James Reynolds Sr., his ex-wife and son raised $187 million through four cancer charities but spent less than 5 percent of the money on patients, according to a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of all 50 states.
Instead, the money was spent on cars, gym memberships, luxury cruises, college tuition and six-figure salaries for family members, their friends and fundraisers, officials allege.
So how can you tell the money you donate will actually benefit people in need? Here are some tips from The Washington Post’s personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary.
I also have a suggestion. As many of you know, my daughter and I volunteered a few years ago in a village in Tanzania, East Africa, for the educational NGO Jifundishe. Our family supports this group because it is so scrupulous in making sure donations are spent to help the local people.
Stunningly, the founder and head of Jifundishe, Deb Kelly — survivor of the encounter with the green mamba snake I wrote about on May 4 — takes no salary from the organization. She returns to the United States each summer and works in a school to support herself in Tanzania for the coming year.
You can read more about the work of Jifundishe by clicking on “Tanzania” in the Citizen Cartwright categories.
Tax deductible donations for Jifundishe can be sent to Project ABLE, c/o Ann Hanin, 175 Riverside Drive, #5L, New York, N.Y. 10024. Please note on your check that the donation is for Jifundishe.