Who deserves my dollars? - by Warren Eckstein
Among the hundreds of letters I receive each week, there are always several from animal-lovers requesting my advice with regard to what organizations I would recommend they donate money to. Sometimes the writers are preparing their wills, other times the writers have questions as to whether the organizations they are currently donating to are really worthy of their hard-earned money.
As a rule, I seldom recommend specific organizations - it's your money and the ultimate decision must be yours. I can, however, provide several guidelines to make the decision-making process easier.
1) When considering making a donation to an animal shelter, I personally prefer ones with a "no kill" policy. These organizations do not euthanize their animals if not adopted within a specific time period. Such shelters only resort to euthanasia if the rescued animal is suffering due to a hopeless physical condition.
2) Any shelter that you are considering should permit you to visit their premises. You should be able to see first-hand the facilities and care they are providing. If they refuse your request, remove them from your list of consideration.
3) Request a copy of the organization's current financial report. If they refuse to provide you with a break-down, consider another organization. Any organization worth its salt will have nothing to hide and will provide you with this information. Once you've received such a report, review it. How are their funds being utilized? Is the majority of their money going towards the actual care of the animals or to administrative costs (i.e. salaries and advertising)?
4) If the tax deductability of your contribution is important to you, the organization must be recognized by the IRS as a non-profit organization. Such organizations are required to file with the federal government. Ask them to provide you with proof of their non-profit status.
5) Don't let slick promotional brochures be your only criterion for selecting an organization. Many small "mom and pop" organizations simply do not have the time, money nor manpower to produce fancy brochures - they're too busy using their limited resources for doing the actual rescue work and caring for the animals.
And here is a link to Guide Star the National Database of Nonprofit Organizations
where you may check out financial records and mission statements of any organization to which you may be considering making a donation.Apply the guidelines listed above and you may just find the organization worthy of your support!Warren Eckstein's Recommended Charities
Over the years, my listeners have let me know about humane and rescue organizations that have gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to helping out pets and animals in need.
This is by no means a complete list -- there are many worthwhile groups working out there. If you know of a deserving group that is a registered 501c3, tax-exempt no- kill organization that should be on the list, please e-mail us and periodically the list will be updated.
Many of the websites have 'click-on' donation areas. They may not provide a receipt for your records, so please check with the group, if a receipt is important to you. We have also included postal addresses to send donations.
1. THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF NEW YORKwww.humanesocietyny.org
306 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
2. BOXER RESCUEwww.boxer-rescue-la.com
17514 Ventura Blvd. #201
Encino, CA 91316
3. GREYHOUND PETS OF AMERICAwww.fastfriends.org
1210 N. Cypress St.
La Habra Heights, CA 90631
4. GERMAN SHEPHERD RESCUE
Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeleswww.sheprescue.org
(310) 202-SAVE (7283)
2721 Wigtown Road
L.A., CA 90064German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County
Serving Orange County, San Diego, San Bernardino, Greater Los Angeles, Riverside and more.www.gsroc.org
177F Riverside Avenue, Ste. 143
Newport Beach, CA 92663
5. LITTLE ANGEL PUG RESCUEwww.lapr.org
P.O. Box 12242
La Crescenta, CA 91224
6. BRITTANY FOUNDATIONwww.brittanyfoundation.com
P.O. Box 9334
Canoga Park, CA 91309
7. LINDA BLAIR WORLD HEART FOUNDATIONwww.lindablairworldheart.org
10061 Riverside Drive #1003
Toluca Lake, CA, 91602
8. ALL OF THE BREED RESCUE GROUPS THAT ARE SANCTIONED BY THE NATIONAL BREED CLUBS.
9. FERAL CAT CARETAKERS COALITIONwww.feralcatcaretakers.org
P.O Box 491244
L.A. CA 90049-9244