8 Charities That Give Over 90% of Raised Funds to Their Cause

All charities on this list pass on 90% of the money they raise to their cause and are rated high in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.

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Giving Tuesday follows two after Thanksgiving's shop 'til you drop days Black Friday and Cyber Monday that traditionally kick off the holiday gift buying season. After days of rampant consumerism, #Giving Tuesday, now in its seventh year, is a great way to start thinking about helping others.

This year, November 27 officially heralds the beginning of the charitable season and end-of-year giving. The season when your mailboxes and emails are chock full of charities requesting donations and all of the causes seem so worthy. How do you decide which ones to choose?

First, research a charity before you donate. Go to the charities website to find out what their cause is, how they function and their results. See if they are transparent and can you view their annual reports and financial statements?

Next, check out their ratings in organizations that research and rank charities. These include GuideStarCharity Navigator or BBB Wise Giving Alliance. For a charity to receive a high ranking, it must be effective at meeting its mission and have a low overhead (fundraising and administrative costs) and devote as much of its budget as possible to support programs. We picked eight international charities that ranked A+ and use at least 90 percent of their funding on their missions.

1. Direct Relief

Direct Relief (DR) is a humanitarian organization with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies. DR's assistance programs focus on emergency preparedness and disaster relief, disease prevention and treatment of the most vulnerable populations. DR is active across the US and in 80 countries. DR uses a whopping 99.4 percent of its funding for programs.

2. International Children's Fund

The mission of the International Children’s Fund (ICF) is to come to the aid of needy children worldwide since 1987. This Christian charity distributes life-saving food, clothing, and medicine and it supports the construction of orphanages, schools, churches and vocational training centers across the African continent. Practical, direct grassroots action is the main focus of ICF and the charity uses its own network to get the material and funds to the place's that need help the most. ICF uses an impressive 99.7 percent of its funding for projects.

3. Against Malaria Foundation

The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) is a UK based charity founded in 2004, that provides long-lasting insecticidal nets to malaria high-risk populations. AMF has already provided 70 million nets. This charity is not rated because it does not meet the criteria but is highly recommended for effectiveness and fiscal responsibility.

4. Amazon Conservation Association

The Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) mission is to conserve the biological diversity of the Amazon by scientifically researching ecosystems and developing innovative conservation tools to protect the region while supporting the livelihoods of the Amazon communities. ACA works by forging ties with governments and other non-profits. The charity uses 93.4 percent of its funds for programs.

5. Map International – Medicine for the World

Map distributes medicine and health supplies to children and families in 102 countries. Currently, Map is responding to recent emergencies that include areas hit by earthquakes or hurricanes, as well as helping Syrian refugees. Contributions go a long way here; a $25 donation provides $1,500 of medicine. A notable 99 percent of funding is used for aid programs.

6. Books for Africa

Books for Africa organization collects, sorts, ships and distributes books that are donated by publishers, schools, libraries, organizations, and individuals. Volunteers choose books that are age and subject appropriate. Enough books for entire classes are sent. To date, 41 million books have been distributed to once-empty libraries and rural schools in every African country. This organization, founded in 1988, also utilizes 99 percent of its funding for its mission.

7. Cure Alzheimer's

Cure Alzheimer's (CA) was established to fund targeted research that shows the highest promise of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer's disease through venture-based philanthropy. The foundation's research is focused on identifying all the genes and gene mutations that are linked to the disease. There is a list of the funded projects on the organization’s website. CA uses 92.2 percent of its funding for research.

8. Animal Welfare Institute

The mission of Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is to eliminate pain and fear inflicted on animals by people. In 2006, AWI launched their Animal Welfare Approved Program which sets high standards for animals that are raised for food by labeling products from compliant family farms. This provides consumers with humanely produced meat, eggs, and dairy products. The charity uses 91 percent of its funds for this humane mission.

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