The South Carolina agency that oversees nonprofit registration in the state has released its annual list of the best and worst organizations based on charitable giving.
Secretary of State Mark Hammond announced the 20th annual Scrooges and Angels List of 2015 on Thursday. The Secretary of State’s office compiles this list every year so that charitable givers are aware of where their donations are being spent.
“South Carolinians are some of the most generous people in the country,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “But we can’t let people take advantage of that generosity. So we want charitable donors to take a look at these organizations that are soliciting and asking for contributions, to make sure that a large percentage of their donations are actually going to the charitable purpose.”
The primary factor used in the rating was the percentage of donated funds that went towards the charity’s expressed purpose.
The “Angels” were organizations that set aside most of their proceeds to charitable purposes and had low administrative costs.
|Animal Allies Inc.||Spartanburg, SC||92.0%|
|Fostering Great Ideas||Greenville, SC||84.8%|
|Hartsville Christmas in April Inc.||Hartsville, SC||98.3%|
|Honorary Angel – Harvest Hope Food Bank, Inc.,||Columbia, SC||98.1%|
|Hilton Head Heroes, Inc.||Hilton Head Island, SC||84.3%|
|Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund||Oceanside, CA||93.7%|
|National Arbor Day Foundation||Lincoln, NE||89.3%|
|Orangeburg/Calhoun Free Medical Clinic, Inc.,||Orangeburg, SC||91.6%|
|Pilgrims’ Inn||Rock Hill, SC||85.6%|
|Share Our Suzy (SOS),||Columbia, SC||83.3%|
|Toomey’s Kids||Murrells Inlet, SC||94.8%|
“Angels” were selected by review of financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as by nominations from the public. To be selected as an Angel, the charity must have devoted 80 percent or more of its total spending to charitable programs; the charity must have been in existence for three or more years; the charity must make good use of volunteer services; the charity must receive minimal funding from grants; and the charity must be registered with the Secretary of State to solicit funds in the state of South Carolina.
The designation of “Scrooge” was based upon a charitable organization’s failure to spend a high percentage of its total spending on charitable programs. The organizations designated as this year’s “Scrooges” are listed below:
|Cars Helping Veterans, a/k/a Others First, Inc.||Rochester Hills, MI||24.1%|
|Healing Heroes Network Inc.||Palm Harbor, FL||24.7%|
|Kids Wish Network Inc.||Holiday, FL||42.0%|
|The Premier Foundation Inc.||Easley, SC||12.2%|
|Reserve Police Officers Association||Yonkers, NY||7.7%|
|Rock Hill Rescue Squad||Rock Hill, SC||6.4%|
|Survivors and Victims Empowered||Manheim, PA||30.0%|
|United Veterans Association, Inc.||Fairfield, AL||25.1%|
|Vietnow National Headquarters||Rockford, IL||7.3%|
|Wishing Well Foundation USA, Inc.,||Metairie, LA||4.8%|
“Scrooges” were selected if the charity had devoted 45 percent or less of its total expenditures to charitable programs; the charity had spent a significant amount of revenue on fundraising expenses; and the charity had registered with the Secretary of State to solicit funds in the state of South Carolina. Many of the organizations that make the “Scrooge” list often use professional fundraisers that make a commission off each donation.
While “Scrooges” are mentioned on the list each year, Hammond said the overall purpose is to honor the organizations that are working in the community.
“The primary purpose of the Scrooges and Angels list is to recognize the wonderful charitable organizations that are out there doing great work in our community and helping those in need,” he said.
Charitable donors may research organizations registered in South Carolina by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.sc.gov.
Kimberly Washington filed to this report