Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties)

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I do not trust them, but I think donating locally always has a better shot at the money being used as it should.... although I always donate to breast cancer fund raisers....and now weight loss programs....

Jun 21, 2015 11:40 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Goodwill. Do you know Goodwill operates the 8th largest retailer in the USA. Lot of arguments could be made there is lots of profit in non-profit enterprises. However, when I drop my things off at Goodwill, I chat with the fellow manning the drop point.

"How long have you been involved?"
"What has the program been like for you?"
"What will you be doing next?"
"Where are you from?"
"Where is your home base?" 

"How long will you be a part of this organization?"
"What have you come to know as a result?"
"Give me your contacts telephone number?"

I choose to support those organizations who ease the suffering of those in my community. When I encounter one who is in need of help, I want to have resources to whom I can refer them.

My responsibly is to respond to (be obedient) the call of compassion that burdens my heart. The One who places the burden is responsible for the outcome. 

Many local food pantries, feeding programs, skills programs that are local can never meet the scrutiny of those who need to be sure. However, when you SEE  hunger is  relieved for a moment, smiles replace pain, the realization that the argument is with ourselves, and should not be paid by those who live in misery.

Be obedient. Give generously. Ease the suffering of others. Some have not had the opportunity to know those local organizations that actually relieve the suffering of others. Call the number on the card given to you by the fellow manning the drop point and ask about other organizations involved in skills training, abuse shelters, food pantries, feeding programs, emergency money for travel or utilities, troubled youth programs, micro-lending and those who will employ those in recovery.

These are the organizations who make a difference in the lives of those who live closer to you than you can possibly imagine.


Jun 21, 2015 11:28 PM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

I always give to the Visiting Nurses and the City of Hope in California.  Visiting nurses are angels and the City of Hope does extensive research on brain tumors.  I will support the MS rides and as far as clothing, Goodwill or Salvation army.  We have boxes in our parking lots for donations of clothing BUT they do not have a charity name on them therefore, it's a scam on the public for profit.

Jun 21, 2015 09:05 PM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

 I try to keep it local where I have an eye on who's benefiting from the dollars. I didn't always have to be that cautious but it's a different, more traceable World now. 

Jun 21, 2015 08:52 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I like Heifer International - and am trying to think of a charity to donate to for 4th of July. I don't trust most charities and also watch the location where they work - how corrupt is that environment. Makes it hard to donate to areas that have been devastated but their governments are so corrupt that no money goes where it should. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has very good success - low overhead and good leverage

Jun 21, 2015 08:31 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Inna. Most of the charity organizations that I support are more local, know some of the people involved is important to me.

Make it a great week!

Jun 21, 2015 06:25 PM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Warren Buffet says, "Invest in what you know". I take that same advice into the charity world, spend time investigating and getting to know the potential beneficiary before entrusting them with anything. Use trusted third party ratings/commentary, Charity Navigator website comes to mind for this.

Jun 21, 2015 05:31 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Inna.  Long answer here:

     The head of Goodwill pocketed $2.3 million dollars, he paid his workers LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE.   Huffington Post ran a story on it.

UNICEF president earns millions, and has the use of TWO Rolls Royce Automobiles. 

Red Cross Execs also rake in multi-millions, so does March of Dimes, United Way, American Cancer Society, and all the rest.  The salaries that you see on sites like Charity Navigator don't include perks like private jets and corporate credit cards for wining and dining.

Don't give good money to these charity rackets!

Churches?  Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and the money-preachers on TBN all live like kings.   Give to your local church; specify what ministry or program you want the money to go to.


      Who do I give money to?    The Salvation Army.     And to people that I personally know are in need.  And to my own local Bible Study/Church.

Jun 22, 2015 07:29 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Goodwill is a for-profit business. With an owner making millions. Some say they hire otherwise unemployable or underemployed individuals. One could also say they find the cheapest labor and management possible.

The Salvation Army is non-profit, and all money that goes into the store funnels back into the church and organization to help more and more people.

But there are issues with each of this companies. I did some research and it is just awful. I'm just going to give away all my staff and hope, that it will be used someone for good.

It is just a shame that good usable ( previously expensive) things can be thrown away into the trash without giving them the second chance.



I chose S.F. Valley Rescue Mission center. They claim that 100% of the net proceeds are put to use feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and helping people become productive citizens again.

The store is very clean and staff is friendly.

I dropped few boxes of staff there.

I also donate hundreds of books to a local library where they are selling it to public to fundraise.

Some large items I gave away using Nextdoor network.

It feels very nice to find a new home for things from your home:)

Jun 22, 2015 06:15 AM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

I do not trust any charity, but the Salvation Army. They give the highest percentage of donations to the cause they are supporting.

