Don’t Let Hillary (or Rudy or Barack or …) Steal Your Donors
■ Charities are more efficient than candidates. A charity that spends 25 percent of its budget on administrative costs, fundraising and communications is considered about average in the nonprofit world. The rest is used for achieving its goals. Candidates, however, spend every last dime given to them on overhead, fundraising and
communications. This is the nature of political campaigns. There’s nothing left at the end.
■ Charities are more accountable. State attorneys general, watchdog groups, donors and, to some extent, the IRS, are here to scrutinize the financial practices of every charity in the country to ensure funds are spent appropriately. The speed of political campaigns precludes any serious scrutiny of how the public’s dollars are spent. All we really know is how much they raised and how much they have left. Where the rest went is anyone’s guess.
■ Charities are more effective. Nonprofit groups increasingly have stepped in to provide programs our government once sought to deliver. Because of charities, our veterans are being provided for, our coasts are being protected, hungry children are being fed, diseases are being cured and more animals are safe. Without a doubt, our country is a better place because of charities. Can we really say the same thing about our elected officials?
■ Donors already pay for the candidates through their taxes. From the presidential race down to local mayoral races, most elections are financed with large chunks of government matching funds. Taxpayers already are supporting these elections. Have we paid for a charity yet in the same manner? Not likely. Charity support is being cut nationwide from local, state and federal budgets. But even during the worst of financial crises, as after-school programs and food for the poor are being cut, matching funds for elections are safe because those who benefit from the programs, the elected officials, are the ones who vote on those budgets.