God is glorified by your giving. It's not about us; it's all about him.

Matthew 5:16
"Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

And in loving others, we are loving God.

Matthew 25:31-46
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'

37 Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' 40 And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'

41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, "You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'

44 Then they also will answer, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' 45 Then he will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Watch out for the potholes.