Charitable Giving and Naval / Maritime History

The end of the year, at least in the U S, is a time for people to pull together their charitable giving programs so as to maximize their charitable tax deductions.

Prompted by an article on charitable giving my wife Gina saw in USA Today, I undertook to search three charity rating agencies to find suitable candidates in the areas of maritime or medical history for my end of year gift giving.  I chose organizations that rated “better than average” by at least one of the rating agencies, meaning that they spent a respectable amount of their receipts on their actual programs, did not gouge donors with high administrative costs, and were reasonably efficient in their fund-raising costs.  This list is disappointingly small:

The Naval Historical Foundation is not listed by any of the rating agencies.  By my calculations, using criteria established by Charity Navigator, the Foundation would rank as less than average quality.  The Foundation does an outstanding job in using its revenues for program expenses, and enjoys very low administrative expenses.  Where it falls down, by my calculation, is in the Foundation’s relatively high fundraising expenses relative to fundraising receipts.

It’s a sad irony that the Navy Memorial Foundation is ranked in the bottom quarter of all charities by Charity Navigator.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Foundation for the History of Navy Medicine.  It’s a 501(c)(3) public benefit charity that supports the work of the Society for the History of Navy Medicine.  We spend one hundred percent of our revenues on our programs, we have no administrative costs, and we spend no money on fundraising.  You can’t go wrong!  On the Society site “Register” page , click on the “Donate” button near the bottom and you’ll be directed to a PayPal functionality to make payment.  You’ll be glad you did.  Thanks.

If you have a favorite maritime, historical or medical history charity for which you can vouch, please send a comment.  I’ll research it and add it to this list, if it’s worthy.

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