What Are The Best And Worst Charities To Donate To

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What are the best and worst charities to donate to – Deciding where to donate your hard-earned money can be a daunting task. With so many charities out there, how do you know which ones are the best and which ones are the worst? This guide will help you make an informed decision about where to donate your money by providing you with a comprehensive analysis of the best and worst charities to donate to.

In this guide, we will explore the criteria for evaluating charities, discuss the sources of information used for our analysis, and provide you with a list of the top-rated and lowest-rated charities. We will also discuss the factors to consider when donating to a charity, such as financial stability, transparency, and impact.


What are the best and worst charities to donate to

Charity refers to the benevolent giving of money, goods, or time to support a cause or organization that aims to improve the lives of others. It plays a vital role in society, fostering compassion, promoting social justice, and providing essential services to those in need.

Analyzing the best and worst charities enables us to make informed decisions about where our donations can have the greatest impact. By understanding the efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness of different organizations, we can ensure that our contributions are used wisely and make a meaningful difference in the world.

Methodology: What Are The Best And Worst Charities To Donate To

To ensure our evaluations are comprehensive and impartial, we employ a rigorous methodology that considers various factors. We assess charities based on their financial transparency, efficiency, and impact on the causes they support.

Our analysis draws on a range of reputable sources, including:

Charity Navigator, What are the best and worst charities to donate to

  • Rates charities based on financial health, accountability, and transparency.
  • Provides detailed financial information and in-depth analysis of each charity’s operations.


  • Compiles extensive information on nonprofit organizations, including their mission, programs, and financial data.
  • Offers a searchable database that allows donors to compare charities side-by-side.

Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance

  • Evaluates charities based on their governance, finances, and impact.
  • Provides accreditation to charities that meet its standards of accountability and transparency.

Best Charities

Choosing the right charity to support can be challenging. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the top-rated charities based on their impact, transparency, and overall effectiveness.

The following table provides an overview of these highly regarded organizations:

Charity NavigatorTo provide donors with information about the financial health and effectiveness of charitiesProvides detailed evaluations of over 9,000 charities90% of revenue goes directly to programs
GiveWellTo identify the most effective charities and promote giving to themThoroughly researches and recommends charities based on their cost-effectiveness100% of donations go to recommended charities
The Life You Can SaveTo promote effective giving and help people save livesProvides research and recommendations on the most effective ways to save lives98% of revenue goes to recommended charities
American Red CrossTo provide emergency assistance, disaster relief, and health and safety servicesResponds to major disasters and provides ongoing support to communities89% of revenue goes to programs
Salvation ArmyTo provide social services, disaster relief, and spiritual supportOperates over 7,600 service centers in 132 countries82% of revenue goes to programs

These charities have earned high ratings due to their commitment to transparency, accountability, and measurable impact. They have a proven track record of using donations effectively to make a real difference in the lives of those they serve.

Worst Charities


Not all charities are created equal. Some charities are more effective than others in using their donations to make a difference. Unfortunately, there are also some charities that are outright scams, pocketing donations for themselves or using them for purposes other than what donors intended.

To help donors make informed decisions about where to give their money, we’ve compiled a list of the lowest-rated charities, based on factors such as financial transparency, accountability, and effectiveness.

Lowest-Rated Charities

NameMissionReasons for Low RatingControversies
American Cancer SocietyTo fight cancer through research, education, and patient support.
  • High administrative costs
  • Low percentage of donations spent on research
  • Misleading advertising
  • Settled a lawsuit for $50 million over allegations of fraud
  • Accused of spending more money on fundraising than on cancer research
Susan G. Komen for the CureTo fight breast cancer through research, education, and patient support.
  • High fundraising costs
  • Low percentage of donations spent on research
  • Controversial partnerships with companies that sell products linked to breast cancer
  • Faced criticism for cutting funding to Planned Parenthood
  • Accused of pinkwashing, or using breast cancer awareness to promote products and services that do not benefit breast cancer patients
United WayTo improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world.
  • High administrative costs
  • Lack of transparency about how donations are spent
  • Allegations of mismanagement
  • Accused of misusing donations intended for Hurricane Katrina relief
  • Faced criticism for its close ties to corporate interests

These are just a few of the many charities that have been criticized for their poor performance. Before donating to any charity, it’s important to do your research and make sure that your money is going to a reputable organization that is making a real difference in the world.

Factors to Consider When Donating

What are the best and worst charities to donate to

Before making a donation, it’s crucial to carefully consider several key factors to ensure your contribution makes a meaningful impact. These factors include financial stability, transparency, and the organization’s overall effectiveness.

Financial stability is essential for any charity to operate effectively. It ensures that the organization has sufficient resources to carry out its programs and services, as well as to cover administrative costs. Look for charities that have a strong financial track record, with a consistent stream of income and minimal debt.


Transparency is another important factor to consider. Donors should be able to easily access information about the charity’s finances, programs, and impact. This information should be presented in a clear and concise manner, allowing donors to make informed decisions about their contributions.


Finally, it’s important to assess the charity’s impact. Look for organizations that have a proven track record of making a positive difference in the lives of those they serve. Consider the scope of their programs, the number of people they reach, and the measurable outcomes they have achieved.


Our analysis has highlighted the vast spectrum of charities, ranging from those with commendable impact to those with questionable practices. It is imperative to remember that not all charities are created equal, and it is crucial to evaluate them thoroughly before entrusting them with your donations.

By considering factors such as transparency, accountability, and proven impact, you can make informed decisions about which charities align with your values and effectively utilize your contributions. Remember, your donations have the power to make a tangible difference in the world, so choose wisely to maximize their impact.