Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Avoid The MiddleMen
I have long ranted about how, if you want to help a problem get resolved, it is very inefficient to do it by giving money to large charities or to have the government handle it. With their huge bureaucracies, only a very small percentage of the money makes it to the level of doing any good for the people suffering. True to form, the big charities (United Way & Red Cross) have recently raised huge sums of money from well meaning donors and only a tiny amount of that will ever reach the intended beneficiaries, the victims of the current war against the USA. Here is a good summary from WorldNetDaily. Their conclusion is the same as I have long advocated; either give directly to the people you want to help or to a responsible charity that has a tiny administrative overhead.
So far, with all of the celebrity fundraisers for the 9/11 victims, the best story I have heard is of a small concert Bruce Springsteen & some friends held in New Jersey. It raised about $700,000. Instead of taking the money back to some central office and commingling it with other funds, he just handed the money out to the families who were present right there. You can't get much more efficient and "low-overhead" than that.