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For Profit: Why the Non Profit System can't seem to get it right

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WASHINGTON DC - November 15,2013  Most nonprofits advertise that 100 percent of your donations or something close to this go to their stated purpose, but if you believed this you'd have been wrong.


In fact you wouldn't be the only one suckered by the nonprofit industry, according to a report issued in 2009 by the Brigespan Group, a majority of nonprofits under report overhead costs on their tax forms as well as, fundraising material.


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Their report found that more than a third of nonprofits reported having no fundraising costs at all while one in eight reported they had no management and general expenses, absurd claims for anyone who has ever worked in the nonprofit sector.


Everyone wants to believe that when they give to charity their hard earned money will be used wisely, but where are the desired effects of all this giving. Large Nonprofits are a often hundred million dollar a year businesses, while smaller nonprofits rake in millions still and yet few if any of these organizations have met their stated goals.

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Where is all of the money going, are their methods ineffective or is it filling someone's pockets? Are their goals too lofty even for that kind of money? The sad answer to this, is that it is a three hundred billion dollar a year business and profits are good for those at the top and bad for those they are supposed to serve.


YWCA USA has ran a nearly 99 percent deficit for the past three years while its Executive Officers are among the top ten grossing Nonprofit Executives, with their CEO coming out at number 6 on the top ten list bringing home a 357,280 dollars a year base salary.


"Many of the charities with CEO's making more than 250 thousand a year use less than 60 percent on average of their revenue for their stated goals, this means that these organizations are using at least 40 percent of donations for administrative and fundraising costs which includes very lucrative salary packages for Executives," says the Charity Navigator website which analyses and rates the performance of nonprofits for donors.

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"In 2010, InfoCision secured $5.3 million for the American Cancer Society, the largest health charity in the U.S. Yet according to the Society's government fillings, InfoCision kept 100 percent of the funds it raised, plus $113,006 in fees from the Society," said Robert I. Evans & Avrum D. Lapin (authors of 'Financial Decisions, Transparency, and Inappropriate Expenses: Lets Define Good & Proper Behavior').


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Cory Clark is a freelance photojournalist and writer focused on civil and human rights issues, social justice and politics. He is a regular contributor with Getty Images, AP and AFP. His work has appeared in, The Guardian, Fortune (more...)

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