Almost there

I am almost done with my 30 posts.  Technically speaking this post should be the last one but I am going to go on until the end of the month just to lock it.  Especially given that I have already given away 1/4 of my promised funds. 

In the interim, I have been doing some research in order to figure out where to donate the remaining amount and some of the information I have found has left me astounded.

By doing simple research online one can learn quite a bit about charitable organizations.  What astounded me was the financial disclosures made by some of these organizations.  Here is an example, a small local charity that has approximately $5M in contributions paid its executive director $140K a year.  That is a 3 percent expense right off the top.  Does that seem high to you too?  Their overall rating is one out of four stars, not surprising. 

While I thought the above example was bad, I found another Seattle charity with annual revenues of $1.7M that paid its executive director $105K.  That is almost 6 percent and here is the kicker this charity had a $130K deficit at the end of the year!  I am blown away.

Please don’t get me wrong, I think these folks should be compensated for the work they do but I think if the organization is running a deficit and the director is being paid 6 figures there may be something wrong.

But then I found that organizations like the above two were in the minority and there is a large pool of great charities out there.  So I am still deciding and I will most likely stick to local charities given that we have limited funds and I think our donations would make the biggest impact with small charities.

And, my friends have thrown down the gauntlet once again.  I have been told if I can do a blog entry everyday for another 11 months they will multiply their pledge by five and then find corporate donors that will match their donation.  While I would love to do this I doubt I have the stamina.  Can you imagine, a readable, somewhat interesting new entry every day for another 11 months.  My head hurts just thinking about it. 

Well, rain is back in Seattle.  But we had a great summer so I am not complaining.  Plus rain makes Deb happy and a happy Deb is a good thing.

Hope to you see here tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Almost there

  1. While I am in agreement that the salary numbers sound disproportionate, there are some things I would ask you keep in mind:

    Charity Director is a paid position. And just like any other job, it’s important that the people you attract not only be qualified for such an important position, but willing to work for your charity. It would be naive to assume that all charity Directors work out of the goodness of their hearts, not once considering their salary into the equation. To attract good people that will run your charity well you need to offer competitive salaries. A similar position with similar responsibilities in the private sector will usually pay a lot more, and it is often wasteful and possibly more expensive for a business (non-profit or otherwise) to continually attract, replace, and train unqualified workers with low salaries.

    I wrote my post here and then decided to look up some links online, finding that this article had a lot of the same things to say as I did. Along with a page on the IRS website that touches on the subject.

    It turns out that the IRS actually tries to regulate the salaries of anyone working for a charity that makes more than $50,000 a year (pulled from the above link), to make sure that the salary amount is “reasonable” and not more than what they might make in the private sector.

    I’m positive that there are those out there who are excellent at their jobs and could care less how much they make. But just like some of the doctors out there, for some people it’s the money that attracts them. The point is that they’re good at their job and bringing in the resources needed for the charity to do the good things it wants to do.

    Just my thought on salaries. 🙂 I wouldn’t worry too much about where each dollar goes… as long as the charity is working on the causes that you support in an effective, valuable way.

    Off-topic: For Deb’s sake, I too am glad that the rain is returning. 😀

  2. 30 Cheers!!! You’ve been doing a terrific job. Certainly would love to hear more about the crew there, your travels kids etc., but think the daily blog would become too much of a chore. It’s been nice to sneak a little more personal peek into your world. Thanks!

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