50 Worst Charities to Donate to Based on Various Reasons

Donating to charities is a great thing to do, but it’s essential to make sure you are donating to the right organizations. A big problem is knowing you’re choosing the right organization to give your money to. Today we are going to show you the worst charities to donate to and how to make sure you’re avoiding one that is wasting your money.

How Do You Know They’re the Worst Charities to Donate to?

For those of you who don’t know already, there are various watchdog companies that keep an eye on what the charities are doing with their money. Three of the major websites you can trust are:

Of course, there are plenty others out there, but make sure you are using a trustworthy source when deciding. They are watching the charities to see whether the donations they receive are going to the cause they claim they are supporting. You would be surprised to find out that this doesn’t happen as often as it should.

There are many factors that come into discussion when it comes to placing a charity on the blacklist. One of the most important reasons is how little they give to their mission and cause, for example. Some of the charities we listed below only give 2% of the donations to the cause, and keep up to 70% for salaries, marketing, and professional fundraisers. Before reading it, keep in mind that the best charities spend a maximum of 35 cents from each dollar raised for their own fundraising costs. Also, the charities that rely on telemarketing firms and fundraisers get only part of the money they raised, so consider that before donating.

50 Worst Charities to Donate to that You Need to Avoid

Name of the Charity Percent Converted to Direct Cash Aid
American Foundation for Children with AIDS 0
National Narcotic Officers Association Coalition 0
Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth 0
Project Cure (FL) 0
Roger Wyburn-Mason & Jack M. Blount Foundation for Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease 0
Survivors and Victims Empowered 0
American Association of the Deaf & Blind 0.1
Defeat Diabetes Foundation 0.1
Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center 0.1
Optimal Medical Foundation 0.2
Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation 0.4
Hope Cancer Fund 0.5
International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO 0.5
Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation 0.6
United States Deputy Sheriffs’ Association 0.6
American Foundation for Disabled Children 0.8
Committee for Missing Children 0.8
Police Protective Fund 0.8
Youth Development Fund 0.8
Cancer Fund of America 0.9
Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation 1.0
National Cancer Coalition 1.0
Reserve Police Officers Association 1.1
Shiloh International Ministries 1.3
Firefighters Burn Fund 1.5
Caring for Our Children Foundation 1.6
Breast Cancer Relief Foundation 2.2
Children’s Charity Fund 2.3
Our American Veterans 2.3
The Veterans Fund 2.3
Disabled Police Officers of America Inc. 2.5
Kids Wish Network 2.5
Vietnow National Headquarters 2.9
Association for Firefighters and Paramedics 3.1
Firefighters Assistance Fund 3.2
Heart Support of America 3.4
National Caregiving Foundation 3.5
Wishing Well Foundation USA 4.6
American Breast Cancer Foundation 5.3
Children’s Cancer Fund of America 5.3
Find the Children 5.7
National Police Defense Foundation 5.8
United Breast Cancer Foundation 6.3
Circle of Friends for American Veterans 6.5
National Veterans Service Fund 7.8
Firefighters Charitable Foundation 8.1
American Association of State Troopers 8.6
Veterans Assistance Foundation 10.5
Children’s Wish Foundation International 10.8
Children’s Leukemia Research Association 11.1

The list was put together by the Center for Investigative Reporting and Tampa Bay Times. We arranged the charities in the order given by the percentage they spent for their cause. As you can see, some of them donated 0% of the money they received for the cause. For this information, the authors of the list considered the federal tax filings in the last decade.

The charities above were broken up into 5 main categories: veterans, fire, police/law enforcement, cancer, children, and other. All fifty account for over $1.35 billion in donations from people. If we were to calculate the percentage, $970 million of the amount did not turn into charitable contributions, but went to the people who oversaw collecting the money.

How to Make Sure the Charity You Donate to Is Trustworthy

Now that you’ve seen the worst charities to donate to, you may be wondering what can you do to avoid them and recognize the con artists. Luckily, there are a few measures you can use to make sure your money goes where it needs to:

1. Check the Tax-Exempt Status

If you have doubts about a certain charity, check with the group or go to the IRS website to see if they have a tax-exempt status.

2. Pay Attention to the Name

One of the most respected organizations is Make a Wish Foundation. They are trustworthy and spend most of their donations to the cause. However, if you look at the list above, you will notice that there is the Kids Wish Network, which spends only 3% of the donations for the kids. The worst part is that their solicitations and website are made to resemble Make a Wish. As such, they aim to confuse people and make them give money to them.

3. Donate Directly

It may happen that you are contacted by a fundraiser to give to a charity you want to support. However, it’s a better idea to go and donate directly to the charity. The fundraiser can keep from 75 to 90% of the cash.

4. Donate to the Charity Watchdogs

It may come as a surprise, but the charity watchdogs are charities as well. They also need money to work and support the immense effort that is monitoring hundreds of organizations. They’re also a good alternative if you don’t know where to donate.


If you like donating to various causes, keep away from the worst charities to donate to we mentioned above. If you don’t pay attention, you may end up wasting your money on their marketing strategies, salaries or expensive fundraisers, instead of helping the cause.

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