Charities are abundant in the US. It can be said that no one cause is superior to any other cause, as long as these organizations are aimed at helping and aiding a legitimate problem. These charities range from mental health aid, homelessness prevention, social services, environmental issues, cancer research, animal abuse prevention and rehabilitation, and dozens of other causes. These are all important issues, but not all charity is created equal. Some spend more than others on programs specific to their cause, and generally raise more money on an annual basis. Others do not hold reserve assets and are transparent in their basic financial disclosure, which helps charity rating sites like CharityWatch and Charity Navigator openly rate and judge these organizations favorably.
Most charities are rigorously analyzed on a number of specifics by rating organizations so that people can get an idea of which charities are doing a great job, and which ones could use some work (usually either by spending more of their total income on programs, and general fundraising). CharityWatch rates nearly 600 charities. All that an organization needs to be recognized by the company is “open-book” status, which is a basic disclosure of their financial information. Groups on their top-rated list generally spend at least 75% of their budgets on programs, and they typically spend only $25 in order to raise $100 in public support. The 10 charities listed here go above and beyond those numbers.
The following list is not biased towards specific causes, because it would be nearly impossible to choose one charity over another in terms of services. Rather, the list of Top 10 charities in the US is based on total annual fundraising and income, the percentage of expenses that is spent on programs, how much public support they receive, and how transparent their financial records are.
10 International Rescue Committee (IRC)
9 Direct Relief International
8 Catholic Relief Servies (CRS)
7 Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE)
6 Food For The Poor, Inc. (FFP)
5 The Salvation Army
4 Feeding America
3 Goodwill Industries International Inc.
2 Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)
1 The American Red Cross (ARC)
The Red Cross is possibly the most famed or well-known humanitarian organization in America. They provide emergency aid, disaster relief, and education inside the US. They are technologically relevant, allowing people to send money via text or phone whenever a natural disaster occurs in the country. Besides disaster relief, they offer services in five other areas: community services to help the needy, services and comforts for military members and their families, processing of blood and blood products, educational programs on health and safety, and international relief and development. They were founded in 1881, and 92% of their annual $3.5 billion income is spent towards in-country relief. They provide much-needed assistance, are transparent in their budget, fundraise and spend a huge amount towards relief annually, and for those reasons they are our #1 pick for top charity in the country.
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