Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (2023)

    RD.COM New Year's

    Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (1)Lindsay TigarUpdated: Nov. 30, 2022

      As the holiday season and new year approaches, you may feel inspired to donate to a special cause close to your hearts. But when you give your hard-earned money, you want to know your contribution will actually reach those in need. Luckily, charities are required to be open about their financials, and it's easy to determine which allow your donation to go the furthest.


      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (2)

      Know before you give

      About 20 percent of charitable donations are made in December, which makes sense when you consider that folks are in the giving state of mind and likely want to take advantage of any possible tax deductions before the year ends. But before you open your wallet, it’s important to research your charity to check how much of your donation actually goes to help others versus covering administrative or other costs. Here are some of the charities where your donations go the furthest. Rather donate time than cash? Consider these creative ways to volunteer and make a difference.


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      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (3)JALIL REZAYEE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

      The World Vision

      This Christian organization spreads the message of Jesus and contributes funds and aid to families around the world. According to their website, they currently help more than 3.5 million children in 100 countries. These efforts include tsunami relief, medical care, and other necessities. If you feel inspired by their practices and align with their beliefs, you’ll be happy to know that 86 percent of their total operating expenses go toward programs that benefit children, families, and communities. They also make some beautiful gifts that give back.


      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (4)Sunday Alamba/AP/Shutterstock

      Doctors Without Borders

      Since 1971, Doctors Without Borders has helped those in critical need around the world. By bringing medical professionals to areas of conflict or parts of the globe where infectious diseases run rampant, they’ve not only helped to improve the quality of life for tens of millions of people, but they’ve also saved countless communities. If you aren’t a doctor, you can still help this organization by donating money to their efforts. This money is used 88 percent for programs, 11 percent for fundraising and only 1 percent for management. Here are 15 ways you can help after a natural disaster.


      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (5)AP/Shutterstock

      The Nature Conservancy

      Though industrialization creates jobs and feeds demand, it also kills precious ecosystems the planet needs to thrive. Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has worked tirelessly to be the figurative bodyguard for planet Earth. While the charity is based in Arlington, Virginia, they’ve successfully protected 119 million acres of land and thousand-upon-thousands of miles of rives globally. If you are Team Mother Earth, consider giving to this charity, since 96 percent of your donation goes toward their mission.


      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (6)Esteban Felix/AP/Shutterstock

      Helen Keller International

      You probably recall the amazing, heroic story of Helen Keller, who while blind and deaf, wrote timeless classics and became the very first blind-deaf person to earn a bachelor’s degree. Named in her honor, the Helen Keller International charity is working to improve the quality of life and the prevalence of malnutrition and blindness. This includes programs and research connected to all areas of health, nutrition, and vision. If this is a cause you cherish, consider donating, especially since 85¢ of every dollar goes straight to fund their work. Don’t miss these powerful ways you can give back without breaking the bank.

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      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (7)Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

      American Humane

      When you’re watching a TV show or a movie, do you ever notice the ‘No animals were harmed’ message? The reason furry friends are protected from mistreatment is thanks to the American Humane, a 100-year company that fights tirelessly for the safety of animals. In addition to their work in Hollywood, they also work to provide animal welfare conservation programs for farms, and rescue missions across the country. They were also named the highest-rated charity by Consumer Reports this year, with 91 cents of every dollar going directly to four-legged (and two-legged and no-legged) animal buddies. You can also help by donating one of these 18 things animal shelters desperately need right now to a local shelter.


      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (8)AFF-USA/Shutterstock

      Breast Cancer Research Foundation

      As its the most common cancer in American women, many groups are working to determine a cure for breast cancer. But the Breast Cancer Research Foundation—BCF for short—is the only one to have an “A” rating from They also have the GuideStar USA’S Gold Seal of Transparency, since they are open and candid about their strategies, goals, capabilities, achievements, and progress. This recognition is only given to the top 0.5 percent in this 1.8 million IRS-recognized organizations. When you contribute, 96 percent of donations go to programs and fundraising. Find out what oncologists wish people knew about breast cancer.


      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (9)Nati Harnik/AP/Shutterstock

      Girls Inc.

      If you want to fundamentally change the next generation of women, your donation is well spent with Girls Inc. This nonprofit organization works in 350 cities across the country and Canada, to provide mentoring and support for girls aged 6 to 18. When these young women are part of the program, they do better in schoolwork, are more likely to attend (and graduate!) from college, and engage less in risky behaviors. For every dollar donated, 87¢ goes toward helping the girls, with only 2 percent toward management expenses. Find out the 10 things parents of girls wish they had known sooner.

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      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (10)Diane Bondareff/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

      Gary Sinise Foundation

      If you have a veteran or first-responder in your life, you know how much of themselves they give to the job—and that they aren’t always supported in the way these brave men and women deserve. That’s where the Gary Sinise Foundation steps in to offer programs to these special humans to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities. For every dollar you donate to this important nonprofit, 91.12 percent is directly given to these programs. They also received the highest rating from Charity Navigator, by following excellent best practices in governance.


