With a seasonal spirit of giving and the end of the tax year in sight, lots of people are reaching for the checkbook to make charitable contributions.
If you're a stickler for seeing the most bang for a donated dollar, the Oregon Department of Justice has issued its fourth-annual list of "Top 20 Worst Charities" you may wish to avoid.
The charities on the list spend the overwhelming amount of their contributions on administrative costs, leaving a small fraction for the purported work of the organization, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in today's release. She added charitable organizations should spend no more than 35 percent of their funds on fundraising and administration
Most of the "Worst 20" organizations pass a small percentage of their collections to emergency service workers or children's groups.
For the second year in a row, the Law Enforcement Education Program, a Michigan-based agency, topped the list. On average, the charity distributed just 3.1 percent of its $2,097,033 receipts to fulfill its stated mission of providing educational programs for the law enforcement community.
None of the agencies on the list used more than 30 percent of its contributions for their stated missions.
See the complete list at www.doj.state.or.us/charigroup/pdf/attorney_generals_20_worst_charities_2013.pdf.