NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

RAM Veterans Foundation Unrolls "Charities For Vets" Initiative

RAM Veterans Foundation Fundraising costs | May 23, 2022

Charities For Vets
Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, the Robert Alexander Mercer (RAM) Veterans Foundation launched a new initiative called "Charities For Vets," a public information campaign to encourage effective management of veterans' charitable organizations and allow well-meaning Americans to donate with confidence. In 2021, more than $960 million dollars were donated to lower-rated veteran charities -nearly triple ($350 million) sent to well-rated veterans' groups.

The RAM Veterans Foundation intends to make Charities For Vets the Consumer Reports of veteran charities. The problem is clear, and our goal is to provide facts and figures to not only divert donations from poorly-rated organizations, but also increase support and applaud those groups who are already excelling.  Transparency is the best disinfectant, and by shining a bright light on the financial paper trail of these organizations, we can root out waste and abuse while better supporting the men and women who served our country so honorably."

Peter T. Metzger, Chairman of the Advisory Board and retired Colonel in the United States Marine Corps.

Charities For Vets uses publicly available information (including Form 990 tax returns) to group veterans' charitable organizations into three categories:

  • Highly Recommended
  • Honorable
  • Not Recommended

Four distinct metrics are examined to place an organization into one of the above categories:

  • Overhead percentage: must be lower than 25% of total budget
  • Joint accounting costs: must be less than 5% of total budget
  • Fundraising costs: charities must keep 50% of money raised in reported solicitation campaigns
  • Asset reserves: must be fewer than three years' budget

Unlike other charity evaluation platforms, the RAM Veterans Foundation uses a more strict pass/fail approach. If an organization falls short of any of the metrics, they receive an automatic "not recommended."

Founded in 2022, the RAM Veterans Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization named after Robert Alexander Mercer, who died on November 11, 1944 during the battle to liberate France from the Nazi occupation. The RAM Veterans Foundation is dedicated to RAM and those who have given life and limb in defense of America and our allies.

"For any American looking to meaningfully give back this Memorial Day, please join us in this effort," added Metzger. "Putting an end to veteran charity scams is a high-impact way to show support for those veterans in need."

Spotlight

Fundraising has always been fundamental to the charity sector’s success, its sustainability and independence. It is the main way in which many charities interact with the public, with overall giving amounting to £9.6 billion in 2015.1 Most charity fundraising is undertaken responsibly and in a way that positively engages donors and potential donors. However, the unprecedented level of scrutiny over fundraising that the charity sector has experienced over the past year has revealed that there is public concern about the large, and growing, number offundraising asks, as well as a general dislike of some of the methods used by charities to fundraise.


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