If you or a loved one has been living with an asbestos-related disease, you probably know the value of various mesothelioma resources. The right healthcare team helps manage the symptoms. Caregivers help out with the day-to-day tasks, such as traveling, shopping or cooking. A good mesothelioma lawyer represents your interests in court and holds unscrupulous companies that use asbestos accountable.
There are various charitable organizations that can help out with these things. You may even be inspired to donate to one on behalf of someone you care about.
While this sentiment is always admirable, you may want to do your homework first to make sure that you are donating to an organization that is reputable and is likely to put your money to good and honest use.
‘Worst charities’ list hits the news
Kathy Latour, a blogger for Cure magazine, recently came across an article from the Tampa Bay Times that discussed the worst charities in the U.S. Appallingly, many of these organizations touted themselves as champions for cancer-related causes.
Why did these groups earn the dubious distinction as the worst charities? As it turns out, significant proportions of the donations they receive from good-hearted, hard-working citizens don’t actually fund the charitable work they promote. Instead, they go into the wallets of the administrators behind the organizations, who spend them on lavish cars and houses.
Here’s what Latour had to say on the matter:
“Nonprofits are awarded their status by the IRS based on having a board of directors and a mission. It’s not hard to do, which makes fraud easy. A legitimate nonprofit takes lots of hard work to raise money and to provide a mission. This doesn’t mean there is no paid staff. Nonprofits have to be run like a business, and because of fraud, the IRS now has a ruling that you can walk into any nonprofit and ask for their 990, which is documentation of what they have raised and what they declared to the IRS. Of course, those documents can also be falsified. So there are professional organizations who judge the legitimacy of nonprofits to help us know where to give money.”
Who should you donate to?
Latour then talked about a website that can help charitable people select the best recipients of their donations. Charity Navigator rates various organizations based on how they spend their donations. The website also provides a handy list with tips for consumers who wish to weed out unscrupulous and fraudulent charities.
Among the most important tips are avoiding groups that use middlemen to solicit donations, paying attention to organizations that have names similar to more reputable charities, confirming a group’s 501(c)(3) Status and obtaining copies of financial records.
Every year, more than 9,900 people in the U.S. die from asbestos-related diseases. That’s a relatively small number compared to other forms of cancer, but that doesn’t make the experience any less devastating for patients or their families. This is most definitely a worthy cause for charity.