State's 'Scrooges and Angels List' 2012

Nearly two dozen charitable organizations called out, good and bad

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By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- The first thing Secretary of State Mark Hammond, who spearheads the state's watchdog agency for charitable giving, wants you to do is "give smart" when donating to charitable organizations. As you are about to see, not every group does what it says it will do with your money.

For the 17th straight year, nearly a dozen non-profit organizations are being called on the carpet for misappropriating your donations.

Here's a closer look at them:

American Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., Baltimore MD 37.5%
Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc., Madeira Beach, FL 11.8%
Firefighters Support Services, Inc. Wyandotte, MI 21%
Fraternal Order of Police Tri-Co. Lodge #3, Hanahan, SC 4.1%
Fraternal Order of Police York Co. Lodge #15, Rock Hill, SC 9.2%
Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, Inc., Annandale, VA 36%
Missional Advancement Project, Inc., Aiken, SC 6.4%
Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth, Everett, WA 9.9%
United States Deputy Sheriffs' Association, Inc., Ashburn, VA 14.8%
Veterans Support Foundation, Silver Spring, MD 24.6%

The secretary of state's office, identified these ten organizations as "Scrooges" for 2012. One of them brought in $88,000, but spent only $2,800 on its Christmas program to assist needy families.
Another spent three times as much on fundraiser than it did on its program services. Yet another group's charitable purpose decreased by 66%, while its director's pay increased by 294%.

All of the charities are registered to solicit money from South Carolinians.

"We're a small state with a big heart, but we can't let individuals take advantage of that generosity," said Secretary of State Mark Hammond.

And now to the "Angels" for 2012. Take a look:

America's VetDogs - the Veterans' K-9 Corps, Inc., Smithtown, NY 80.2%
Deep Well Project, Hilton head, SC 91.6%
Early Learning Partnership of York County, Rock Hill, SC 81.4%
East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO), Mount Pleasant, SC 85.4%
Habitat for Humanity of North Augusta, North Augusta, SC 96.7%
Human Society of McCormick County, McCormick, SC 95.1%
Nurturing Center, Inc., Columbia, SC 83%
Rosa Clark Medical Clinic Association, Inc., Orangeburg, SC 84.3%
South Carolina Hunters and Landowners for the Hungry, Spartanburg, SC 91.2%

These groups have devoted 80-percent or more of total expenditures to charitable programs, received minimal grant funding and made good use of volunteers.

Three things Mark Hammond urges consumers to do before giving to a charity is do your homework, research the organizations and designate your contributions to make sure the money is going specifically where you want it to go. For more information call Secretary of State's Office at 1-888-242-7484 or log on to www.sos.sc.gov.

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