(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX) Two of the most visible charities in America couldn’t be more differently wired. To watch their high profile advertising campaigns, both Wounded Warrior Project and The Shriners Hospitals for Children appear to be highly focused and effective at bringing help to their target recipients. Yet, and according to The Consumer Team and Charity Navigators, just one of the non-profits is being truly effective with their efforts. The winner: The Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Rating Charities – Saturday on The Consumer Team
Pete Thomson, host of The Consumer Team on CBS Radio’s KRLD in Dallas, citing Charity Navigator’s research, stated, “From 30,000 feet, Wounded Warrior Project and The Shriners Hospitals for Children look very similar. They’re on-air creative is award winning and they’re helping 2 groups of people, our war heroes and children with serious health issues, who most people really want to help. Yet, when you peel back the onion a bit more, the non-profits looks very different. Based on the research of Charity Navigators, The Shriners Hospitals for Children are doing a better job getting donated support to people in need.”
Charity Navigators is a New York City based non-profit that rates the financial responsibility of non-profit organizations. Sandra Miniutti, VP/CFO of Charity Navigators, has been a regular guest on The Consumer Team. According to Thomson, his recent interview with Ms. Miniutti details the differences between Wounded Warrior Project and The Shriners Hospitals for Children. Thomson added, “We really like the Charity Navigator’s on-line app because it gives consumers the ability to quickly vet a charity before they give a gift. In the case of Wounded Warrior Project, one quickly sees a charity that is top heavy in administrative and promotional costs, which come at the expense of the war heroes that they’re trying to help. We don’t dispute the mission of Wounded Warrior Project, just the way they’re carrying it out. On the other hand, when you vet The Shriners Hospitals for Children on Charity Navigators, you see a charity that is much better balanced. They’re spending a lot of money in media for promotion and fund raising, but it isn’t detracting from their core mission.”
Pete Thomson and The Consumer Team have been champions of Charity Navigators for several years. According to Thomson, the realities of today’s marketplace make an organization like Charity Navigators essential to making responsible donations. Thomson added, “Financial management problems inside of charities is certainly not a new issue. However, the internet age, eCommerce tools and very effective television commercials have created a real opportunity for virtually anyone to call themselves a charity, look credible and raise serious money from consumers who want to help.”
Thomson says that consumers should vet any charity, large or small, before giving a gift. He added, “Sadly, some of the biggest non-profits, the ones with the household names, are not good managers of the money they receive. I believe that using Charity Navigators is essential to making sure that a financial gift will be put to good use.”
Thomson said that he believes that responsible charities should be willing to open their books to organizations like Charity Navigators. He added, “We believe that all non-profits should be transparent and offer their financials for review by Charity Navigators. For Christian non-profits, the ECFA is recommended. If a charity chooses not to disclose their financials, I believe it should give consumers a reason to reconsider giving a gift.”
For more information on charitable giving, Thomson recommends that consumers read The Consumer Team Guide to Charitable Giving. “Our Guide is a good place to start”, Thomson added, “And it doesn’t take very long to do some digging either. Devote 15 minutes to the project, and you’ll be able to make a much more informed choice regarding your next donation to a charity.”
The Consumer Team with Pete Thomson is broadcast Saturdays from 5-7 PM (Central) on CBS Radio’s 1080 KRLD in Dallas. The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media Inc.