American Foundation for Disabled Children

Listed #21 on

THE WORST CHARITIES, RANKED BY MONEY BLOWN ON SOLICITING COSTS

The article goes on to say:

For American Foundation for Disabled Children, 2011 was a typical year.

It raised $2.1 million by promising to send disabled and homeless kids to camp. But after paying professional fundraisers their cut, the charity wound up with about $250,000, barely enough to pay its own expenses and the part-time treasurer’s $48,000 salary. Sick children paid the price.

With little money left, the charity did not spend a single dime on children, according to its own 2011 tax filings with the IRS. Instead of cash, the charity reported handing out $1 million worth of donated goods.

It has been the same story at American Foundation for Disabled Children, year after year. Started in 1991, it routinely keeps less than 20 percent of the donations raised in its name. Over the past decade it has raised $16.4 million, paid its fundraisers $13.4 million and given children less than 1 percent of total donations, aTimes/CIR analysis of IRS records shows.

Instead of cash assistance, children get donated items. Photos on the charity’s website show children playing with toys. But there is no way to verify the value of what was handed out. The charity’s financial reports do not describe the goods or say who received them.

The charity’s website also describes gardening therapy and sailing programs, as well as camp scholarships. None of these expenses are reflected on the group’s IRS filings, however. John Cryan, the treasure and only paid executive, did not respond to emails, telephone calls or a certified letter seeking more information.

Last year, the group settled a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by a California charity that claimed American Foundation for Disabled Children solicited using its name. As part of the settlement, the foundation returned about $3,300 in donations raised in California.