Charity is a very necessary part of our world. Ever since the beginning of time there has been those who have that have given to those who do not. Without charity the world would evolve into chaos and destruction. Charity helps feeds the poor, takes the homeless off the street, rescues human trafficking victims, helps with the incredible physical suffering many people experience in life from bodily sicknesses, etc. I will never deny the need for charity worked organizations but my purpose in this writing is to explore and expose how some people profit off these non-profits with enormous CEO salaries and how one might better give of their money and resources.
I was brought up in a very conservative Christian setting with talk of a god who is watching us 24/7 and judging our every action. It was from this environment that I was indoctrinated about tithing and giving back to god at a tenth of what I made. I vividly remember a well-paid pastor once say that god still loves those who do not tithe but just finds it harder to. I use to worry intensively about this idea of giving back to god what is his and what is really a tenth. There are whole books written outlining tithing and what their perception of what god wants from us. It has been a evolving concept for me from a shameful giving to one today where I think on my own and have my own ideas of what tithing or better called healthy charity giving is really all about.
I do feel the need to give and want to out of what has been blessed to me. I went from tithing to the church to giving to non-profits that primarily helped with children around the world. I did that for years and years never really doing much research into where my money was really going and who was getting it. I just assumed that if it was a well-known charity, they were trustworthy and accountable. Though I will say most charities do publish their financial statements, but there are pages on top of pages that a non-financial person could never decipher. As I began to investigate these organizations, especially the ones I gave to, I found exorbitant CEO salaries. I will not call any out by name, but many notorious charities are paying large 6 to 7 digit figures to their CEO’s. CharityWatch is a accountability program for non-profits that has some great information on it and was really surprised by the ones I was giving to had good-sized CEO salaries. Here is a interesting web page from CharityWatch on the highest paid non-profit CEO’s salaries and some of these are well-known organizations:
I make a modest income from hard work like the average person and have chosen to give to these organizations without adequate research. Some may not have a problem with this declaring they need really “good people” to run these organizations, and this is what it takes to attract people to run these organizations. The “good” people to me are the teachers, the firefighters, the hard-working people who go in every day and earn a modest income trying to keep up with the cost of everything versus what they make. Many like myself then turn around and give their hard-earned money to these non-profits thinking it is mainly going to those in need and not into high-paid salaries to run these non-profits. Sure, they should be paid a commensurate rate for a non-profit but with the idea of what is feasible for a organization that is reaching out to help others. We have all heard for “a dollar a day” we can feed a starving person then how many more, if we paid reasonable CEO non-profit salaries, could we feed – thousands more? The extra money going into the pockets of these few individuals could feed and clothe as well as rescue thousands of people. There should be limits and regulations set forth to the amount CEO’s salaries/bonuses of charities (and also companies but that is for another blog) can make but capitalists yell that there should be no limit, the more the merrier while money is taken out of the “field” to line the pockets of CEO’s. This is a crime against humanity and should not be tolerated. Yet in our societies today we have learned to not think on our own and accept what is handed to us, myself included.
I have decided to stop my monetary giving and start my own charity work. In the town I live in as in most, there are numerous homeless and street people all around. I have decided on the first of the month to go to my local dollar store and buy numerous amounts of toiletries as well as items that people need to make it in life. Then I will make a trip to my local Salvation Army that houses some of the homeless and deliver these articles that will go directly to those who need it. Sure, it will take more time, effort, and energy than paying some charity on auto draft while the CEO is living rather well but the items are getting directly to the person in need. I will say that I have stuck to the CEO’s salaries but within these organizations there are others making amazing salaries and bonuses. I am not saying what I have decided to do is for someone else but hopefully it will prompt others to research the non-profit they are giving to through work or personally. I have come a long way from giving out of shame to a god to having the ability to question and make my own decisions about where my financial charity goes. Until non-profit CEO salaries are regulated and reasonable, I will continue my monthly trip to the local Salvation Army as long as I can and am able.
Let me know your thoughts and maybe other ideas other than giving money to charities that would be an better alternative.