The Reason Why You Shouldn't Give Money To Big Charities
By David J. Stewart
October 2009 | Updated June 2016
I am disgusted with America's charities, who pay their executives 6-digit salaries. Children International asks for donations of $22 per child, per month, to provide food, medical, education and other needs. Yet, their CEO was paid $374,935 in 2008! It is appalling to me that an organization that stresses how far a mere $22 will go per month, pays their CEO $374,935 a year! THAT'S CLOSE TO $200 AN HOUR!!! That's just plain wrong in my opinion. Anything can be justified, but that doesn't necessarily make it proper or ethical.
I received a book and some literature from Voice Of The Martyrs (VOM) recently. Their latest 2012 VOM newsletter features Godwin Vincent (age 24) from Kaduna, Nigeria, who had his arm allegedly cut off in 2011 by Muslims for his Christian faith. The photo shows him with his prosthetic limb. My heart breaks when I see stuff like that; but I also realize the manipulative nature of charities. There's no way of verifying the legitimacy of the VOM story about Godwin Vincent.
However, I immediately went to see how much money the top executive of the Voice Of The Martyrs (VOM) is paid annually and James E. Dau was compensated $121,813 in 2010! THAT'S $60 AN HOUR!!! That's not too shabby for a so-called “charity.” Although it's less than 0.5% of the total donations received, I could NEVER in good conscience give money to any charity that pays a 6-digit salary to it's chief officer. That's 4-times what the average American with a decent job pays these days.
I am disgusted when I discover that so-called ministers (i.e., servant) get paid 6-digit salaries. Henry Morris III of the 'Creation Research Institute' paid himself $156,090 in 2015.
The Big Fraud of 501c3 Non-profit Organizations
Let's take a look at Eric Hovind's money-machine. Eric's a small-fry compared to giant fraudsters like Ken Hem, whose organization took in over $27,000,000 last year!!! These men exploit the subject of Creation, promoting the false doctrine of a Young Earth to make tons of money. Their organization at 'Creation Today' had a total income of $697,788 for 2015. Eric Hovind of 'Creation Today' got paid $58,086, which may not sound like much, but it's TWICE what most Americans are paid per year. More than half of all Americans are paid $30,000 or less each year. Why should a minister get paid so much? Why should Billy Graham get paid $633,722 a year? Why should Ron Hutchcraft be paid $102,347 each year? Why should R.C. Sproul get paid $267,961? Why should Ken Ham get paid $146,951. Henry Morris III is just as bad, paying himself $156,090 a year, teaching that Noah brought baby dinosaurs onto the ark. Science-fiction pays well!!!
BUT WAIT, it gets really ugly when you learn the truth about how a 501c3 state-licensed corporation works. And it really is a scam in my humble opinion!!! The exuberant salaries of many 501c3 executives is basically just spending money. What most people don't understand is that whoever controls the 501c3 organization effectively has the freedom to spend the money for their personal benefit. Now, legally they're not allowed to spend the money as personal income. The funds MUST be used for the non-profit organization. However, I said “effectively.” For example: The law allows the non-profit corporation executives to drive a corporate car(s). So they can drive a corporate car and use the corporation's gas.
They can also eat at the organization's cafeteria or dine out at the expense of the corporation for a business luncheon. If they collect personal grocery recipes, or other people's recipes from the garbage, or find them laying on the store's parking lot, they can claim it under “petty cash” and pocket the money. They can take a vacation and claim it was business related for the ministry. The corporation pays for all their travel expenses and per diem, et cetera. Anything they buy can be purchased tax-free, just so long as they present their tax number to the business.
I'm telling you, they can live high-on-the-hog on the tab of the 501c3 corporation, and save their salary for whatever they want. Normal people like you and me have to pay for everything. We don't have a ministry car to drive. We have to pay for our own travel expenses. We have to pay for our own rent. When they beg like dogs in the name of Jesus' for more money, there's always a small amount of stupid people who give it to them. A 501c3 non-profit corporation is STILL A CORPORATION. It is a business! God never instituted the church as a corporate business. Our churches have drifted away from their true purpose of carrying out The Great Commission, and have instead become lucrative money-making businesses.
