You get a flyer in the mail for a charitable organization seeking donations for a cause that speaks to you. Maybe it's cancer, disabled police officers and firefighters, veterans, or diseases affecting children. The flyer features bold images and effective stories that move you to contribute. You take out your checkbook and pause before putting the pen to paper, thinking, how do I know if this charity is legit? How much of my money actually will go to help the cause itself?
Sadly, not all charities are as charitable as others, and some seem to be most charitable with their own solicitors, hence the list of America's Worst Charities. This list, a partnership between the Tampa Bay Times, Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN, showcases charities based on the amount of donations used to pay the professional solicitors charged with raising it. The result, as you see in the list, very small percentages of total donations ever reach those in need.
This Infodocket post provides a succinct breakdown of the project, including a searchable database of disciplinary actions against charities and a map that shows how charities are regulated by state, which are resources anyone can use to research charities that solicit us for donations.
The entire project can be viewed here.