This time of year, many different organizations are soliciting charitable contributions, whether in the mail, over the phone, by e-mail, or however else they might be able to contact you.  Some of them are valid, some are not.  Before making a contribution to a charitable organization, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Being a “non-profit” company does not mean that it is a legitimate charitable organization or that it does not make a profit.  Some “non-profit” organizations are, in fact, quite profitable.
  • The CEO of one large, well-known “non-profit” organization reportedly requires a salary of more than $1.2 million per year.
  • How is the money contributed being spent?  What portion of it goes toward actually helping those in need?  In some instances, it is as little as 15% (or even less) of the overall amount contributed.  The remainder goes toward salaries and related “expenses.”

It is advisable for you to do some research before making a donation to a charitable organization.  Charity watchdog organizations, such as the American Institute of Philanthropy (, the Better Business Bureau (, Charity Navigator (, and GuideStar (, each provide detailed information on charities.

The Christmas season is a wonderful time of year for reflection and to share our good fortune.  But, before expressing that generosity by making a contribution to help those less fortunate, study the organization to which you might be making a charitable donation to see who really receives the benefit.

From our family to yours — have a safe and enjoyable holiday season,

The Ryder Law Firm