What are the largest charities in the United States? In one of its famous lists, Forbes magazine has listed the 50 largest U.S. charities based on private donations for 2013, the last year that complete figures are available. Donations can be cash, securities or goods.
Not surprisingly, once again United Way led the list with $3.87 billion in donations, though the huge charity saw a slight drop (1.5 percent) from the previous year’s $3.93 billion. Next were the Salvation Army, which had a 10 percent increase, and Feeding America, which saw a 23 percent increase from the year before, moving it up from No. 4 to No. 3 on the list.
Overall, the 50 charities saw a 3 percent increase in donations, which totaled $31 billion overall. Not included in the ranking are government grants, investment returns and fees for services.
The magazine also measured the effectiveness rate or “charitable commitment,” the percentage of donations that were used for the charitable purpose of the organization, as opposed to management, certain overhead expenses and fundraising. The average for all of the top 50 charities was 88 percent. Charities that receive in-kind gifts – goods and services – tend to have higher percentages.
Forbes also looked at fundraising efficiency and found that it averaged 92 percent. Essentially, this means it cost the top 50 charities an average of 8 cents to earn $1 in donations. This percentage can vary widely depending on the type of charity and the fundraising methods necessary.
The following is Forbes’ list of the top 50 charities, based on donations, as well as the percent of donations that were used directly for the nonprofit’s charitable purpose. For more information, go to www.forbes.com/top-charities.
|Charity||Donations||% to Programs|
|1. United Way||$3.87 billion||86%|
|2. Salvation Army||$2.08 billion||82%|
|3. Feeding America||$1.86 billion||98%|
|4. Task Force for Global Health||$1.58 billion||100%|
|5. American National Red Cross||$1.08 billion||90%|
|6. Food for the Poor||$1.02 billion||96%|
|7. Goodwill Industries International||$975 million||88%|
|8. YMCA of the USA||$939 million||85%|
|9. American Cancer Society||$871 million||73%|
|10. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital||$869 million||74%|
|11. World Vision||$795 million||83%|
|12. Boys & Girls Clubs of America||$766 million||80%|
|13. Catholic Charities USA||$715 million||85%|
|14. Compassion International||$657 million||84%|
|15. AmeriCares Foundation||$620 million||98%|
|16. Habitat for Humanity International||$606 million||84%|
|17. U.S. Fund for UNICEF||$587 million||91%|
|18. Catholic Medical Mission Board||$513 million||98%|
|19. Campus Crusade for Christ||$504 million||84%|
|20. American Heart Association||$502 million||78%|
|21. Nature Conservancy||$500 million||72%|
|22. Save the Children Federation||$455 million||91%|
|23. Direct Relief||$450 million||99%|
|24. Feed the Children||$442 million||89%|
|25. Samaritan’s Purse||$426 million||87%|
|26. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center||$389 million||96%|
|27. Lutheran Services in America||$373 million||85%|
|28. Boy Scouts of America||$362 million||87%|
|29. MAP International||$346 million||99%|
|30. Step Up for Students||$332 million||99%|
|31. CARE USA||$320 million||89%|
|32. American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee||$312 million||88%|
|33. Good 360||$310 million||99%|
|34. Mayo Clinic||$310 million||82%|
|35. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society||$279 million||76%|
|36. Project HOPE||$273 million||96%|
|37. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute||$261 million||82%|
|38. Planned Parenthood Federation of America||$315 million||82%|
|39. Metropolitan Museum of Art||$259 million||87%|
|40. Cross International||$257 million||96%|
|41. Operation Blessing International Relief||$255 million||99%|
|42. Make-A-Wish Foundation of America||$253 million||75%|
|43. Population Services International||$251 million||94%|
|44. Alzheimer’s Association||$243 million||77%|
|45. Catholic Relief Services||$244 million||93%|
|46. National Multiple Sclerosis Society||$243 million||77%|
|47. Brother’s Brother Foundation||$243 million||100%|
|48. Chronic Disease Fund||$238 million||92%|
|49. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art||$236 million||81%|
|50. Marine Toys for Tots Foundation||$235 million||97%|
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