American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) is now CharityWatch.
Excuses for High Fundraising Costs
the August 2009 issue of the Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog
You would think that a charity with impressive-sounding
programs such as Handicapped Children's Services of America and
American Veteran's Network would be spending more than $50,000 on
program services. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the AIP
F rated Shiloh International Ministries (Shiloh). Of the
over one million dollars that Shiloh raised in 2007, it managed
to spend only 4.2% or $44,121 on programs, according to its most
recently available audit of the same year. Shiloh's Informational
Brochure admits that it receives only 15% to 20% of the gross
amount raised by its outside commercial fundraisers. The Brochure
says this "stands to reason" because the fundraiser is
responsible for most fundraising costs and that if it did not hire
an outside company "it would still have fundraising campaign
expenses that would have to be covered by a large portion of the
money raised for its various programs." AIP does not buy these
excuses for high fundraising costs. By far most of the charities
that AIP rates earn a C grade or better by keeping fundraising costs
below 35% and spending over 60% of their budgets on program services.
Shiloh's Brochure also says that
"The important thing to remember is that you are helping children
that need your support. Without your generosity many needs would
go unanswered." This is a meaningless statement that may motivate
you to make a not well-thought-out or emotional giving decision.
Think about itneeds will "go unanswered" whether
or not you donate to Shiloh or any other charity. Even if you are
Bill Gates you do not have the means to eliminate human suffering.
The Brochure omits telling you AIP's view that more needs
will be met if you choose to support a more efficient charity than