Please understand that I AM NOT saying that Eric Hovind nor anyone at Creation Today are doing these shady things. I am simply saying that many people do, under the pretense of a “non-profit” organization. They don't pay ANY taxes because they're claiming that their ministry doesn't profit them personally. Yet, how many fatcat preachers do you know who are living extravagant lives, parasiting upon the public, turning Christianity into a den of thieves, all in the holy name of Jesus Christ? It's sickening. We only find one recorded incident in the New Testament where Jesus became physically angry, and it was directed toward crooked men who were profiting from the things of God. Jesus beat the money-changers with a whip, overturned their coin tables, released their birds to fly away, and drove them out of the temple in a fit of justified rage! Oh, how I wish the Lord would do that today to all these con artists who are exploiting Christianity to make money.
Charities Are More “Charitable” To Themselves Than Anybody Else
Another questionable charity is James Robison's Life Today International (who refuse to disclose their finances to the Better Business Bureau). I'll give you one guess why! Life Today always shows starving children from poor third-world nations. They really know how to break people's hearts (and it's all planned that way). Such advertising gimmicks have brought in hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars for the Robinsons over the years (and the money just keeps flooding in).
People's brains go from the television to the telephone with their credit card. You'd think they'd take time out to do a little research to learn where all the money is going. Hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars, and they refuse to tell the Better Business Bureau (BBB) where the money is going? What idiots give money to these people? You can count me out brother!
Based upon the evidence, I think the whole 501c3 non-profit business thing is a fraudulent scam sanctioned by the government. That's not to say that all groups operating under the umbrella of a 501c3 are evil; but it does mean that the 501c3 itself is ripe for abuse. For Just 92 Cents A Day You Can Pay Child Fund's CEO $316,840 A Year! (those poor kids).
I heard something once that forever turned my mind against charities. A minister literally paid a man on the street $5 to lay in the garbage so he could take a picture for his monthly news bulletin. The minister made up a fictitious name and falsely claimed that the man had found Christ through his ministry, and was now serving God faithfully. People saw the photo and read the story, their heart broke, and no doubt the donations soared. Cha-ching!!! And it's all perfectly legal!!! Sad, huh? I lost all confidence in charities after that. Also, 501c3 pay no taxes because they're supposedly non-profit. Isn't it amazing that all these NON-PROFIT organizations are paying 6-digit salaries to their top dog?
People should only give to local New Testament churches or local community charities, where you can see exactly how every dollar is being spent. Ask for the financial statements and read them. Inquire how much the president of the organization is paid (compensated).
Some of the most unethical organizations in America are charities. One of the most popular charities is for abused animals, ASPCA. I wouldn't give them a penny! I saw a commercial recently that showed cute little animals, suffering. There was sad music playing in the background. A woman begged for an $18 pledge each month to save the animals. She said it's only 60 cents a day. My first thought was that it was another rip-off so-called “charity” and I went to check how much the CEO is paid per year. I was right! In 2011 their CEO, Edwin J. Sayres, was paid $566,064!!! The same CEO was paid $591,723 in 2012!!! It's sickening! They beg on TV for your 60 cents an hour to save those poor animals, while their CEO gets paid $566,064 a year. I don't know about you, but that makes me sick!!!
Just think how many more poor, helpless, hurting, animals could be saved if Mr. Sayres reduced his annual income by $500,000!!! The average American doesn't make anywhere near $66,064 a year. Edwin Sayres makes $566,064 each and every year!!! Were you dumb enough to send ASPCA your money? Were you foolish enough to pledge $18 a month to rescue an animal from being raped, beaten, abused and neglected? It's insane! Those dumb Americans! My question is who's going to rescue Americans from ourselves? People woefully lack wisdom and understanding. They are ever-learning as 2nd Timothy 3:7 teaches, but never able to come to the truth. Americans buy books, watch television, listen to radio, read magazines and attend seminars and; yet, they are amongst the dumbest people on the planet.
Friends of the World Food Program is another fat cat charity, who compensated their CEO $301,828 in 2007. THAT'S $150 AN HOUR!!! All these fat cat, tax-exempt 501c3 charities, show the public all the poor and starving children; but they don't show you where their CEO's live, the fancy cars they drive, the exquisite lifestyles they live, the exorbitant money they spend on themselves. If the public saw the truth, they'd never give them a dime.
