Sunday, November 21, 2010

Charitable giving down 11%, some disability organizations affected

From Forbes Magazine:

Feeling altruistic? Here are the ten biggest entrants on our annual list of the country's 200 largest philanthropic organizations. It's been a tough year for them. Gifts are down 11% and CEO salaries 5%.

For the list of all 200 charities go to

1. United Way $3.8 bil (donations)
With 1,300 local affiliates and almost all contributions in cash, this is the granddaddy of workplace charity campaigns. In recent years focus has moved to specific goals amid rise of rival single-issue causes. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va. Financial efficiencies above average for niche. Boss Brian Gallagher earned $715,000.

2. Salvation Army $1.7 bil
Officially a Christian religion, the Army is far better known for helping the poor. Christmas Red Kettle solicitations with bell-ringers are big-city fixture. Financial efficiencies slightly below average. Its leader, National Commander Israel L. Gaither, earned a relative pittance, $135,000. Some leaders also receive rent-free housing.

3. AmeriCares $1.2 bil
Specializes in foreign disaster and refugee relief. Fully 98% of gifts received are goods and medicines, greatly leveraging the cash contributions needed for rapid disaster responses and resulting in extremely high financial efficiencies. Operates out of Stanford, Conn. Annual pay of President Curtis Welling: $310,000.

4. Feed The Children $1.2 bil
Christian-themed foreign relief outfit in Oklahoma City. The country's most scandal-plagued major charity. Ouster of founder Larry Jones, who pulled down $280,000, was accompanied by allegations of economic and operational improprieties. Thanks to donated goods, above-average financial efficiencies--if you believe the numbers.

5. Food For The Poor $1.1 bil
Coconut Creek, Fla.-based nonprofit specializes in routing donated goods to other charities operating in the Caribbean and Central America. Such outsourcing results in high financial efficiencies. Top official Robin Mahfood, whose brother was forced out in a sex scandal in 2000, was relatively well paid at $425,000.

6. Catholic Charities USA $940 mil
Umbrella group based in Alexandria, Va. for 170 church-owned agencies focused primarily on domestic relief and alleviating poverty. Bulk of its total $4.3 billion budget comes from the government. Above-average financial efficiencies. President Larry Snyder, a priest, earned $155,000.

7. American Cancer Society $900 mil
Some 3,400 local offices around the country are supported by this longtime Atlanta-based foe of tobacco companies. Much cancer research funded. But high fundraising costs result in the worst financial efficiencies by far among the Top 10. Longtime boss John Seffrin was extremely well paid at $1.3 million.

8. World Vision $865 mil
Christian humanitarian group based in Federal Way, Wash. that operates at home and abroad. Engaged mostly in emergency relief but also sponsors poor foreign children. Majority of contributions from gift-in-kind donated goods. Still, only average in financial efficiency. Head Richard Stearns was paid $435,000.

9. YMCA $775 mil
This network of neighborhood facilities is thriving, despite cries of unfair competition from for-profit health clubs. Attracts big gifts though the bulk of its $5.8 billion budget comes from fees for services like gyms and day care. Below-average financial efficiencies. Given its size, boss Neil Nicoll was wildly underpaid at $435,000.

10. Feeding America $680 mil
Supplies 200 food banks for poor across the U.S. Helped by says-it-all name change from Second Harvest and extensive use of celebrities (David Arquette, Jennifer Aniston, Sheryl Crow, etc.). Large gifts in kind from corporations keep financial efficiencies high, though below some peers. CEO Vicki Escarra, an ex-airline exec, was paid $485,000.