8.31.2013

Part 2 of my Frustrations at Finding an Honest Charity - the 50 best charities in America







This is part two of my previous post on America's 50 worst charities.  The posts get so long, I decided to put the best charity list in another entry.

I had mentioned how since moving to a new city and state, I've been having a harder than normal time finding a couple good, honest, trustworthy charities to donate to that are near me, offer pick up services and that I know actually help real people... and not just buy luxury houses, vacation's and cars for the friends and family members of the people who started the charity as a way to make money for themselves... and not actually help anyone.

CharityWatch is America's most independent and assertive charity watchdog. Rather than merely repeat charities' self-reported finances using simplistic or automated formulas, they delve deep to find the real story of how efficiently charities use your donations to fund the programs you want to support. Founded in 1992 as the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), CharityWatch continues to expose nonprofit abuses and advocate for your interests as a donor.



ABORTION & FAMILY PLANNING
    GRADE
Center for Reproductive Rights        B+
EngenderHealth (formerly AVSC International)        A
Family Care International        A
Guttmacher Institute        A
International Planned Parenthood Federation – Western Hemisphere        A
Pathfinder International        A
Planned Parenthood Federation of America        A–
AFRICAN-AMERICAN
    GRADE
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund        B+
National Urban League – N.O.        A
AIDS
    GRADE
AIDS Research Alliance        B+
American Foundation for Children with AIDS        B+
American Sexual Health Association (formerly American Social Health Association)        A
Bailey House        B+
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation        A
Gay Men's Health Crisis        B+
AMERICAN INDIAN
    GRADE
American Indian College Fund        A-
Association on American Indian Affairs        B+
Futures for Children        B+
ANIMAL & ANIMAL PROTECTION
    GRADE
Animal Welfare Institute        A+
Best Friends Animal Society        A–
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue        A–
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International        A
Farm Sanctuary        B+
Friends of Animals        A
Humane Farming Association        A–
Marine Mammal Center        A–
Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)        A
PetSmart Charities        A
United Animal Nations/RedRover        B+
Wildlife Conservation Society        A
ASIA & ASIAN-AMERICAN
    GRADE
Asia Foundation        A
Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund        A
BLIND & VISUALLY IMPAIRED
    GRADE
American Printing House for the Blind        B+
Glaucoma Foundation        B+
Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind        A
Helen Keller International/Childsight        A
National Federation of the Blind        A
ORBIS International/Project ORBIS International        B+
Prevent Blindness America/National Society to Prevent Blindness        A–
CANCER
    GRADE
Breast Cancer Fund        A–
Breast Cancer Research Foundation        A+
Cancer Care        A
Cancer Research Institute        A
CureSearch/National Childhood Cancer Foundation        A–
Entertainment Industry Foundation/Stand Up to Cancer        A
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society        B+
Livestrong (formerly Lance Armstrong Foundation)        A–
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center        A
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation        A+
National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund        A
Prevent Cancer Foundation        B+
Prostate Cancer Foundation        A–
CHILD PROTECTION
    GRADE
Child Find of America        A+
Children's Defense Fund        A
Children's Health Fund        A
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
       A–
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children        B+      
Prevent Child Abuse America        A–
CHILD SPONSORSHIP
    GRADE
ChildFund International (formerly Christian Children's Fund)        A–
Children International        B+
Christian Foundation for Children and Aging        A+
       A
Pearl S. Buck International        A
Save the Children        A+
World Vision        B+
CIVIL RIGHTS & ADVOCACY
    GRADE
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)        A
ACLU Foundation        A
Center for Constitutional Rights        A–
National Right to Work Legal Defense & Education Foundation        B+
CONSUMER PROTECTION & LEGAL AID
    GRADE
Action on Smoking and Health        A
Environmental Working Group        A
Food and Water Watch        A
Government Accountability Project        A
Public Citizen Foundation        A–
CRIME & FIRE PREVENTION
    GRADE
Fortune Society        A–
DISABLED
    GRADE
Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation        B+
Goodwill Industries International - N.O.        A
DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE 
    GRADE
Drug Policy Alliance        B+
The Partnership at Drugfree.org (formerly Partnership for a Drug-Free America)        A
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) - N.O.        B+
ENVIRONMENT
    GRADE
African Wildlife Foundation        A–
Alaska Conservation Foundation        A+
American Bird Conservancy        A
American Forests        A–
Arbor Day Foundation        A–
Center for Biological Diversity        A
Chesapeake Bay Foundation        B+
Conservation Fund        A+
Conservation International Foundation        A
Earth Island Institute        A
Earthjustice        A–
Earthworks        A+
Environmental Defense Fund        A–
Friends of the Earth        A–
Greenpeace Fund, Inc.        A–
Izaak Walton League of America        A–
Keep America Beautiful – N.O.        A–
League of Conservation Voters Education Fund        A+
National Audubon Society        B+
National Park Trust        A–
Natural Resources Defense Council        A–
Nature Conservancy        A–
Rainforest Action Network        A–
Rainforest Alliance        A
Resources for the Future        A
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation        A
Sierra Club Foundation        A+
Student Conservation Association        A–
Trout Unlimited        A
Trust for Public Land         A
Union of Concerned Scientists        A–
Water.org        A–
Waterkeeper Alliance        B+
Wilderness Society        B+
