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ENGL 305 Payne: Charities & Country data

Charity Fraud Article

Check Them Out 

"The swindle: One very common hustle is the name game.  For example, a very well known and respected group is the Make a Wish Foundation. This organization spends the vast majority of its donations on children. Kids Wish Network, however, spends only 3 cents of every dollar collected on kids. But their website and solicitations are designed to look and sound like Make a Wish. In fact, they count on the confusion to gather contributions."

"Before you make a contribution to any organization it is wise to know who they are and what they do. No legitimate fundraising effort is so urgent that if you do not make your contribution right at that moment someone will suffer. A day or two or even a week is not going to make a difference. So take the time to research.

There are a number of websites where you can check the status of a nonprofit. It only takes minutes but allows you to feel better about your donation. requires that you sign up for a free account in order to receive very detailed reports on organizations. provides a limited amount of information without a free membership. More detailed information is available to members. The Better Business Bureau has been around for decades. They provide free information that is easily digestible at a glance.

The bottom line for charitable giving is to trust your instinct. If a solicitation sounds too smooth or vague, be suspicious. Think of charitable giving in the same terms as international diplomacy, Trust but Verify."


Best and Worst Charities for Your Donations - Consumer Reports


Country background data and info

CIA World Fact Book - Basic background information including government, economy and transnational issues.

United Nations - simply search their website for "developing countries."

World Bank - With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

US Department of State: Background Notes - Include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations.

Maintained by Michigan State University, provides history, culture, economy, and more including a very cool country comparator tool.