'Tis the season to be informed when paying it forward

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Results St Cloud Mn real estate

'Tis the season to be well informed when paying it forward

With the Holidays just around the corner, charitable organizations know that now is the time to capture some of the extra goodwill. Many of us who have given will be contacted and asked to donate to different causes to help fund their efforts. While I am happy to help there is one thing that I do look for in a group before I pay it forward - the percentage of my donation that actually goes directly to the cause.

Children's Miracle NetworkWe have a few groups that we give to with some regularity, but we also get calls to help out others. The first thing to ask when you get one of these calls is what percentage goes to the actual group. The other night we got a call to help out the local police and firemen. So after they got through their spiel, I asked what amount actually went into the coffers for these brave men and women, the answer was a less than stellar 27%. (So if I donate $100 only $27 would go to help?) Needless to say I will be putting my money somewhere else where the percentage is more reasonable.

Now do not get me wrong, 100% going to the cause is almost impossible, you have to pay the employees for the foundation, you may need an office and you have overhead costs, but in my estimation anything less than 70% when you have hired a call center to fund-raise for you is not a good return for your contributors/donors. If the amount going directly to program expenses is less than 30% I consider it an unacceptable ratio.

I have found a very nice website that is incredibly helpful for researching charities, Charity Navigator. I was very pleased to learn from Charity Navigator that 88.8% of the money raised for the Children's Miracle Network (Creating real miracles by raising funds for children's hospitals) goes directly to Program Expenses while only 6.7% goes to the Administration. 'Tis the season to give, share and pay it forward.

Posted by

Steve Baklaich RE/MAX Results  www.stcloudareahomesforsale.com 

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Comments (9)

Melanie Ross
Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific - Benicia, CA
Benicia CA & Vallejo CA Real Estate, 707-319-2828

Thanks for the website and paying forward to us! I have often wondered about how much really goes to the true "charity" of the organization.

Nov 06, 2010 12:32 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hey STeve I too have wondered about this.  Good to have a source that let's us know. Children's Miracle Network has low low fees to admin.  That is great....and they do such good work.


Nov 06, 2010 12:41 PM
Lindsey Hasford
Edina Realty - Elk River, MN
Bringing you home...

It's so good to be informed on the organization that is collecting your money. Children's Miracle Network certainly is a good giving choice!

Nov 06, 2010 01:04 PM
Hillary Kinnison
Keller Williams Coastal Realty - Dover, NH

That is really good to know (and somewhat sad to know as well).  Thank you for sharing, I will be a more informed donated going forward.

Nov 06, 2010 03:23 PM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Thanks for the link; this is very helpful information to know - especially at this time of year.

Nov 06, 2010 03:49 PM
Joyce Godwin, Realtor, CRS
RE/MAX Elite Properties; Serving Cypress, Spring, Tomball, NW Houston - Houston, TX
RE/MAX Elite Properties

Thanks for the link - and thanks for doing the work for me - I give to Children's Miracle Network too and was pretty sure that not very much of it went to admin, but now I know for sure!

Nov 06, 2010 04:57 PM
Steve Baklaich
RE/MAX Results St Cloud Mn real estate - Saint Cloud, MN
Treating Buyers & Sellers to Full Service Always.

Hi everyone: Thanks for your comments. Liz and I have been called more and more, and we were getting streched thin in terms of who we could help. So, we had to get smart, and get more bang for our bucks. Everyone wanted to "hard close" over the phone, and I guess get a commission; so we started saying "send us your materials and we'll discuss it and make a decision. Liz actually started doing research, and found the ratio was bad for some of the charities.

So, Joyce, Susan, Hillary, Lindsey, Anna and Melanie; do what makes your heart feel good and smart, and Pay it Forward.

Nov 08, 2010 08:06 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Steve great points.  I have to agree about the amount taht goes to help in these large organizations,  My wife and I have gone to adopting a family or two and buying needed things.  They 100% of what we donate with no admin fees eating up part of the need.

Nov 14, 2010 11:12 AM
Steve Baklaich
RE/MAX Results St Cloud Mn real estate - Saint Cloud, MN
Treating Buyers & Sellers to Full Service Always.

What a great thing to do! By doing it directly you really have the ability to make a huge difference in someones life for the good.  

Nov 14, 2010 01:13 PM