World Resources Institute        A
GUN CONTROL (PRO/CON)  
    GRADE
National Rifle Association Foundation        A
HEALTH – GENERAL
    GRADE
American Brain Tumor Association        A–
American Kidney Fund        A+
American Liver Foundation        A
City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute        A
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America        A
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation        A–
Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation        A
Epilepsy Foundation & Research Foundation        B+
Hearing Health Foundation (formerly Deafness Research Foundation)        B+
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International        A
Lupus Research Institute        A+
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research        A+
Muscular Dystrophy Association        A–
National Hemophilia Foundation – N.O.        A
National Jewish Health        B+
National Kidney Foundation        A–
Parkinson's Disease Foundation        A
Salk Institute for Biological Studies        A
HISPANIC
    GRADE
Hispanic Scholarship Fund        A
LatinoJustice PRLDEF        A–
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund        A
HOMELESSNESS & HOUSING
    GRADE
Bowery Residents' Committee        A
Center for Community Change        A–
Coalition for the Homeless        A–
Habitat for Humanity International – N.O.        B+
National Alliance to End Homelessness        A+
HUMAN RIGHTS
    GRADE
Amnesty International of the USA        B+
Center for Victims of Torture        A–
Committee to Protect Journalists        A–
Human Rights First        A
Human Rights Watch        A–
HUMAN SERVICES
    GRADE
American Red Cross        A–
Farm Aid        A
Salvation Army – Central Territory        A–
Salvation Army – Eastern Territory        A
Salvation Army – Southern Territory        A–
Salvation Army – Western Territory        A–
The Y – N.O. (formerly YMCA of the United States)        A
HUNGER
    GRADE
Action Against Hunger – USA        A
Bread for the World Institute        A
Food Bank for New York City (formerly Food for Survival)        A–
Food for the Hungry        A–
Freedom from Hunger        A
Global Hunger Project        A
INTERNATIONAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT
    GRADE
Africare        A+
American Friends Service Committee        A–
American Near East Refugee Aid        A
American Refugee Committee        A+
CARE        A–
Catholic Relief Services        A+
Charity: water/Charity Global        A
Church World Service        A–
Direct Relief International & Foundation        A–
Doctors Without Borders – USA        A
Episcopal Relief & Development        A+
Fistula Foundation        A
Grameen Foundation USA        A
HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of the World)        A+
International Medical Corps        A
International Rescue Committee        A+
Lutheran World Relief        A
Map International        B+
Medical Teams International        A
Mennonite Central Committee        A
Mercy Corps        A–
Operation USA        A–
Oxfam-America        A
Partners in Health        A+
Project Concern International        A
ReSurge International (formerly Interplast)        A–
Rotary Foundation of Rotary International        A+
Save the Children        A+
Seva Foundation        A–
TechnoServe        A
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)        A+
United States Fund for UNICEF        B+
United to End Genocide (formerly Save Darfur Coalition)        B+
World Concern, a program of Crista Ministries        A
JEWISH & ISRAEL
    GRADE
American Jewish Committee        B+
American Jewish World Service        A
Bend the Arc - A Jewish Partnership for Justice (formerly Jewish Funds for Justice)        A–
Jewish National Fund        A
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger        A+
New Israel Fund & Signing Anew        A
LITERACY
    GRADE
Proliteracy Worldwide        B+
Reach Out and Read        B+
Reading is Fundamental        A
MENTAL HEALTH & DISABILITIES
    GRADE
Alzheimer's Foundation of America        A
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention        A
Arc of the United States - N.O.        A–
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation / NARSAD        A
Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association)        A–
NAMI / National Alliance on Mental Illness (formerly NAMI & Mind of America Foundation)        A–
Special Olympics        B+
PEACE & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
    GRADE
Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation        A+
International Peace Institute        B+
Physicians for Social Responsibility - N.O.        A–
Witness for Peace        A–
POPULATION PLANNING
AIP GRADE
Friends of UNFPA (formerly Americans for UNFPA)        A–
Population Action International        A
Population Council        A
Population Services International        A+
PUBLIC POLICY
    GRADE
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research        A–
Common Cause Education Fund        A
Concord Coalition        A–
Corporate Accountability International        A–
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)        A
National Trust for Historic Preservation        A–
SENIOR CITIZENS
    GRADE
AARP Foundation        B+
National Council on Aging        A+
TERMINALLY OR CHRONICALLY ILL
    GRADE
Compassion & Choices        B+
Sunshine Foundation - N.O.        A–
VETERANS & MILITARY     GRADE
Armed Services YMCA of the USA        A–
Fisher House Foundation        A+
Homes For Our Troops        A
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund        A+
Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America        A
National Military Family Association        A
Operation Homefront – N.O.        A
Semper Fi Fund / Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund        A+
WOMEN’S RIGHTS
    GRADE
Catalyst        B+
Global Fund for Women        A–
Legal Momentum        A
Women for Women International - U.S.        B+
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
    GRADE
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America – N.O.        A+
Boy Scouts of America - N.O.        A
Boys and Girls Clubs of America - N.O.        A–
Girls Scouts of the USA – N.O.        B+
Girls, Inc. – N.O.        A
Junior Achievement USA – N.O.        B+
National 4-H Council        A
Scholarship America        A+
YOUTH – RESIDENTIAL CARE
    GRADE
CEDARS (Home for Children & Youth Services)        A



