Monday, September 13, 2004

Watchdogs scrutinize charities - 09/13/04

Watchdogs scrutinize charities - 09/13/04: "Monday, September 13, 2004
Watchdogs scrutinize charities
Better Business Bureau evaluations to grow, report how much of donations reach needy
By Sandra Block / USA TODAY
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Many charitable solicitations appeal to your heart, but if you want to do the most good, it helps to keep your head in the game.
Especially now. There are more than 850,000 tax-exempt charities in the United States; add private foundations, and the total tops 1 million. In 2003, Americans donated $241 billion to charity, up 2.8 percent from 2002, according to Giving USA, an annual report on philanthropy.
It would be nice to think that all the money will be used to build houses for the homeless, bring Shakespeare to rural towns and feed starving children in the Sudan. But that�s not always the case.
At some charities, financial mismanagement, high administrative costs and outright fraud reduce the amount of money available for worthy causes. "

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