I'm Spiritual, Dammit

Giving to charities? How much is going to the cause?

So yesterday I blogged about a guy who pissed me off because he didn't give a buck at Petco for homeless animals.  It's been brought to my attention that I should consider a few more angles before chalking him up to being a total cheapskate.  Drew Barrymore films scenes in NYC for Going The Distance
As with many charities- while they may say that you are giving to "homeless animals.."  we don't really know what PERCENTAGE is going to those homeless pets.  (At least, they aren't telling us at the check out counter.)

My friend Clare told me last night that she never gives to Petco because she's not closely affiliated to that charity and doesn't know what percentage of her donation goes to the animals.  But she does give to PAWS because she knows where the money goes with that particular organization.  Clare donates a LOT of her free time to help with various charities- and I know this.  But if I didn't know Clare, and I saw her at Petco say "no thanks" to the question, "would you like to give a dollar to help homeless animals?" I might judge her as a heartless bitch.

I was buying running shoes at Old Orchard Mall yesterday, and the guy at the check out asked me if I'd like to donate a dollar to cancer research, and then pointed to the Lance Armstrong bracelets that were sitting on the counter.

"Nope" I said- feeling the stares from the man behind me.

Funny how the tables turn....

I've lost several family members to cancer- my Dad included- and I want a cure to be found so much it makes me sick to my stomach.  But I feel that the pharmaceutical companies have such a hold on our health care system that they will never ALLOW us to find that cure, because then they'd be out of business.  (I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but this is one conspiracy that I truly believe from the bottom of my heart.  If you've read "Our Daily Meds", you might agree with me.)  

So I will NOT give a buck to the "find a cure for cancer" thingy just out of my fears that the cure will never be found, with or without my dollar.  But I give to charities that I DO believe in without blinking an eye.

So- now back to my Lexus driving, organic food buying guy from my Skokie Petco who said "Nope" to giving a dollar to homeless pets.  I should have taken into account that maybe he also gives to PAWS like my friend Clare, or that maybe he gives to the local animal shelter- or maybe that 74 dollars worth of organic dog food he bought was for his foster animals that he's been keeping for months out of the kindness of his heart?

Or maybe he was just a cheap bastard, dammit!



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1 Comment

PETCOFoundation said:

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Thank you for a well written blog that punctuates something that all non profits should continually work to achieve. Transparency. The PETCO Foundation has some exciting additions to our web site that will assist us in achieving this.

Over the past 10 years, 83% of the donations raised ($44 million dollars of the $53 million raised) have gone directly to the animal welfare groups that we partner with. We spend less than 10% on Administrative costs. The charity which your friend Clare mentions, PAWS of Chicago is actually one of the charitable partners that benefits directly from moneys collected in the Chicago PETCO stores. Half of all money collected in local PETCO stores remain in that region to benefit non-profit organizations working to make a difference there

As a non-profit, we are proud to say that we have a 4 star Charity Navigator rating (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=9917) and have maintained this rating for the past 4 years. This is the highest rating that Charity Navigator offers. Only 8% of non-profit organizations have earned this rating, including PAWS of Chicago. Charity Navigator is the #1 independent evaluator of non profits in the United States. They exist to help give people confidence that their money is being well spent with an organization that is fiscally responsible, manages expenses tightly, programs appropriately and has a future.

Thank you for raising this concern in your blog. We respect and understand your attention to ensuring that the money that you (and others) donate goes to the cause you intended and are happy to have an opportunity to present this information more publicly.

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