The phone rings, it's someone asking you to contribute to a charity. Or a person who is soliciting for a charity knocks on your door. Or you receive a letter in the mail pleading for a charitable donation.
The charity may be one you've heard of one you know nothing about. How do you decide whether to divvy up?One source of information about charitable institutions is the Wise Giving Guide published by the National Charities Information Bureau in New York City. To request a free copy, send your name and address to NCIB Wise Giving Guide, 19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003.
The NCIB evaluates charities that operate in the United States according to nine criteria including how they use their money (i.e. the money you give them). An organization that does not spend at least 60 percent of its annual expenses for charity programs does not meet with the approval of the NCIB.
It does not generally report on religious organizations.
Also, in cases where there are local affiliates of a national organization, the NCIB report covers the national and its affiliates as a single entity only when the affiliates raise funds in the name of the national; or the national office is substantially funded by local affiliates; or the national organization controls the affiliates.
A number of national organizations with local affiliates don't meet these criteria. In these cases, request information directly from local chapters.
The following are among the charities that do not meet all the NCIB standards:
Accuracy in Media
AMC Cancer Research Center
American Institute for Cancer Research
Association on American Indian Affairs
Battle of Normandy Foundation
Butterfield Youth Services
Cal Farley's Boys Ranch
Cancer Center for Detection and Prevention
Cedars Home for Children Foundation
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Choice in Dying
Christian Blind Mission International
Christian Record Services
Concerns of Police Survivors
Council for Basic Education
Diabetes Trust Fund
Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships
Ethics and Public Policy Center
FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform)
Foreign Policy Association
Fund for Peace
Humane Society of the U.S.
International Cancer Alliance
Interracial Council for Business Opportunity
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Mays Mission for the Handicapped
Morality in Media
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
National Committee for Citizens in Education
National Council of Negro Women
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
National Foundation for Cancer Research
National Humane Education Society
National Trust for Historic Preservation in the U.S.
National Urban Fellows
North Shore Animal League
NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund
Omaha Home for Boys
Pacific Legal Foundation
Pacific West Cancer Fund
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Pediatric AIDS Foundation
People for the American Way/People for the American Way Action Fund
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Project Concern International
St. Joseph's Indian School
St. Labre Indian School Educational Association
Southwest Indian Foundation
UN Association of the U.S.A.
Up With People
World Relief Corporation of National Association of Evangelicals