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Research charities thoroughly before making your donations

by John W. Mitchell , Senior Correspondent
From the December 2016 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News asked Sandra Miniutti, vice president of marketing at Charity Navigator, how they compile their “Top Ten” list, five of which are health care-related and included at the end of this story. She said Charity Navigator rates the financial health, accountability and transparency of over 8,000 charities. The charities that are listed in this story are pulled from the list of 8,000. Specifically, for this list, the charities described must have a 4-star rating, a budget that exceeds $100 million and at least $65 million in net assets. These charities are household names, in part, because of their exceptional financial management, no easy feat considering the scope and size of their operations.

“Charitable givers should feel confident that the charities on this list will put their donations to good use,” said Miniutti. “And beyond this small list, donors can use our free site,, to find more charities that match their philanthropic passions and that are worthy of their trust and support.” She added that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, some charities receive half their annual donations.
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According to the National Center of Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S. Nonprofits’ share of gross domestic product amounted to just slightly more than 5 percent in 2014. The following list is not intended to be all-inclusive and these charities are presented in alphabetical order. None of these nonprofits are endorsed by HCB News. It’s up to each person to complete due diligence as outlined above.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
High-rated Charity, Consumer Reports — The mission of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is “to provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families through our member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.” AFA unites more than 2,600 member organizations from coast to coast that are dedicated to meeting the educational, social, emotional and practical needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and their caregivers and families.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
High-rated Charity, Consumer Reports— The mission of AFSP saves lives and brings hope to those affected by suicide. The group has set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate in the U.S. by 2025. The group focuses on several core strategies, including: to fund scientific research; public and professional education; legislative action; and to provide support for survivors and people at risk for suicide.
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