Mississippians Should Check Out Charities

By: Ashley Conroy Email
By: Ashley Conroy Email

Mississippians are known for their charitable spirit, especially when it comes to veterans causes.

Better Business Bureau Director, Bill Moak says that often in the act of giving to veterans, it's the emotion that causes donors to act before they think about giving.

"It's very important to stop and don't let yourself be pressured, or don't let the emotion guide your decision," Moak said.

The Report on Charitable Organizations in Mississippi from the Secretary of State's office, is a 300 plus page report that shows where Mississippians are giving money.

Moak says that at least 65 percent should go back to the charitable cause, and the rest towards administrative costs.

In the report, it shows that 78.6 percent of the funds from the Wounded Warrior Project went back to the cause.

However, with the National Veterans Service Fund, only 22 percent back to the charitable cause.

The Mississippi Center for Non-Profits says when this happens, it could mean bad business.

"If a non-profit really follows best practices, they should be able to allocate their budgets, so that you can really get a sense of where those program dollars are going," executive director Mark McCrary said.

On the other hand, McCrary says that those donating should understand that certain costs should go back to the organizations' overhead expenses.

"If you can't pay rent, you don't have an office. You don't have programs for kids. You don't have veterans in hospitals. You don't have veterans programs," said McCrary.

Moak recommends that anyone who wants to donate, to ask for a financial report, an annual report, and even for references on that charity.

In addition, he says you can go to the Better Business Bureau's Web site for a financial report on a certain charity. A link is provided below.

The Secretary of State's office says if you want additional information to call their office at (888) 236-6167 or the secretary's Web site. A link for that is also provided below.

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