I got a call one weekend morning not long ago. Some woman asked me if I wanted to donate to the Kids Wish Network. "No" I said, "and please don't call me in the morning, or at home, or...ever." Then I mentioned that I was on the do not call list. This provoked a small tirade about how they were exempt, being a charity and all, and she couldn't believe I wouldn't want to support granting wishes to dying kids.
Well, it turns out, I don't. And neither (hardly) does the Kid's wish network. With a little digging and some help from Charity Navigator and the Kids Wish Network 2008 IRS form 990, here's what you get:
They use this kid to con you into lining their pockets!
Here's the reality:
Total expenditures $16,895,430
Fund raising costs $12,490,985
Program expenses for children $2,294,167
Other expenses $2,110,278
The three top people are all related: a husband named Mark Breiner earns nearly $160,00) just in salary plus big benefits. His wife Shelley earns nearly $115,000 a year plus benefits, and it appears (though I can't confirm) that his mother in law (or another relative) draws almost $90,000.00.
In other words, this "charity" gives about 10 cents on the dollar to "charity" while using the bulk of their 15 million dollars to enrich a single family, and keep the scam going though aggressive fundraising.
So, if you are thinking about giving to the "Kids Wish Network" Don't. Just pass out a few bucks to homeless guys on the street. At least you know who the direct beneficiary of that charity is.