__________________________________________




The second  list is from the reputable Christian Science Monitor.  They also offer a pdf version;   Download a PDF version of this chart.

America's Top 50 charities: How well do they rate?


RANK NAME WEBSITE CATEGORY TOTAL INCOME IN MILLIONS (2011) PUBLIC SUPPORT IN MILLIONS (2011) PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL EXPENSES SPENT ON PROGRAMS† SALARY & BENEFITS OF HIGHEST-PAID OFFICIAL† CHARITYWATCH‡ GRADE WISE GIVING ALLIANCE ‡‡ CHARITY NAVIGATOR†
1 YMCA of the USA ymca.net Social services $5986.1 $823.4 87.4 $441,438 A MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
2 Goodwill Industries International goodwill.org Social services 4,437.0 778.0 89.0‡‡ $508,571 A MEETS STANDARDS NO RATING
3 Catholic Charities USA catholiccharities.usa.org Social services 4,422.8 679.2 79.6 $265,356 NO RATING MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
4 United Way unitedway.org Social services 4,139.9 3,903.2 90.6 $763,394 NO RATING NO RATING ★★★★
5 American Red Cross redcross.org Social services 3,453.0 945.9 92.2 $568,594 A MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
6 The Salvation Army salvationarmyusa.org Social services 3,203.8 1,697.6 84.0 $216,182 A / A– MEETS STANDARDS NO RATING
7 Habitat for Humanity International habitat.org Social services 1,490.6 619.3 83.7 $315,130 B+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
8 Boys & Girls Clubs of America bgca.org Youth 1,458.3 658.3 85.1 $1,814,593 A+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
9 Easter Seals easterseals.com Health 1,402.5 161.6 80.6 $838,901 B– MEETS STANDARDS ★★
10 Smithsonian Institution si.edu Museums 1,241.0 161.4 73.7 $517,318 NO RATING NO RATING ★★★★
11 Feeding America feedingamerica.org Social services 1,185.0 1,144.3 97.2 $524,052 B MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
12 Task Force for Global Health taskforce.org Health 1,163.4 1,147.8 100.0‡‡ $262,500 NO RATING MEETS STANDARDS NO RATING
13 Planned Parenthood Federation of America plannedparenthood.org Health 1,154.0 279.6 72.8 $382,688 A– MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
14 World Vision worldvision.org Relief/development 1,055.8 848.2 88.3 $405,975 B+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
15 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute dana-farber.org Hospital/med center 1,002.5 275.8 85.2 $905,018 NO RATING NO RATING ★★★★
16 The Nature Conservancy nature.org Environment 997.0 504.0 78.8 $493,332 A– MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
17 Shriners Hospitals for Children shrinershospitalsforchildren.org Hospital/med center 963.6 195.7 85.0 $428,771 A/F ‡‡‡ NO RATING ★★★
18 American Cancer Society cancer.org Health 953.6 888.3 70.0 $2,081,246 C MEETS STANDARDS ★★
19 Food for the Poor foodforthepoor.org Relief/development 938.2 930.2 96.8 $388,979 B– MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
20 Boy Scouts of America scouting.org Youth 904.7 394.0 89.0‡‡ $815,014 A MEETS STANDARDS NO RATING
21 Catholic Relief Services crs.org Relief/development 821.5 319.4 94.4 $325,000 A+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
22 ALSAC/St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital stjude.org Hospital/med center 814.3 698.4 70.3 $477,920 B+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
