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Written by Michele Wheat
Charitable giving has been on the rise in the United States, with more than $546 billion raised in 2019 from Americans, corporations, and foundation giving. Health charities are one of the biggest sectors when it comes to charitable giving, getting 9% of the total charitable dollars. That made us wonder just how much some of the largest health charity organizations are spending on their programs compared to the number of people afflicted with the disease or disability that the charity was founded to help. Using Charity Navigator, our team found how much money each of these 40 top charities in the U.S. spent on program expenses for the year, what percentage of their total expenses this amounted to, as well the total annual revenue that each charity earned from things like contributions, gifts, fundraising, and government grants. We then divided charities’ program expenses by the number of Americans living with or diagnosed with the disease or disability to find the amount of money the charities spend on programs for each afflicted person. The results of this Wristband Express ranked list of charities were surprisingly wide-ranging, from a high of more than $9,000 to a low of just 1 cent per afflicted person.
The health charity that spends the most per afflicted person is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The foundation spends $273 million on their annual program expenses, which breaks down to an expenditure of $9,089.02 for each of the 30,000 people in the U.S. who are currently living with cystic fibrosis.
1. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: $9,089.02
2. ALS Association: $2,037.08
3. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network: $342.29
4. Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation: $316.40
5. Muscular Dystrophy Association: $227.72
6. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: $199.96
7. National Pediatric Cancer Foundation: $199.74
8. National Multiple Sclerosis Society: $128.64
9. Alzheimer's Association: $49.14
10. American Cancer Society: $45.19
The health charity that spends the least per afflicted person is the American Tinnitus Association. The association spends just $365,633 on their annual program expenses, which breaks down to an expenditure of $0.01 for each of the 50 million people in the U.S. currently living with tinnitus.
1. American Tinnitus Association: $0.01
2. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: $0.04
3. National Osteoporosis Foundation: $0.06
4. American Liver Foundation: $0.23
5. Lewy Body Dementia Association: $0.81
6. National Kidney Foundation: $1.05
7. Arthritis Foundation: $1.10
8. National Organization for Rare Disorders: $1.50
9. Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation: $1.72
10. Cerebral Palsy Foundation: $2.03
An important factor used to rate these national charities is how much of their total expenses go toward the programs and services they deliver. The rest of a charity’s expenses include its administrative and fundraising expenses. Below are the ten charities on our list that were found to have the highest percentages of their total expenses going toward the programs they deliver.
1. American Kidney Fund: 97.3%
2. AIDS United: 92.9%
3. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund: 92.1%
4. Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation: 88.7%
5. National Organization for Rare Disorders: 88.0%
6. National Pediatric Cancer Foundation: 87.9%
7. Kidney Cancer Association: 87.8%
8. Breast Cancer Research Foundation: 87.5%
9. American Lung Association: 87.2%
10. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: 83.2%
If bettering the health of millions of Americans is your mission, this is a great list of charities to donate to. Learn more about how you can fundraise for one of these charities or any other nonprofit organization you’re interested in helping.
Below is a list of additional sources that were used to determine the number of people in the United States who are afflicted with the disease or disability that each of these charity organizations were founded to help.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Muscular Dystrophy Association
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
National Pediatric Cancer Foundation
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
American Cancer Society
Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
American Heart Association
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
National Ataxia Foundation Scleroderma Foundation
Prostate Cancer Foundation
National Brain Tumor Society
Lupus Foundation of America
Lung Cancer Research Foundation A
merican Kidney Fund
Kidney Cancer Association
American Lung Association
Colorectal Cancer Alliance
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
American Diabetes Association
Cerebral Palsy Foundation
Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation
National Organization for Rare Disorders
National Kidney Foundation
Lewy Body Dementia Association
American Liver Foundation
National Osteoporosis Foundation
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Last Edited By Michele Wheat On 7/13/2021
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