Is an effective charity?

I was surfing the web and came across a website I had heard of but never visited before.

The webpage certainly looks very professional, but I admit to being skeptical. Is this (and related sites) an effective / reputable method of helping the needy? Anybody no how much money a site like this one makes and what percentage of that money actually goes to the hungry?

On a related note, I know that some charitable organizations such as this one don’t do that much to actually help the needy. Are their any good websites that track which charities are the most effective? (ie, “in organization X 50% of the money donated is spent on 'administration costs”, etc)

      • Skepticism is a good thing-- Reason magazine did a short story on this once, some charities kept as much as 85% of the money they collected for “administrative costs”. Others essentially “levereged” their funds by hiring lobbyists, who go to congress, and beg for more money, and usually get it. It seems like there was a website that reviewed this stuff, but I forget, it was so long ago. Most of the big-name charities were somewhere in the middle, with a few little ethnic ones that were soakers: “Jewish something or other for the Enrichment of Us”, “Black American Dignity for Our Fat Wallets”, -outfits that I’d never heard of, were near 90%. The Christian Children’s Fund was one of the lowest-cost charities, only a few percent was used for administrative costs-- the rest actually did buy supplies for needy recipients.
  • As for Campbells, I work at a grocery store (not a lot, but still) and the store does return damaged products to the warehouse in St Louis, where -we were told- the usable food gets distributed to food shelters. Funny thing is, the food vendors don’t pay for damaged returns: the store does. So Campbell’s apparently didn’t donate anything.
 -Probably the best way to evaluate charities is to phone up the nearest shelter and ask them what outfits they've ever gotten donations of anything useful from.
 -Or you could just donate money straight to the nearest shelter.

Their FAQ

answers some financial questions.

Are you considering donating money to them, or just clicking and viewing the ads to contribute? If you’re just viewing the ads, does it matter how much goes to administrative costs versus food?