I just got off the phone after being solicited by a charity raising money to provide pain medicine and chemotherapy for women with breast cancer who cannot afford their treatment.
We do give a number of organizations and causes money every year--it's part of what I consider my membership fee for being a member of the human race, and for the good fortune I've had in my life.
This seemed like a cause well aligned with my personal life and beliefs.
But I always ask what percentage of my donation goes to the charity and what goes to overhead.
The woman I was speaking with handed me off to a male supervisor who informed me it was an 80/20 split. Well, 20% overhead is a bit high in my mind--I tend to look at Charity Navigator to look at how effective and efficient the charity is before I give money--and then my mouth dropped to the floor.
It wasn't 80% to the charity.
It was 80% to the fundraisers.
Only 20 cents of every dollar raised is used to help women pay for their medicine.
Am I crazy that I think something is seriously wrong with this picture?
It feels like there is a scam going on. So much money flowing to fundraisers, all in the name of charity and pulling at our heartstrings. How can they justify that kind of upside down accounting?
I just don't know. I am appalled.