Sunday, October 23, 2016

What's your favorite candy?

With Halloween just around the corner, thoughts of candy come to mind. If I asked you "what is your favorite candy?" how long would it take you to answer? I quickly named five. I am definitely a Almond Joy kinda guy. But I have been know to get a paper cut or two opening Reese's Peanut Butter Cup wrappers too fast. And I won't turn down a YORK Peppermint Pattie with the cool, refreshing taste of mint dipped in smooth dark chocolate.

Now, you can probably do the same with sports teams, cars, beer, food. It is probably easy to answer these questions, because we have been asked many times. What if I asked you this: what is your favorite charity? This seems to be a harder question to answer. At least, it is for me. 

Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving. I'm a fan, and in full disclosure, I donate my time and my money to the cause. 

By guiding intelligent giving, their aim is to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s and the world’s most persistent challengesCharity Navigator was originally funded by the New York philanthropists, John and Marion Dugan, who believed that an unbiased charity evaluation tool needed to be created to help benevolent citizens make informed giving decisions. 

Charity Navigator has become the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. We've used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 8,000 of America's best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.

Charity Navigator's rating system examines two broad areas of a charity's performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Ratings show givers how efficiently a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information. 

If you eat Halloween candy that has peanuts, and if you have a peanut allergy, you could find yourself in distress. You certainly would not want your child eating candy that would cause them harm. Maybe we need a "Charity Navigator" for candy?

Which charities qualify as “America’s 50 worst”? The Center for Investigative Reporting developed a methodology to compile the list that focused on those charities that, during the past decade, reported paying professional solicitation companies to troll for donations (groups with relatively few such fundraising campaigns or receiving  most of their funding from other sources were excluded from the analysis).  It’s a pretty horrifying and disgusting list. For example, Kids Wish spends less than three cents on every dollar raised to help kids, but has paid $4.8 million to the founder of the charity and his consulting firms. They are so abominable in their approaches that they truly give a bad name to the entire nonprofit sector.

Yes. I am a fan of the technology based evaluation systems that allows Charity Navigator to intelligently guide us. We want to make sure that our money is put to good use. After all, if we make a mistake, we have no one to blame but ourselves, right?  If there was only a "Charity Navigator" to guide us with true, accurate information for other key decisions in life. 

If there was only some way to get the facts - the true facts - when voting - for a piece of candy, or for supporting a charity. Or when donating money to a political party. Or when voting for the leader of the free world.    

It turns out that ALL CANDY is bad for you. There is NO GOOD CANDY. Some candy is better than others, but some candy, has nuts. 

And the nuts can kill you. 

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