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Worst Charities

August 1, 2008, Florida Trend, Florida's Best, Worst Charities, by Barbara Miracle.

philanthropy
Florida's Best, Worst Charities
Some are better than others at keeping expenses in check. Here's a statewide roundup.
by Barbara Miracle
Watch Your Wallet!

Seven of the 277 Florida charitable organizations ranked by Charity Navigator received the group’s lowest zero-star rating. Five of the seven spend more than 50% of their revenue on fund raising. One, the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation in Fort Lauderdale, spent $3.7 million on fund raising in 2006 but only $194,141 on programs The group declined to discuss its finances.

Defeat Diabetes Foundation, one of the zero-ranked charities, explains that its fund-raising numbers are high because of its initiatives. Dawn Swidorski, public outreach director, outlines numerous education projects, including distributing diabetes screening brochures in elementary schools, public service campaigns and media outreach, and a “Wake Up and Walk” 10,000-mile walk in which Executive Director Andrew Mandell is meeting with thousands of people across the country. Swidorski concedes that fund-raising costs for the four-person organization are high. “We are working and have been working to turn those numbers around,” she says, adding that the organization relies on an outside fund-raising group that takes a big chunk of the money.

National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation — Fort Lauderdale

Revenue: $6,113,206
Expenses: $4,094,124
Program expenses: $194,141 4.7%
Administrative expenses: $208,881 5.1%
Fund-raising expenses: $3,691,102 90.2%
Fund-raising efficiency:
$3.40 in fund raising is spent for every $1 raised.

Children’s Charity Fund — Sarasota

Revenue: $1,276,837
Expenses: $1,307,429
Program expenses: $131,711 10.1%
Administrative expenses: $112,913 8.6%
Fund-raising expenses: $1,062,805 81.3%
Fund-raising efficiency:
83 cents in fund raising is spent for every $1 raised.

Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center — Niceville

Revenue: $627,054
Expenses: $612,662
Program expenses: $86,126 14.1%
Administrative expenses: $13,316 2.2%
Fund-raising expenses: $513,220 83.7%
Fund-raising efficiency:
81 cents in fund raising is spent for every $1 raised.

Disabled Police Officers of America — Niceville

Revenue: $727,339
Expenses: $783,858
Program expenses: $166,242 21.2%
Administrative expenses: $39,414 5.0%
Fund-raising expenses: $578,202 73.8%
Fund-raising efficiency:
79 cents in fund raising is spent for every $1 raised.

Defeat Diabetes Foundation — Madeira Beach

Revenue: $1,388,450
Expenses: $1,669,365
Program expenses: $481,016 28.8%
Administrative expenses: $141,637 8.5%
Fund-raising expenses: $1,046,712 62.7%
Fund-raising efficiency:
75 cents in fund raising is spent for every $1 raised.

Project Action Foundation — Seminole

Revenue: $440,287
Expenses: $497,963
Program expenses: $293,074 58.8%
Administrative expenses: $45,715 9.2%
Fund-raising expenses: $159,174 32.0%
Fund-raising efficiency:
36 cents in fund raising is spent for every $1 raised.

Children’s Relief Network — Deerfield

Revenue: $403,121
Expenses: $593,321
Program expenses: 348,721 58.8%
Administrative expenses: $130,605 22.0%
Fund-raising expenses: $113,995 19.2%
Fund-raising efficiency:
29 cents in fund raising is spent for every $1 raised.

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