Here is a list of organizations that monitor and rate non-profit and charitable organizations. Not all charities are good stewards of your money, even if they meet the federal requirements. Please take a few moments to do some research and make sure that your money really is going to a good cause. Beware of organizations that have high fundraising costs, spend only a small portion of their funds on the actual cause or pay their executives large salaries. Even some organizations with good reputations pay their executives salaries that many would consider too much or even obscene.

For example, according to the Council of Better Business Bureau, Inc. (, the base salary of the president of the American Red Cross, Marsha Johnson Evans, who began her position on August 5, 2002, has a base salary of $450,000 annually. The following is also noted by, "During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2002, Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former American Red Cross CEO, had a total compensation of $1,921,913. This compensation amount includes $352,283 for the six-month period ended 12/31/01, her last day in the position, plus $1,569,630 for severance." We would rather donate our money to an organization that pays their employees a modest salary more in-line with their stated humanitarian or educational mission.