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Re: [ujeni] Charities and Admin

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  • John Patten
    Hi Don, Thanks for those very good sites, with the extensive lists of actors. I could not get the compare button to open though when I was trying to see what
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 2, 2005
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      Hi Don,

      Thanks for those very good sites, with the extensive
      lists of actors. I could not get the compare button to
      open though when I was trying to see what they claim
      on percent of money going to the needy.

      I wanted to add a coment here, as the Director of my
      humanitarian program in Boston used to be the director
      of Oxfam International and worked for Catholic Relief
      Services and World Vision. (Incidentally, the US based
      NGOs that have IRS tax exemption could not be listed
      on the website as they could not evaluate their

      There was a claim once at CRS that they give 90% of
      donated money directly to the needy. Please be wary of
      these claims as it's a little accounting slight of
      hand. Our former Director that worked with this said
      it is sheer illusion to get it that high as, for
      better or worse, those admin costs will always be
      there and generally run about 20% minimum, up to
      around 30% more realistically. There may be small
      organizations that can get around this, but for the
      larger players this will be the case. Logistics,
      salaries, transport, etc. eat up a lot of money and if
      they were honest about it and we accepted it was part
      of the cost then they could at least evaluate where
      savings could be had.

      Usually though in such dramatic emergency situations
      the need for immediacy leads to procurring supplies
      and transport on an ad hoc basis, which has higher
      costs. This should not keep us from donating, but I
      hope the evaluation sites will give a realistic and
      balanced picture so there is not the push for NGOs to
      get more of the money by declaring, "we're at 89%,"
      etc. I did notice some of the agencies that got four
      stars have terrible reputations in various contexts
      among the humanitarian actors, especially among local

      UNOPS (dang why can't I write three sentence emails)
      is my contractor for projects in Kandahar and they are
      running about 40% admin costs including there salaries
      and vacations every six weeks. Back home this kind of
      engineering runs about 7%. They're driving me nuts.

      From the news reports, despite lessons learned going
      back before Ethiopia 86, supplies are still piling up
      on tarmacs, not getting to the people that need it,
      etc. I'll let someone else take over the discussion
      now, but thanks.


      --- Don & Cathy Weber <weber@...> wrote:

      > If any of you are still looking, the first site is
      > from the Better Business Bureau and a charities
      > evaluation alliance. There is a list of recommended
      > charities for Tsunami relief.
      > The second is a site for international NGOs involved
      > in relief and if you click on the charities name you
      > can get a reading on percentages of dollars that go
      > to direct relief and percentages spent on
      > administration etc.
      > http://www.give.org/news/tsunami.asp

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