      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (11)Neal Ulevich/AP/Shutterstock

      Catholic Relief Services

      For decades, Catholic Relief Services, CRS, has worked to improve the quality of life for millions worldwide. As an active and efficient humanitarian aid organization, they send doctors and volunteers to dangerous, difficult parts of the world to battle emergencies, diseases, and other vital situations. Of all of the donations that are given, 93 percent goes directly to their efforts. They also met all of the 20 charity standards outlined by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, giving them an “A” rating. Find out 35 simple acts of kindness that take two minutes or less.


      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (12)AP/Shutterstock

      Ronald McDonald House

      With 366 locations around the world, this nonprofit organization provides support and assistance to sick children. Whether it’s a safe place for parents to stay while their babies receive necessary treatment, or educational workshops to cheer up the darkest of spirits, the Ronald McDonald House never gives up on any child or family. And they put that money where it belongs, with 87 percent going directly to their work. If you’re on a budget, these random acts of kindness don’t cost a cent.

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      Originally Published: November 06, 2019

      Charities Where Your Donation Goes the Farthest (13)

      Lindsay Tigar

      Lindsay Aurora Tigar is an experienced digital editor and blogger in NYC. Her blog, Confessions of a Love Addict, has a large following around the world, thousands of subscribers and hundreds of thousands of unique visitors a year. A book project based on her blog is under development and represented by theJames Fitzgerald Agency.The New York Post named her New York City's most eligible single in January 2014. She was also selected as one of New York's most desirable singles by the lifestyle dating website, Rachel & Chris, and has partnered with several popular dating blogs to create viral content. She is part of the HerCampus Blogger Network and spoke at their summer conference in New York on "How to Be a Powerhouse Blogger." She's a social media and digital media guru with big followings on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.She freelances for several sites, including,,, Engagement 101 and more. She's also the resident dater forWomen', writing weekly about her dating adventures in her 'Dater Diary' column.


      Which charities give the most money to the cause? ›

      Charity NamePercentage of funds that go directly to the cause, versus administrative or fundraising costs
      Feeding America's Hungry Children99.10%
      Caring Voice Coalition99.00%
      Foster Care to Success99.00%
      15 more rows
      Dec 28, 2017

      What is the number 1 charity in the world? ›

      Wealthiest foundations by endowment value
      RankOrganisationEndowment in USD
      1Novo Nordisk Foundation$93.7 billion
      2Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation$53.3 billion
      3Wellcome Trust$40.2 billion
      4Stichting INGKA Foundation$38.8 billion
      41 more rows

      What percentage of donations go to No Kid Hungry? ›

      In our 2021 fiscal year, our total expenses were $136 million. We spent 83% of that on programmatic work.

      How much of St Jude's goes to charity? ›

      We're proud that 82 cents of every dollar received goes to support the treatment, research and future needs of St. Jude. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% in the U.S., and we won't stop until no child dies from cancer.

      Is St Jude's a good charity to donate to? ›

      Jude charity rating and review. According to Charity Navigator — an organization that evaluates nonprofits based on transparency, financial health and accountability — ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has a four-out-of-four star rating for our Overall Score and Rating.

      Is Wounded Warriors a good charity? ›

      Rating Information

      This charity's score is 88%, earning it a Three-Star rating. If this organization aligns with your passions and values, you can give with confidence. This overall score is calculated from multiple beacon scores: 90% Accountability & Finance, 10% Leadership & Adaptability.

      What organizations should I not donate to? ›

      10 Worst Charities to Donate To in 2023 (Avoid Them at any cost)
      • Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
      • Cancer Fund of America.
      • Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth.
      • Committee for Missing Children.
      • Complex Minds UK.
      • Diamond Jym Ranch Inc.
      • A Place to Call Home.
      • The Disabled Veterans National Foundation.
      Aug 21, 2022

      What charity has the highest administrative cost? ›

      Charities With the Highest Admin Costs
      • Tucson Audubon Society. ...
      • New Hampshire Audubon. ...
      • Gospel to the Unreached Millions (GUM) ...
      • American Psychiatric Foundation. ...
      • Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MHCDO) ...
      • Please Touch Museum. ...
      • American Friends of the Open University of Israel (AFOUI) ...
      • Peter G.
      Jun 1, 2010

      What company gives 10% of annual profits to charity? ›

      innocent is founded and pledges to give 10% of profits to charity. Believing business should be a force for good, the founders made a commitment to always give at least 10% of profits to charity each year.

      Who donates the most money to nonprofits in the US? ›

      Giving by the fifty biggest donors in the United States totaled $24.7 billion in 2020, with Jeff Bezos topping the list, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.


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