The Best and Worst Health Charities

Sometimes, your donated money doesn't go where you want it to.

The Tampa Bay Times ranked “America’s Worst Charities” based on how much of the money the charities received was blown on soliciting costs, according to federal tax filings. Unfortunately, many of the charities are health related. It’s awful to think that the money you decide to donate to a “worthy” cause actually goes into the solicitor’s hands and not the people in need, which is the whole reason you donated in the first place.

The bottomline is just because a charity has “cancer” in the name, doesn’t mean it is going to victims of cancer. Not all people are good, and not all charities are good. In fact, some are downright deceitful. And nowadays, too many people will use tragedies, illness, or whatever else they can to tug at your heartstrings and get you to donate to something only to see your money end up in their pocket. Do your homework before donating. Some of the charities sound alike, too. So, for example, on the “bad” list is a charity called the American Breast Cancer Foundation, but on the “good” list is a charity called the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The chart from the Tampa Bay Times tells us exactly how much money was raised by solicitors, how much was paid to solicitors, and what percentage was actually spent on direct cash aid. Here are some of the health charities on the “worst” list:

Rank Charity name; Total raised by solicitors; Paid to solicitors; % spent on direct cash aid

2. Cancer Fund of America; $98.0 million; $80.4 million; 0.9%

4. American Breast Cancer Foundation; $80.8 million; $59.8 million; 5.3%

6. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation; $63.9 million; $44.8 million; 2.2%

10. Children’s Cancer Fund of America; $37.5 million; $29.2 million; 5.3%

11. Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation; $34.7 million; $27.6 million; 0.6%

21. National Cancer Coalition; $41.5 million; $14.0 million; 1.1%

22. Woman To Woman Breast Cancer Foundation; $14.5 million; $13.7 million; 0.4%

25. Heart Support of America; $33.0 million; $11.0 million; 3.4%

29. Defeat Diabetes Foundation; $13.8 million; $8.3 million; 0.1%

34. Optimal Medical Foundation; $7.9 million; $7.6 million; 1.0%

37. Children’s Leukemia Research Association; $9.8 million; $6.8 million; 11.1%

38. United Breast Cancer Foundation; $11.6 million; $6.6 million; 6.3%

46. American Foundation for Children With Aids; $5.2 million; $3.0 million; 0.0%

48. Roger Wyburn-Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation For Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease; $8.4 million; $1.8 million; 0.0%

50. Hope Cancer Fund; $1.9 million; $1.6 million; 0.5%

Fortunately, a non-profit called Charity Watch also ranks the best charities. There are a number of health charities on the “good” list, too, and most of them you have heard of before like St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. For the full list of “good” charities, click here.

Where do you donate? Is you favorite charity on the list?