I hate to say it, but it's nonetheless true, most people are gullible. They see images of starving children and give donations on impulse. Even when people see the large salaries paid to charity CEO's, it really doesn't sink-in to their brain. But if you could see the life of Riley that they enjoy, with the swimming pools, fancy cars and boats, luxurious homes, wine and dancing, frequent lavish vacations, then you'd get upset and stop giving them money. You shouldn't trust charities. If I give to a homeless person, then I know where the money is going (never give anything if you smell alcohol).
The Salvation Army isn't quite as bad, According to Forbes the Salvation Army's top dog, Todd Bassett, took home $175,050 from the “CHARITABLE” organization's donations for the fiscal year ending in 2004. THAT'S $90 AN HOUR!!! I wonder how many Santa Claus buckets need to be filled to pay Mr. Bassett's extravagant salary? For the fiscal year ending in 2012, the top dog at the Salvation Army, William Roberts, received an annual salary of $249,833. THAT'S $125 AN HOUR!!! (based upon a 40-hour work week). I wouldn't give a dime to the Salvation Army. No doubt, they have all kinds of excuses to justify such outrageous salaries; but no one needs that kind of salary, and it is certainly unbecoming of a so-called “charitable organization.”
*Update June 2016—In 2012 the Salvation Army paid it's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) $259,720!!! I have a serious problem with that! Over 44 officers received 6-digit salaries over $100,000 a year! Charities are supposed to be benevolent organizations, helping the public, not paying themselves 5-10 times what the average American earns per year. Over half of American citizens in 2016 are earning less than $30,000 per year! So why should a so-called “charity,” especially a professed Christian charity, pay those kind of extravagant salaries. Few people know that the Salvation Army also owns luxurious vacation properties in Hawaii for their executives to enjoy. I don't care how much money (billions!!!) they take in per year, it is wrong for ministers (which means “servant”) to pay themselves exuberant salaries. To put it into better perspective, the CEO of the Salvation Army in 2012 was paid $21,643 a month!!!
I realize that top executives are often paid high salaries for their fund-raising abilities and expertise; yet, it's just inconsistent with all the plethora of ads we see begging for our donations, which might mean “life or death to some child.” If that's the case, just think how many more children's lives could be saved if the CEO's of these fat cat charities were to give back 90% of their salary. God forbid that a charity CEO might actually have to live on $75,000 a year! My, oh my, how would they survive? Even at $75,000 a year, that's more than DOUBLE what the average hard-working American worker earns in one year. The Salvation Army is more “army” than “salvation.” Tragically, they preach a false Gospel.
What gets me is that a charitable organization can actually pay their CEO $350,000 a year and still be rated by the BBB as a great company. Not in my book! The BBB is a joke in America! Many companies who support the BBB are given preferential treatment. In my opinion, you can't trust information from the BBB, nor from America's big charities.
Red Cross and United Way are even worse. The top CEO at Red Cross pulled down a $651,957 salary in 2003! THAT'S $325 AN HOUR!!! According to Forbes, United Way's top executive made $629,950 in 2004! THAT'S $315 AN HOUR!!! Why do people support these fat cat charities?
Another increasingly popular children's charity is CHILD TRAIN, who grip people's hearts with sad photos of deformed children (take a look at their website). According to the BBB, the charity paid their CEO Brian Mullaney $658,058 in 2008-2009!!! In just 36-months, the charity has had 21 COMPLAINTS filed against them with the Better Business Bureau!!! BEWARE!
A lot of people give money to charities to boost their public image, feel good about themselves or to find a tax write-off. It is a sore evil in America. While an estimated 18,000 children continue to starve to death daily throughout the world, and others eat bugs to survive, America's biggest charities continue to pay their top executives outrageous salaries. It is a false balance in God's eyes. America's charities have become lucrative businesses.
My advice to people is to find some poor person and give the money directly to them. There are many poor people today, and others who have lost their jobs, or are homeless, and you can be a blessing to them directly. And best of all, you know that 100% of the money is going to charity, and not helping to pay someone's $600,000 salary! Really, it is insane to pay someone that kind of money in a so-called “charity.”
Who do you think will appreciate your money more... some fat cat charity or a struggling family who has no income?