23 Children’s Hospital Los Angeles chla.org Hospital/med center 812.8 97.7 85.0** $822,616* NO RATING NO RATING NO RATING
24 Girl Scouts of the USA girlscouts.org Youth 735.2 102.3 88.9 $442,016 C+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
25 YWCA ywca.org Social services 699.9 397.7 36.8 $233,722 D/F ‡‡‡ NO RATING ★★
26 AmeriCares americares.org Relief/development 663.8 662.9 98.4 $266,021 B– MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
27 American Heart Association heart.org Health 657.2 510.3 53.3 $602,529 C+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★
28 Save the Children savethechildren.org Relief/development 600.5 349.3 90.7 $425,324 A+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
29 CARE care.org Relief/development 582.0 361.6 89.5 $419,284 A+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
30 Compassion International compassion.com Relief/development 548.9 547.4 83.2 $273,125 A MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
31 Campus Crusade for Christ cru.org Religious 517.1 474.5 86.0 (2) $64,020 NO RATING REVIEW IN PROGRESS NO RATING
32 Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center fhcrc.org Hospital/med center 470.6 69.1 90.6** none reported NO RATING NO RATING NO RATING
33 Metropolitan Museum of Art metmuseum.org Museums 470.0 164.3 86.9 $988,523 NO RATING NO RATING ★★★
34 United States Fund for UNICEF unicefusa.org Relief/development 455.0 451.0 90.5 $467,463 B+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
35 Feed the Children feedthechildren.org Relief/development 436.5 430.1 92.9 $214,209 F REVIEW IN PROGRESS ★★★★
36 Direct Relief International directrelief.org Relief/development 404.9 404.7 98.8 $341,347 A- MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
37 PBS pbs.org Relief/development 404.3 172.8 100 (3)** $603,403 NO RATING NO RATING NO RATING
38 International Rescue Committee rescue.org Relief/development 397.9 141.4 92.3 $395,612 A+ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
39 Art Institute of Chicago artic.edu Education 397.1 71.9 91.4 $1,026,395 NO RATING NO RATING ★★★★
40 Samaritan’s Purse samaritanspurse.org Relief/development 388.2 375.7 88.3 $421,198 C+ DOES NOT MEET ALL STANDARDS ★★★★
41 Institute of International Education iie.org Education 366.7 366.7 93.4 $490,547 NO RATING NO RATING ★★★★
42 Metropolitan Opera Association metoperafamily.org Cultural 365.9 194.1 90.5 $1,300,916 NO RATING NO RATING NO RATING
43 Susan G. Komen for the Cure ww5.komen.org Health 357.8 285.7 75.0 $471,471 B MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
44 Boys Town boystown.org Youth 325.2 141.9 88.7 $316,272 B –/C ‡‡‡ MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
45 New York Presbyterian Fund (1) nyp.org Health 312.8 96.5 50.5** $4,304,436 NO RATING NO RATING NO RATING
46 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation cff.org Health 312.0 126.3 79.3 $477,065 A– MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
47 Good360 good360.org Relief/development 310.5 305.8 99.0 $708,722 B MEETS STANDARDS ★★★
48 Catholic Medical Mission Board cmmb.org Relief/development 305.1 294.3 97.0 $282,018 B MEETS STANDARDS ★★★★
49 Pew Charitable Trust pewtrusts.org Public interest 300.1 283.4 92.4** $708,722 NO RATING NO RATING NO RATING
50 Christian Broadcasting Network cbn.com Religious broadcasting 285.3 177.6 85.4 $404,394 NO RATING NO RATING ★★★★
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