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Posts from the ‘Non-Profits’ Category


Cars Helping Veterans (Others First, Inc): Donor Beware

A few days ago the postman delivered an envelope called the Money Mailer whose back cover was covered with an advertisement (pictured below) for an organization called Cars Helping Veterans ( – an organization asking for car donations “to help our veterans” along with the statement “Your car donations support purple heart recipients, wounded warriors, homeless veterans, disabled veterans, paralyzed veterans, veterans and their families.” Read more »


Where Does $100 to the Alliance Defending Freedom Go?

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) “is committed to transforming law and culture so true freedom can flourish” although there are many people who would disagree with this statement because the ADF advocates for religious freedom to uphold their idea of justice and preserve the right of certain people to freely live out their faith.

That this freedom results in the discrimination of others and infringes on the rights of women to choose what they want to do with their bodies doesn’t appear to matter to the ADF. It’s their religion, their faith and their definition of justice that trumps the rights of others. How ironic is it that ADF (a non-profit that relies on public donations) calls itself an alliance defending freedom but only defends the freedom of those who believe what they believe? Read more »


Where does $1 to the American Red Cross Go?

When most people think of the American Red Cross (ARC), they often think of blood collection, testing, and distribution and/or disaster services – both domestic and international and in the most simplistic terms, this is what the ARC is about.  Formally known as the American National Red Cross (the organization is the designated affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), ARC was established by Clara Barton in 1881 and given a charter by Congress in 1900 and again in 1905 to carry out humanitarian services. Since that time, the charter has been amended nine times, with the most recent in 2009 to address reforms to the organization. Read more »


Where Does $100 to United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, Inc. Go?

When it comes to United Way, the basic question that most donors want to know is “how much of my donation goes to the organizations that provide health, education, and financial stability to members of the community.?” In other words, how much of my donation is awarded in grants to the local agencies? The answer depends on the community because United Way has more than 1,800 chapters worldwide. In North Carolina there are 54 United Way chapters with the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, Inc. (UWABC) serving about 250,000 people spread over 660 square miles in western North Carolina. Read more »


Tips to Understanding an IRS Form 990

Most charitable organizations exempt from income tax under Section 501 are required to file an IRS Form 990, which details financial, management, program, and fundraising information.  These returns can often be hundreds of pages long which can be overwhelming to potential donors who are trying to understand where charitable dollars are spent. Although all of the information is important, there are key pieces of information to focus on if time is limited. With that in mind, here are 13 tips to gain a quick understanding of a non-profit. Read more »


Where Does $100 to the ALS Association Go?

The ALS Association was chugging along raising about $25 million a year when the Ice Challenge video went viral a few years ago and brought in $115 million in donations to the organization.  Before the windfall, the ALS Association had about $20 million in net fund assets. According to the IRS Form 990 (2016) for the year ending January 31, 2017, the organization now has just over $100 million in net fund assets (they haven’t spent all the donations from the Ice Challenge yet) and raised nearly $31 million (compared to about $25 million the year before) this past year. Read more »


Where Does $100 to the American Heart Association Go?

The American Heart Association (AHA) is one of the most popular and recognized non-profits in the United States with enormous public support as evidenced by the $830 million raised last year.   That the AHA also has nearly a billion dollars in their net fund balance is also noteworthy.

By most accounts, this organization is a magnet for public contributions and an expert at raising and saving money.  But, are they accomplishing their mission, which is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke? With heart disease the number one cause of death in the United States for decades, one has to wonder if all the contributions to the AHA are really helping to prevent and reverse heart disease? Read more »


Where do Donations to UMCOR Go?

On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, a full-page ad by (United Methodist Church/United Methodist Committee on Relief) was placed in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) asking for donations with the statement:




United Methodist churches across the country participate in UMCOR Sunday, a special giving day on which all offerings are designated toward UMCOR administrative costs. That means 100% of your donations go to relief efforts.

Read more »


Where Does $100 to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Go?

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is one of the most well-known charitable foundations dedicated to raising funds for research into treatments and cures for childhood cancers.

Established in Pennsylvania in 2005, a year after Alex (Alexandra) Scott passed away from neuroblastoma at 8 years old, ALSF was founded by her parents, Jason and Elizabeth Scott to continue what Alex started (when Alex was 4 years old she opened up a lemonade stand to raise money so that doctors could help other children). Read more »


Where Does $100 to the ASPCA Go?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) works to ensure the safety and protection of animals through a variety of programs. With enormous public support – The ASPCA raises approximately $200 million annually – the ASPCA provides community outreach, public education, communication, and animal care services throughout the United States.

The ASPCA is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) which means the organization primarily relies on public financial support and therefore has to file and make publicly available an IRS Form 990 annually. This “form” is actually a tax return that provides detailed financial information on revenue, expenses, fundraising, executive compensation, assets, liabilities and more. In 2015, the 94-page ASPCA reported the following key pieces of information: Read more »