You get them on your answering machine and in your mail box every day: robo calls, telemarketers and mailings – all asking for donations to worthy causes.

    Our society is blessed with millions of people who generously support a wide variety of causes across the country. But what if your donation is not benefiting the charity as much as you think it does?

    It is an unfortunate truth that donors are sometimes taken advantage of by organizations that take more money for themselves than they give to the charities they claim to support.

    I experienced this last year as a member of the Make-A-Wish of Connecticut board of directors. Based on my knowledge of the car donation business, I knew that Connecticut Make-A-Wish should have been getting a much higher percentage of car-donation proceeds than it was getting from the car donation company MAW was doing business with.

    That company -- which was one of the country's biggest vehicle-donation groups -- was giving only 18 percent to 22 percent of the money they were raising to charitable causes, a percentage that later caused the Hartford Courant to call the organization “dubious.”

    The Courant reported that donors to the company were led to believe their donations were helping Make-A-Wish. But the bulk of the donations were actually being kept by two for-profit companies owned by the car donation company’s founders.

    And because charity donation companies are essentially unregulated, what they were doing is unfortunately legal in most states.

    Several months before the Courant story, Make-A-Wish of Connecticut stopped doing business with them, and I formed a new nonprofit called Donate Cars 4 Wishes ( and guaranteed that at least 70 percent of the net proceeds from our sales of donated cars would go directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut.

    We created this new model because we recognize that we have a responsibility not only to the charities we support, but also to those who make donations -- to make sure that as much of their pledges as possible will go to the charity they designate.

    It is therefore critical for donors to ask -- before making a donation -- how much of the donation will go where it is intended, and how much will wind up in the pockets of the organizers?

    One important factor in deciding to make a donation should be: is the money being used wisely and efficiently? The best way to find out is to comparison shop for charities the way you would for anything else you are spending your money on.

    There are several websites, including and that provide information on thousands of organizations and the percentages they return to their charities. People considering making a donation would do well to see how their charity stacks up.  After all, whether you are purchasing goods or services or supporting a charity, you should get what you pay for!

    Denton Gates is the CEO of Donate Cars 4 Wishes, a statewide nonprofit organization headquartered in Glastonbury. At least 70 percent of all net proceeds support Make A Wish of Connecticut.

    How much of DEC donations actually go to charity?
    The DEC itself spends less than 10% on fundraising and running costs (7.3% on average over the past five years) and all charity partners are committed to using no more than 7% of the funds they receive on any work within the UK to support their response to a disaster. more
    Is Dec 13 a holiday?
    December 13 also marks National Horse Day, National Ice Cream Day, National Violin Day, and U.S. National Guard's Birthday. more
    Is 27 Dec a public holiday?
    The Public Holidays Act (Act No 36 of 1994) determines that whenever any public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following on it shall be a public holiday. This means that 22 March 2021 and 27 December 2021 are additional public holidays in terms of the Act. more
    Is Dec 31 a holiday?
    December 31 is not a federal holiday, but it does fall in the holiday season at the end of the year. It is a holiday in some states like Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Most schools and other educational institutions throughout the United States are closed. more
    Is Dec 31 A triple pay?
    Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) and Dec. 31 (New Year's Eve), on the other hand, have been declared as Special Working Days. There will be no premium pay required since work performed on said days is considered work on an ordinary working day. more
    What is DEC doing in Afghanistan?
    DEC charities are in Afghanistan providing life-saving aid but need your help: £30 could provide treatment to three children suffering from malnutrition for three weeks. £50 could provide blankets for 10 people. £100 could provide emergency food to a family for three months. more
    Who was born on Dec 15?
    More celebrities with birthdays today Drummer Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge is 75. Actor Melanie Chartoff (“Rugrats,” ″Parker Lewis Can't Lose”) is 71. Director Julie Taymor (Broadway's “The Lion King”) is 69. Actor Justin Ross (“A Chorus Line”) is 67. more
    Is Dec 8 a paid holiday?
    8 DECEMBER, SPECIAL NON-WORKING DAY If workers did not work on 8 December, then the “NO WORK, NO PAY” principle would apply unless there is a favorable company policy, practice or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment on that day even if unworked. more
    How is DEC helping Ukraine?
    DEC funds are ensuring refugees in Romania receive cash vouchers that allow them to buy food and other essentials, according to their specific needs. Saleh Saeed, Chief Executive of the DEC, visited some of families being supported by DEC charities in Bucharest, thanks to donations to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. more
    How do I give DEC?
    The best way to donate to a DEC appeal is by Donating online. This is the fastest and safest method and will allow funds to be received by the DEC straight away. There are also lots of other ways to donate including: Phone - 01204 770822. more
    What color is DEC?
    December Birthstone: Blue Topaz. December Birthstone Color is Blue. The traditional December birthstone is the Blue Zircon, but there are various alternatives that are considered representative of December including turquoise, blue topaz and tanzanite. more


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