Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

RST: Charities -- do you know where your money goes?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 25, 2013 3:05 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, June 26:

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Individual Americans gave about $217 billion to charity in  2011.  Even with a less than robust economy, charitable giving continues to increase.

But how much of that money actually went directly to the charitable causes?

It's a question many are asking after the Tampa Bay Times published a story last week that ranked the 50 Worst Charities in the country.  The Times came up with their figures by comparing fundraising expenses to how much was spent on services.  For some on the list, more than 80% of the money taken in went to fundraising.

Three charities from central Pennsylvania were listed in the "worst" rankings.

Are the rankings fair and does it really matter?  If nothing else, the story brought attention to how charities raise money, how they spend it, what is acceptable, and what would-be-contributors should know before deciding how to give.

Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk will focus on charitable giving and provide valuable information to those who open their wallets.

Appearing on the program will be Daniel Borochoff, President and Founder of CharityWatch, a nationally respected charity watchdog, and Patrica Mogan, the Standards for Excellence Officer with the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

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Patrica Morgan

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-26 09:01

    From Anne, Hummelstown

    How do you evaluate new charities that spring up in response to events? Such as after the natural disasters in Oklahoma.
    Like your guest just mentioned, are they legitimate?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-26 09:02

    From Sam:

    Dan Borochoff and “Charity Watch” is off base and asking the wrong questions – then providing misleading information to the giving public.

    If an organization that is charged with feeding needy individuals and regularly serves rancid soup, but has low overhead costs, are they better or worse than an organization that spends a higher percentage on ‘overhead’ cost but provides healthy high quality meals (plus education, plus added vital services) to those in need? Overhead has very little bearing on value and impact. It’s simple, but it’s totally the wrong question.

    I’d like to know how Charity Watch does this DEEP DIVE into the financials of tens of thousands of organizations across the nation. How many staff does he have?

    I would highly recommend watching this TED Talk by Dan Pallotta.