Accountability of charity organizations to the public

We are social animals, with a strong streak of caring for others, especially in time of need. People give generously, and sometimes denying themselves things they need. Those organizations that receive money from the public have an obligation to tell how every cent is spent, including how much it costs them for public relations and salaries.  

"Doug White, a nonprofit expert who directs the fundraising management program at Columbia University, praised the Red Cross for dropping its objections to releasing the information on 'trade secrets grounds.' 'Regardless of how complicated the information is, it still belongs to the public,' he said."

The public has a right to know these things and the charity has an obligation to provide it.

Red Cross Reverses Stance on Sandy Spending “Trade Secrets”

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Comment by Michael Penn on August 16, 2014 at 7:51am

Great decision here on the part of the Red Cross. A charity can only withhold information if it claims to be private. Who would donate to a "private" charity?

Bill Clinton does a lot of charity work worldwide and he makes it all public because he wants everyone to get involved. Clinton is responsible for a lot of AIDS work done in Africa as well as the rest of the world. Discussing him one time, my wife told me that many Kenyans know this.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on August 15, 2014 at 6:37pm

That's great news from the Red Cross.  They are so well known and disperse staggering amounts of financial and material assistance.  They should be accountable to their donors.  Trade secrets for raising money?  Who in their right mind wouldn't want other charities to succeed in their causes as well?   

I use www.charitynavigator.org to make decisions on which organizations I give my money to.  I'm by no means rich, but I do like to regularly give to charities because there are so many people who are in worse predicaments than I have ever been, so I want my hard-earned money spent wisely.

By the way, The American Red Cross scores very highly on Charitynavigator.com.  UNICEF scores slightly better, but both are outstanding charities.   

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