A year-long investigation by the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting ranks these U.S. charities as the five worst, based on money blown on soliciting costs, according to the latest 10 years of available tax filings. Click through the gallery for more details.
No. 1: Kids Wish Network: In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate fund-raisers. That makes it the worst charity in the nation, according to a Times/CIR review of charities that have steered the most money to professional solicitation companies over time. Kids Wish Network says it has helped make a positive difference for thousands of children.From Kids Wish Network
No. 2: Cancer Fund of America: CFA raises millions yearly and sends 82% to its for-profit fund-raisers. Over the past decade, fund-raisers have collected $98 million in donations. Patients have gotten less than $1 million in direct cash aid over those 10 years, IRS records show. The group's founder said, "We can only help others with the funds we net whether it be 90 or 20%."From Cancer Fund of America
No. 3: Children's Wish Foundation International: This group reported spending about $600,000 granting wishes to terminally ill children in 2010 and gave them donated goods valued at $3 million. It paid professional fund-raisers nearly $6 million for their services that year. Its founder said telemarketing has helped the charity find children in need of its help.From Children's Wish Foundation International
No. 4: American Breast Cancer Foundation: One of the most wasteful charities in the nation for 13 years, this group lured donors by promising to pay for breast cancer screenings. It now says it's using community events to raise money. In its latest tax filing, the charity reported giving a total of $100,000 to five medical facilities to help pay for breast cancer screening services for low-income women.From American Breast Cancer Foundation
No. 5: Firefighters Charitable Foundation: This group says it provides financial assistance to people who have been affected by a fire or disaster. From 2002 to 2011, it raised $64 million in donations and paid $55 million of that to its solicitors. The charity spent less than 10 cents of every dollar raised on direct financial assistance to those in need. The group said in 2007 that it planned to change. That hasn't happened.From Firefighters Charitable Foundation