For 22 years, the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office has been telling residents which charities are the best and worst when it comes to how much of their donations go toward their charitable cause.
Just in time for the holiday giving season, Secretary of State Mark Hammond released the annual Angels and Scrooges list this week. At the top, charities in which 80 percent or more of the money donated to them goes toward their charitable purpose.
“We want to do everything we can to help wonderful organizations in this state who are out raising money, especially during the holiday season,” Hammond said. “All the Angels send 80% or more toward their charitable purpose. They use a lot of volunteers and they very seldom use professional fundraisers.”
On the 2017 Angels List (in alphabetical order):
- Chapin We Care Center, Chapin, SC 93.4%
- Christmas Is For Kids, Gaffney, SC 99.7%
- Friends of the Animal Shelter, Inc., Aiken, SC 83.9%
- Golden Corner Food Pantry, Seneca, SC 91.3%
- Help 4 Kids Florence, Florence, SC 97.4%
- JumpStart South Carolina, Spartanburg, SC 91.0%
- Meals on Wheels of Horry County, Inc., Surfside Beach, SC 97.7%
- Operation Sight, Mount Pleasant, SC 87.5%
- Project Hope Foundation, Inc., Greenville, SC 95.4%
- Samaritan’s Purse, Boone, NC 87.8%
- The Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, Hilton Head Island, SC 93.4%
Hammond said he releases the Angels and Scrooges List every year so people who donate to charities know where their money is going.
“This would help them make decisions on who they would want to give to and who they may not want to give to,” he said.
To be selected as an Angel, the charity must have devoted 80 percent or more of its total expenditures 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 in compliance with the South Carolina Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act. Each year the Secretary of State’s Office attempts to showcase Angels with diverse missions, from across South Carolina and outside the state.
The 2017 Scrooges List (in alphabetical order):
- American Association of State Troopers, Inc., Tallahassee, FL 15.5%
- American Veterans Foundation, Sarasota, FL 8.3%
- Childhood Leukemia Foundation, Inc., Brick, NJ 19.6%
- Firefighters Support Foundation Inc., Greenfield, MA 6.8%
- Honor Bound Foundation, Inc., Darien, CT 29.7%
- Melanoma International Foundation, Glenmoore, PA 33.9%
- Project Cure, Inc., Bradenton, FL 24.6%
- United Cancer Support Foundation, Knoxville, TN 3.7%
- Hal. E. Erwin, Bingo Promoter d/b/a Paradise Amusements, LLC, Chapin, SC 3.2%
Truck, Trailer & Equipment Sales, Inc., Summerville, SC 6.1%
The designation of Scrooge is based upon a charitable organization’s failure to spend a high percentage of its total expenditures on charitable programs, or a professional fundraiser’s failure to remit a significant amount of its gross receipts to the charity for which it solicits. The organizations designated as this year’s Scrooges are listed below, along with the percentage of expenditures used for program services or percentage of gross receipts remitted.
“We need to make sure that charitable donors know of these organizations and what low percentages are going to the programs and they need to decide whether or not they would like to contribute to that organization.”
Hammond said if someone gets a call from a charity asking for donations, ask if the caller is a professional fundraiser and where the charity is located. All charities soliciting donors in South Carolina must be registered with the Secretary of State’s Office. If someone feels pressured to donate, contact Hammond’s office.
“That organization shouldn’t be allowed to misrepresent themelves or use high-pressure tactics to ask for solicitations,” he said. “We believe this information can help them make wise decisions about charitable giving.”
Hammond said most investigations done by his office begin with a citizen reporting a charity’s suspicious activities.
Click here for a link to report a charity anonymously to Secretary Hammond’s Office. Click here for a link to research a charity. If you don’t have access to the internet, call toll-free 1-888-242-7484.