LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – As the holiday season nears, many people will be digging into their pockets and giving to charities like the Salvation Army. But while the Salvation Army is a well recognized charity – others aren’t.
Deloris Kittle sometimes wonders, “What percentage is being kept where I’m donating to or if they’re seeing any of it. A lot of times it’s just going to CEO’s.”
Or too much is going to other overhead costs, according to State Representative Tony DeLuca. That’s why he recently introduced legislation that would deter charities from spending more than 40 percent of its income on administration and fund-raising
“It’s amazing when you start seeing some of the money that is being wasted,” said DeLuca.
DeLuca’s bill would strip a charity of its sales tax exemption status if it’s overhead is too high. Many charities, like the United Way of Wyoming Valley – which says it spends about *13* percent on overhead – like the idea.
“No nonprofit has zero overhead. At some point, if it’s excessive, the services that should be happening in the community aren’t,” said Bill Jones, the president and CEO of the United Way of Wyoming Valley.
While some see DeLuca’s bill as necessary step to protect donors, others worry about the potential trickledown effect. The Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations tells Eyewitness News, “If nonprofits in Pennsylvania lose their sales tax exemption, they would have fewer resources to dedicate to their mission…And the highly qualified, dedicated employees providing these services would also be at risk of losing their jobs.”
To see how charities rank in terms of accountability and financial health, check out these sites: