Charities rake in millions claiming the money goes to help those in need. But many of these groups end up paying a large portion of donations to the for-profit solicitors hired to raise the money, an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting found.
The nation's "50 worst charities" have paid solicitors nearly $1 billion over the past 10 years that could have gone to charitable works, the paper reports.
"They spend as much as 90 cents of every dollar raised to generate more donations," the paper wrote. "Regulators have proven powerless to stop the cycle of waste and deceit."
Watchdog groups suggest no more than 35 percent of donations should go to fundraising costs but there is no standard for how much should be be spent on direct cash aid, the paper reports.
Here are the paper's top five "worst charities" ranked by money spent on soliciting costs over the last ten years:
1. Kids Wish Network raised $127.8 million by solicitors, paid them $109.8 million and gave 2.5 percent to direct cash aid.
2. Cancer Fund of America: raised $98.0 million by solicitors, paid them $80.4 million and gave 0.9 percent to direct cash aid.
3. Children's Wish Foundation International raised $96.8 million by solicitors, paid them $63.6 million and gave 10.8 percent to direct cash aid.
4. American Breast Cancer Foundation raised $80.8 million by solicitors, paid them $59.8 million and spent 5.3 percent in direct cash aid.
5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation raised $63.8 million by solicitors, paid them $54.7 million and spent 8.4 percent on direct cash aid.
The paper made a searchable database of charities and posted it here
Via Tampa Bay Times