Just Say NO NO NO to Red Kettles this Season

Real Estate Agent with EXP Realty 414-525-0563 57026-90 Broker

 I have thought long and hard ...actually for years about whether or not to write this post.....and as the appeals begin....and it seems these days I am in a "crusading" kind of mode...I decided this was the year salvation army kettleto reveal what I know the Salvation Army to be....and why I would discourage you from volunteering AND from contributing money. 

     We live in a suburb of Waukesha County (first county west of Milwaukee county in south eastern Wisconsin.) there is a subdivision that was built in 2 phases homes are currently valued with recent sales $400-$450,000. There are a variety of architechtural styles and many different builders represented in the 110 homes that make up Country Estates. Two of the homes are owned by The Salvation Army to house their employees. You will note that due to their "charitable " status, these homes are tax exempt while other residents pay $6500-$6800 annually in property taxes. They recently removed their name from the "Owner" area of the return...look at the bottom...they have not yet found a way to erase that. Here it is. Links not working currently, they were checked when this blog was written...and references seem to have disappeared....

   If you try to find out what portion of the dollars you put in the kettle OR the time you spent ringing their bell garnered for the charitable works they advertise...you might consider going to the site:www.CharityNavigator.org you will get this response;

We don't evaluate The Salvation Army. 

Why not?

Many religious organizations are exempt under Internal Revenue Code from filing the Form 990. As a result, we lack sufficient data to evaluate their financial health

  It gets worse....a number of years ago in Milwaukee someone who was employed by the Salvation Army "dared" to marry someone who wasnot acceptable NOT employed by the organization and lost his job...read that horror story here. What kind of "religious organization" decides who you can or cannot marry ?

   Sooo before you sign up to pick up that Bell...looking like you are involved in the community...it may only be as it is in part, here...to have employees live in great houses and not pay taxes. An organization that dictates lifestyles...and LIVES...hmmm..

   Some people...local "celebs" and broadcast personalities...public officials use bell ringing as a way to "Beat their charitable chests" and show the community very publicly "how much they care" by taking a shift as a bell ringer...the ring is empty when you know the money is not going where you imagined at all. When the organization in part, seeks to control people' s lives...not improve them.

   We choose to buy food for the food pantry, coats for kids and Toys for Tots...look at the list of needed items from a homeless or women's shelter..then you KNOW where your charitable donations are going..you know that there is a need your dollars have helped to fulfill,

    This has been a post of caution...investigate before you give...before you spend time...make your time and money count for those who need it most,,,,which may not be those who Show it most.  Amen and Women.

Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates, EXP Realty LLC.


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Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS

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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

After we discussed this today, I'm glad you wrote this post! So many of the "big name" charities spend most of their money on executives and fund raising - NOT on the people or critters they say they help.

I remember when we tried to get one of the big name dog rescue groups to help break up a really horrible puppy mill - they were't the least bit interested. And when I read veterans comments about Wounded Warriors I changed my mind about donating.

Do check out Charity Navigator. It might not help with religious organizations but it will help you see where other charities spend your dollars.

Meanwhile - Sally has the best idea. Donate where you can see that someone who needs help is benefiting.

Nov 20, 2019 07:44 PM #1
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Moring Sally.

I've heard that before. That is why I check out any charitable organization before I give one cent to them

Nov 21, 2019 02:45 AM #2
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Sally and David... I've always checked out the charities I support. One of my favorites here is the Second Harvest Foodbank... they exist on a shoestring budget with 90 cents of each dollar contributed going to their work and not to payroll, executives, events, homes, etc.

Nov 21, 2019 05:11 AM #3
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Sally. Was involved with a charity once and upon investigation found that about 10 cents on the dollar went to the cause. The rest was expenses! Not one more dime! Enjoy your day!

Nov 21, 2019 05:13 AM #4
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Good Morning... this is one of the reasons why I am cautious about donating my hard-earned money to charity. I have yet to get first-hand information as to how they use donations to serve their cause.

The link to the horror stories is not working. Must have been removed by..

Nov 21, 2019 05:17 AM #5
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have been hearing a lot about that lately and it makes me happy that I have never donated there.  Long ago, I decided that my dollars would go towards actually helping people when I was able, rather than making sure that I got the tax deduction.  I have never been a fan of charitable organizations that pay their CEO's large sums of money for a salary.

Nov 21, 2019 07:09 AM #6
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Very good message here Sally. Yes, you have to wonder where the funds are going, and unfortunately many times only a small portion goes where it's intended for...

Nov 21, 2019 07:49 AM #7
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I support the Salvation Army and always will.  After my family had a tornado hit our house the week before Thanksgiving 27 years ago they were the ones who showed up.  They are the ones who replaced my child's bed, they are the ones who brought me a hot lunch from a food truck the 10 days (including Thanksgiving) that we went without power being restored.  So I really hope they take care of their employees and volunteers because they took care of me when I needed it most.

Nov 21, 2019 11:48 AM #10
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

When my husband passed away while we were waiting for benefits to kick in the Salvation Army provided my kids and me food and childcare services.  Their policy on marriage is on their website and since the link doesn't work in your story I don't know if it is recent or an old one. Just found it and its' from 2008.  The bottom line is if you don't like them don't contribute but don't slam an entire organization because you may not agree with them.

Nov 21, 2019 11:53 AM #11
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

I did not say they did NO good Tammy Lankford, and Cindy Jones ...I did say some of what they do is not how people believe they spend their money.  It is a church/charity and is not going to be to everyone's liking....and I knew this post would not be either...

Nov 21, 2019 12:10 PM #12
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Neither of the links work, but what's the beef with housing their employees in your subdivision? 
82 cents of every dollar donated go to charities, above the average of 75 cents per dollar. 
As a New Yorker, knowing how quickly and effectively they had boots on the ground after 9/11, I appreciate the organization. I am no active supporter, as my firm supports other philanthropy, but picking on the Salvation Army seems wacky to me. 
pat the end of the day they are a religious organization and free to excercise those beliefs- as long as they don't impose on me, they can do as they wish in my view. 

Nov 21, 2019 12:19 PM #14
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

We donate clothes to the Salvation Army and will continue to do so.

Nov 21, 2019 12:21 PM #15
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

This isn't the first post you have written about this Sally. Maybe they do things different in Wisconsin. It is a shame you have to disparage an entire organization based on your experience in your area. 

I set up our red kettle volunteers and actually help those in need. I answer all the calls. Our money collected stays in Sedona and no one gets paid just the people in need. I am happy to volunteer my time all year long and give a little extra at Christmas. 

Nov 21, 2019 01:37 PM #16
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

I don't recall ever writing before Sheri Sperry - MCNE® It is every donor's right to know where there money goes....and examine that for EVERY charity...I cannot justify a charitable contribution and a luxury home...learned this quite by accident and I know that it is a practice in other markets as well.

Nov 21, 2019 01:51 PM #17
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

I am sure the founding Fathers as well as the members who have emailed and texted me are disappointed in the comments from people who are disrespectul o others opinions. No one here has been in the houses or knows the addresses...OR the incident since it was the wrong city. You never make yourself look better questioning the integrity of another.

Nov 21, 2019 05:36 PM #21
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WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce
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