Philanthropy and Charities

  1. I have learned many different ways of evaluating companies including qualitative and quantitative methods. From analyzing tax forms to look at income as well as expenditures to see the flow of cash within the company, to interviewing with members of the organization, I have learned how to objectively and subjectively look at a company’s values, financials, and workforce. While tax forms show how efficiently a company runs, including how much money they spend to raise more capital for themselves, interviews reflect the mindset and future planning of the company in it’s management and it’s workforce. Although interviews can give insight into the workings of a company financially the tax forms reveal exactly how much money an organization has and how efficiently they spend it.
  2. The saying that numbers don’t lie is not only true but very prevalent when looking at organizations to donate to. They reveal the inner-workings of the group such as the amount spent on management and company expenditures compared to the money spent on fundraising compared to the money spent on the goals and actions of the company. This information, such as a form 990, is extremely important when going through with an investment as one should know that their money is being spent properly and not being wasted on an employee’s bonus check or a hotel rather than helping those that need help.
  3. Research is very important when it comes to giving away money. Research shows just which companies are good investments versus bad investments. On top of financials you also need to look at the companies vision and beliefs to make sure that their values truly line up with yours so that your money goes to the problems that you want to see fixed. This project has changed how I look at charities and philanthropy. Main Street Philanthropy has shown me the intricacies of actually researching and looking into charitable organizations to determine the one that will use the money I donate to its best potential and to make the biggest difference. It has also shown the amount of false charities and scams that exist and even the charities that truly help people but are simply ineffective or inefficient in the work they do.
  4. The two organizations I chose were St. Jude’s Research Hospital and Scripps Health. St. Jude’s Research Hospital aims to provide research for diseases and new medication. They also aim to give cost free service to children and others who need medical care but cannot come up with the money to cover the expensive treatments often necessary for many diseases and disorders. Scripps Health follows similar goals providing funding for research and improving their medical care. They aim to bring the best techniques, equipment and staff to each of their hospitals to provide the best service with easily funded payment plans and reduced costs for those who need even the most costly of treatments.
  5. The final Charity my group and I decided to give money to was the Salk Institute of Biological Studies. They were very efficient in their use of money using very little on management and spending very little compared to the amount of money they take in. The major factor that put Salk Institute over the other was their very long endurance even with little to no revenue. They have enough capital to last well over a year giving way for them to be very reliable even when faced with months of low donations or even losing all revenue together.
  6. I hope our donation goes towards new breakthroughs in medicine to help improve the lives of millions across the globe with new innovative life saving techniques. While research is expensive and unless your donation is exceptionally large, no one person can expect to single-handedly make a massive impact towards a new breakthrough. Despite this I want to continue to give fiscal backing as well as volunteer where I can to help further their goals and help make the world a healthier place.