It's 'Giving Tuesday': The charities that give the least - New York News

It's 'Giving Tuesday': The charities that give the least

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PHOENIX -

Americans opened up their wallets this holiday season, setting records on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Tuesday is "Giving Tuesday," and charities are hoping the spending spree continues. But before you donate a dime -- make sure you do some research.

CharityNavigator.org is one place you can do research. They have a list of charities where you get very little bang for the buck -- where most of the money goes to fundraisers, not charity.

Take, for instance, the Firefighters Charitable Foundation. The site says it's helping victims of fire and disaster.

But for every dollar it raises, Charity Navigator says only about 7 cents actually goes to its programs. Most of the rest goes to professional fundraisers.

We reached the charity on the phone, and they didn't deny it.

"Do you think it is a good deal for folks who contribute to your organization that the lion's share of it doesn't go to the firefighters but goes to a fundraiser?" we asked.

"Okay, we do not have the building, we don't have the phones or the insurance, okay? I do not have the paperwork or the time to call back somebody five times for donations. They [the hired fundraisers] handle that," says Frank Tepedino, Firefighters Charitable Foundation.

It's easy to donate to charity and have the cash land in someone else's pockets.

"I think a lot of folks do not investigate. We give money on the spot, something might appeal to our emotions," says Felecia Thompson Better Business Bureau.

So what should you do? Take a tip from Knut Syversen. He got a call from a police charity.

"The caller says I am not a police officer, I am a professional fundraiser," says Syversen. "I say thank you very much, and I will give to the police when the police call."

The Better Business Bureau says at least 65 cents of every dollar you donate should go to the charitable programs and services.

If you get a call, make sure they tell you how charitable they really are.

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