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Requesting input: Charities

October 11th, 2009

I believe in financial responsibility in several ways, one of which is giving funds to endeavors that benefit others.  One area I evaluate my giving as being poorer than I want it to be is international giving.  Someone mentioned World Vision as an international agency and, after checking it on Charity Navigator (Philanthropy.com’s article about CN’s evaluation methods), I can understand the concern some folks have about the salary of World Vision’s president.  There are valid evaluations and arguments for either viewpoint (he should/should not earn that salary working for a non-profit/NGO) but regardless of those comments I’m still considering whether to utilize that agency as a method to give internationally. 

For these funds I’m not applying a criterion of faith/world view of the agency or its directorship.  Any agency that directly brings the life of an individual, family or community up to a basic level of health, education and opportunity is an option but I do want to understand their expense structure and World Vision’s 86% passthrough to the individual/community is a high mark.  I’m also looking into Oxfam International but I don’t have their expense and efficiency yet.


  • Agency must act internationally
  • A high percentage of funds should reach the individual/family/community
  • I prefer a low expense for leadership and staff (not just a low percentage but officers making less than a quarter of a million dollars USD is preferential)
  • Review of individual(s)/family/community affected and what’s being done with photos or video of the people and the changes


If you have ideas, agencies for me to check out or metrics by which I can evaluate an agency, please e-mail me with that information.

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