holiday season, and throughout the year, charities will be asking you to
donate. But is your money going to the designated cause?
South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond has released the 18th annual Scrooges and Angels list. It includes 20 charities - 10 that have gone above and beyond in making sure their money is donated to their cause and 10 that are giving less than 40 percent of their donations.
This year's Angels include:
Healthy Smiles of Spartanburg executive director Kitta Cates says the agency provides free dental care to children in Spartanburg between the ages of 4 and 18. They're able to put more than 83% of the money they get because they work "lean and mean" she says. "We have some great volunteers who work with us. The partnership that we have with the Spartanburg Community College takes care of a lot of the overhead we otherwise would have in our budget," she says.
To be selected as an Angel, the charity must have devoted 80 percent or more of its total expenditures to charitable programs. On the other hand, Scrooges keep more money than they give to a cause. This year's top offenders include:
called the contact number listed with the Secretary of State's office for the
Louis D. Simmons American Legion Post 215 but got no response. We physically
went to the building and knocked on the door but no one answered.
We were able to contact the leader of the Gaffney Elks Lodge BPOE #1305, the other "Scrooge" from South Carolina on the list. Linda Simmons told us, "I would like to find out how he came up with these figures, where they came from and what we can do to get it corrected because what we give in Cherokee County is unbelievable." She says the lodge donated to The Humane Society, Meals on Wheels, and to an Alzheimer's charity, and paid expenses out of their own pockets.
The Scrooges and Angels list is updated each year. Hammond also gives tips on how to detect a phony charities.
Don't give money if you receive a bill or invoice from a charity you haven't pledged to. You should also never give money to a charity if they are vague about what cause the money goes towards.
"South Carolinians continue to be among the most generous people in the nation; however, we must guard against those who want take advantage of our generosity. I ask you to research charitable organizations before you give to make sure high percentages are going to the organization's program services," said Secretary Hammond.
You can check
out a charity through the SC Secretary of State office's website.
You can also call 1-888-242-7484. There are also over 50 charities from the
Upstate that are suspended currently, to see a full list chick here.
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