(NewsNation) — At a time when active-duty service members and their families are 40 percent more likely to lose money to scams and fraud than the civilian population, one charity advisory board executive is sharing some metrics on what separates the good organizations from the bad.
“In 2021, nearly $1 billion (was) given to charities we would rate in the lower category,” Pete Metzger said during Monday’s edition of “On Balance with Leland Vittert.” “And only one-third of that — $330 million — was given to charities that we would rate as acceptable,” he continued.
Metzger, a retired Marine colonel, is chairman of the advisory board for Charities for Vets, which grades charities.
While on the show, he revealed how he grades charities, which was similar to what can be found on websites such as Charity Navigator — a site that touts itself as the world’s largest and most trusted nonprofit evaluator.
According to the site, people donate more than $2.5 billion annually to the 40,000 or so American charities with military-related missions. Unfortunately, scammers using robocalls, spam emails, suspicious text and instant messages try to take these funds before they can get to the veterans who need them.
With Memorial Day around the corner, Metzger shared three things to look for in any charity before donating:
1. 25% cap on donation spending for expenses
“Only 25% of the donations or less can be used for overhead,” Metzger said.
2. Three-year max hold on annual budget in reserve
“No more than three years of the annual budget can be held in reserve,” Metzger said. “We see no reason why donations should be held in reserve,” he continued.
3. 75% of donations should go to specific veterans programs
“We believe the donor class should be educated that 75% of the hard-earned dollars they donate should go to specific veterans programs. It’s a very simple number; 75% is what we think (is) a good number.”