If you DO decide to support any charity, demand a financial report of where the donations are being spent. This way you can see first hand where your money is going, and can make sure that you're not buying someone a mansion in the suburbs. Don't accept a vague summary, kindly ask for specifics. If they don't disclose such information, give elsewhere. Honestly, too many people are abusing the system today, living extravagantly on donations, because people don't think.
I just can't in good conscience drop my money into a Santa Claus's bucket at Christmas time, when I know the top dog at the Salvation Army (William Roberts) is being compensated $249,833 a year!
You might as well burn your money when you support these big charities (and that definitely includes religious ministries as well). I cringe when I hear ads telling people how much their $22 a month can do to better a poor child's life, knowing that the CEO of that charity got paid $374,935 in 2008! Yet, so many people sit at home, staring at some picture of a child they're supporting for $22 a month, failing to realize that the CEO of that company makes 15-TIMES what the average American family gets paid annually. No CEO of a charitable organization ought to be paid more than $74,935 a year, and that's a BIG SALARY, which leaves $300,000 remaining from this guy's salary. For $22 per month, $300,000 can help an additional 1,136 poor children! Yet, the charity appeals to the American public, from families who are struggling financially to live on $30,000 a year, to give $22 per month. The whole charity scene in America is enough to make one want to go vomit.
Please stop giving to big charities and start giving money directly to the poor!!! Eliminate the middleman who's living high on the hog. Charities are some of the biggest scams these days.
Isn't it something that in the midst of a harsh recession, when tens-of-millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and 35,000,000 Americans1 are receiving government Food Stamps (53,000,000 Americans on Food Stamps as of 2014), that a charity can pay someone $374,000? I just don't understand why people give to charities like that, when you can give it directly to the poor.
Furthermore, most of those big charities don't share the Gospel with the people being helped. Even the Salvation Army is more Army than Salvation these days. When you give money directly to the poor, you can witness to them concerning Jesus Christ, or give them a Gospel of John. Just think how much further your money can go by giving it directly to the poor. I am a firm believer in helping the poor, but not through some fat cat organization that keeps back $600,000 a year for it's CEO. That's crazy!
The word charity means “love” in the Bible. Love and the sin of covetousness are opposites. Truly, the love of money is the root of all evil, just as God says in 1st Timothy 6:10. None of Christ's apostles lived extravagantly from the money donated to the early Church; but rather, they distributed the money as every man had need (Acts 4:35). There were no social welfare programs in ancient times, nor should there be today, which are Communist in nature. The churches are supposed to care for the poor and needy, not the government. When the people look to the government in idolatry to provide for them instead of trusting God, the government becomes their God. Social programs always fail, bankrupting governments, which is why the U.S. government has been bankrupt and operating under emergency powers since the 1930's. Our nation's debt just keeps going higher-and-higher into the stratosphere.
Remember that every penny you own is God's money. When you give to God, you are letting go of what is already His. God gave you everything that you have in life. Scripturally, we are to give to the poor, and in so doing we are lending to the Lord (Proverbs 19:17). There's nothing in the Bible about supporting fat-cat charities nor richy-rich preachers. We ought to support the work of God with our time, money and resources, but make sure it is truly a work of God committed to winning the lost to Jesus Christ. So many foolish people these days are giving money to fake ministries that don't even preach the Gospel.
Also, I wouldn't give a dime to any ministry that is not King James Bible Only. Many people errantly think that they're going to receive big rewards in Heaven for giving money to false prophets, religious social clubs and dead-beat ministries that do nothing for the cause of Christ. Philippians 2:16, “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” If we don't hold forth the Word of Life (that is, preach the Gospel) then we are labouring in vain (useless). Most people who think they are serving Jesus Christ are actually pulling on the same rope as the Devil. If your money is paying for worship services, church musical concerts and religious unity events, then you are wasting your money on rubbish. Most people have no idea what the purpose of church is all about. Please read, “THE CHURCH” by Pastor Jack Hyles.
Romans 10:15, “...as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” God is not interested in beautiful voices that can sing, nor beautiful hands that can play the piano, nor beautiful lips that can speak eloquently... if we have ugly feet that fail to carry the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to lost sinners out in the highways and hedges so they can be saved.
Big charities pay big salaries which is a big waste of God's money!
Ye Must Be Born Again!
You Need HIS Righteousness!