The worst charity in America spends less than 3 cents on the dollar towards charitable works, out of the millions it raises each year, according to a year-long investigation by CNN, the centre for Investigative Reporting, and the Tampa Bay Times.
Holiday, Fla.-based Kids Wish Network raises money to grant wishes for dying kids.
The charity spends the majority of its donations, however, on for-profit corporate solicitors who are paid to generate more donations. In the past decade, it has paid $110 million to solicitors — more than any other charity, according to the report.
An additional $4.8 million reportedly went to the charity’s founder and his own consulting firms.
Unfortunately, the Kids Wish Network isn’t a outlier. The Times and CIR found nearly 6,000 charities that pay companies to raise money for them. The 50 worst charities spent nearly $1 billion over the past 10 years paying for-profit fundraisers, instead of directing that money to charitable works.
Working for Kids Wish Network, crisis management specialist Melissa Schwartz offered a statement to CNN:
Schwartz said Kids Wish hires solicitors so its staff can focus on working with children, not on raising donations. According to its 2011 IRS filing, the charity has 51 employees. Schwartz also said donors who give directly to the charity instead of in response to solicitations ensure that 100% of their pledge will be spent granting wishes.
She declined to answer other questions about fundraising, telling CNN the charity “is focused on the future.”
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