Whenever you’re considering giving to a charity, no matter what the cause, it’s important to investigate how much of the donated money actually goes to the cause and how much is earmarked for administrative expenses, such as salaries.
Several services break down the expenses of nonprofits, providing information on functions, finances and management. While you can always look up the information yourself on these three free services: Charity Navigator, BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Watch; we have picked four top charities that support veterans.
- Home for Our Troops: Started in 2004, Homes for Our Troops helps severely injured soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan by building mortgage-free and specially adapted homes for veterans with amputations or traumatic brain injuries. Homes for Our Troops has built more than 170 homes since 2004 and currently has another 50 in the works. Charity Navigator gives the nonprofit an overall score of 92.92 out of 100 for financial, accountability and transparency.
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV): Supporting physical and psychological rehabilitation services for wounded veterans is the main function of DAV. Everything from post-service mental health treatment to driver rehabilitation for veterans with brain injuries, DAV helps fund several programs. With more than 95 percent of donations going toward the cause, Charity Navigator gives DAV a 98 out of 100 for financial, accountability and transparency.
- Thanks USA: Sisters Kelsi and Rachel Okun started Thanks USA in 2006 when they were children. The organization provides need-based scholarships for college, technical and vocational schools to the children and spouses of active-duty military personnel. Thanks USA has awarded 3,500 scholarships since it was founded. With nearly 94 percent of all donation going toward scholarships, Thanks USA received an 88 out of 100 for financial, accountability and transparency.
- Fisher House Foundation: Best known for its network of home in which active-duty military, veterans, and their families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment; Fisher House Foundation began in 1990. More than 220,000 families have been served by the foundation since it started. The facilities, which are located at major military and VA medical centers, can accommodate 832 families a day nationwide. The organization received a 99 out of 100 ranking for financial, accountability and transparency by Charity Navigator.
While donations are the lifeblood of most nonprofits, it’s important to know exactly where your money is going when donating.