Checking On Charities Before You Donate - WSPA.com

Checking On Charities Before You Donate

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Anderson County wants to replace 40 year old sewer line. Anderson County wants to replace 40 year old sewer line.

Donating to a charity seems like a great way to give back, unless most of your money isn't going to the cause you want to help. We've heard from several of you, asking how to determine what charities are spending money on.

Most of the money United Way of Anderson County receives goes to programs they support. According to their financial statements last year 83.7% was spent on programs.

The extra 17.3% was split into administration fees and uncollected fees. Administration fees pay for the operations costs. The uncollected fees acts like a rainy day fund. For example, if someone pledges to donate $10, then the organization is planning to have $10. However, if the check is only written for $9, money from the uncollected fees can cover the gap.

"If we collect more than that's just more dollars that we can roll into the next year," says Kathy Masters, Vice President of Finance and Administration for United Way of Anderson County.

Using tools like GuideStar.org and the Secretary of State Charity Search you can also determine if a charity you're interested in spends money the right way. Guide Star includes IRS forms from charities so you can track how money is allocated.

The State releases a list every year of Angel and Scrooge Charities. Angels are charities that give 80% or more and Scrooges give 40% or less.

The Better Business Bureau says charities giving 65% or more is an acceptable rate.

You're also encouraged to ask each charity how much they spend on fees.

You can find GuideStar.org by clicking here.

You can find the Secretary of State Charity Search by clicking here.

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