COLUMBIA — S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammond has released his annual “Scrooges and Angels” list of which charities in the state give the most toward their goals.
Angels and Scrooges
The 10 groups recognized, with the percentage of their expenditures that went toward programs, as exemplifying charitable giving:
Fort Mill Care Center Inc., Fort Mill 97.6%
Camp Pee Dee Pride, Florence 96.6%
Debi’s Kids Inc., Charleston 90.3%
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Parris Island 88.3%
Hitchcock Woods Foundation, Aiken 88.2%
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia Inc., Columbia 85.6%
Southeastern Guide Dogs Inc., Palmetto, Fla. 84.6%
Healthy Smiles of Spartanburg Inc., Spartanburg 83.1%
Tamassee DAR School Inc., Tamassee 81.8%
Second Helpings, Hilton Head Island 80.2%
The 10 organizations designated as this year’s Scrooges, with the percentage of expenditures used for programs:
Law Enforcement Officers Relief Fund, Sarasota, Fla. 0.9%
Louis D. Simmons American Legion Post 215, Inc., Columbia 3.2%
Firefighters Charitable Foundation, Inc., Farmingdale, N.Y. 7.0%
Gaffney Elks Lodge BPOE #1305, Gaffney 11.9%
Army Historical Foundation Inc., Alexandria, Va. 16.4%
International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO, Sarasota, Fla. 16.8%
Breast Cancer Survivors Foundation Inc., Aventura, Fla. 19.3%
Feed Our Veterans, New Hartford, N.Y. 25.6%
Roger Wyburn-Mason & Jack M. Blount Foundation for the Eradication of
Rheumatoid Disease, Fairview, Tenn. 34.7%
Walker Cancer Research Institute, Inc., Aberdeen, Md. 32.4%
Source: S.C. Secretary of State
Hammond names as “angels” those charities that use at least 80 percent of their donations for their charitable purpose, use volunteers and do not rely heavily on government grants or outside money.
On Wednesday, Hammond said the charity that spent the highest percentage of its money on program efforts was Fort Mill Care Center Inc., at nearly 98 percent.
Debi’s Kids of Charleston made the list for spending 90 percent of its money on programs.
The nonprofit was begun by WCSC-TV anchor Debi Chard to help poor families provide new toys to their young children over the holidays. Debi’s Kids collects unopened toys at collection bins in the area.
Hammond also annually alerts residents to charities whose financial reports show they spend little on their stated purpose and a lot on professional solicitors. The organization with the lowest expenditure was the Sarasota, Fla.-based Law Enforcement Officers Relief Fund, at just under 1 percent.
“As Secretary of State, I have the duty of enforcing the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, and of protecting the public against ‘Scrooge’ organizations that contribute small amounts of money to their charitable purpose,” Hammond said in a news release. “South Carolinians continue to be among the most generous people in the nation; however, we must guard against those who want take advantage of our generosity. I ask you to research charitable organizations before you give to make sure high percentages are going to the organization’s program services.”
To research charity groups, go to www.sos.sc.gov or call the Division of Public Charities at 1-888-CHARITI (242-7484).