Jun 22, 2015 12:35 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Inna -- this is a good question.   

I have donated to Out ofThe Closet for a number of years but I admit I haven't "checked" them out.   

Jun 22, 2015 12:21 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


You can check the financials of charities, and it shows how much of the SSS go to charity and how much go to salaries, expenses, etc.  It is called Charity Navigator.  For clothing and miscellaneous items we give to the Salvation Army as they pick up, and locally we support our non-kill animal shelters, and on Smile Amazon we give to Charity Water that digs wells in Africa.  A

Jun 22, 2015 12:05 AM
Jack Lewitz
Exit Strategy Realty - Evanston, IL

I like Kiva because it gives my donation to someone I choose but it's really a loan that gets paid back and then I lend the same money again to someone else

Jun 21, 2015 09:45 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I support Children's Miracle Network as a national organization with deep local roots. Beyond that, I support my local Humane Society where I can really keep track of what they are doing.

Jun 21, 2015 09:36 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I laways drop off items at Goodwill.

Jun 21, 2015 09:27 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

I do not trust phone solicitations. A percentage goes to the telemarketing company.

Jun 21, 2015 07:16 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

There are about 5,000 501(c)(3) non profit registered in the U.S.  I would venture to guess that the majority are shams.  

Carla says;  Charity begins at home -- I donate to my son.


Jun 22, 2015 08:38 AM
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

Actually in the process of starting my own non profit for animals for one simple reason. I have always chosen not to donate to charities like ASPCA etc because if I am donating to help animals, out 100% of my donation to help them animals. Why waste any money on sending me a t-shit, picture, special gift etc. If anything at least email the picture so that it doesn't cost anything.

Maybe it's because I started by first business when I had nothing to spent on myself or business, you learn to run very lean at those points while still accomplishing anything.

Jun 22, 2015 05:22 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

That's a great question, Inna.  I'm not as concerned with donating physical items to Goodwill, Habitat, etc.  But, I am very concerned when I donate money.  I try to do a check as best as I can.

Jun 22, 2015 01:40 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I donate locally where I know that all the money goes to the casue and the volunteers are unpaid. I have also worked and headed some of these like in fundiraising for HIV/AIDS. I also donate to MD Anderson in Houston where my cancer care was outstanding so first hand knowledge is helpful.

Jun 22, 2015 12:06 PM
Chris Locke
Acton, CA

Barbara Todaro - You're reply is disapointing to me.  From what I see, you're one of the most respected people on ActiveRain.  A reply such as "I don't trust them" really irritates me.  

It screams ignorance especially when you follow up with questions about how money is used.  

The correct reply should have been "Simply do a little homework before donating"

Finding out where the money goes can be accomplished by a quick search on a site such as:

Before donating, type in the name of a charity on this site and you'll see if the money is being used correctly.

You mentioned cancer fund raisers.  How about donating money to a charity such as the "The V Foundation"?  They open their books to the public and use all of the money for cancer research.  

The don't waste the money on adminstrative costs.   ESPN has an annual fund raising event where 100% of the money donated goes to cancer research.  100%!

They've been around for years and it's one of the best charities in the world for cancer.  All it takes is a little research to find a reputable charity.

V Foundation:


My final comment: Ignore any comments by anybody who paints with such a broad brush as "dont trust them".  Doing your own homework, finding a charity doing good work, and donating to hopefully make a difference is an easy task.


Jun 22, 2015 11:52 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Local is good ... as I know who is involved and more directly where the funds raised are going.  Maybe have input too.  But our family has supported St. Joseph's Indian School in Chamberlain, S.D. for decades ... both monetarily and through active participation with the school/church.  We've been out delivering items collected thru our church multiple times.  It's always been something my wife is especially invested in.  The kids steal your heart ...


Jun 22, 2015 07:40 AM
Retired from ActiveRain
Baker, OR

I volunteer with and donate to local organizations that give back to the community where I live (Lane County, Oregon).  There are a lot of small non-profits here that can put donated items, time, and services to good use.

Jun 22, 2015 07:19 AM
Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

I pick a couple that I know do good work and they get my donations. If their ratio is good (e.g. operating expenses are low) that is a plus.

Jun 22, 2015 06:17 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

I trust ones that I am familiar with and know well.  Others, I do not.  I'm always skeptical, especially once a "charity" becomes so large it resembles more of a huge corporation than a charity.

Jun 22, 2015 03:09 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I prefer to make donations to my church.  I feel I can trust them the most.

Jun 22, 2015 12:52 AM
Jennifer Provencio
San Diego County and Central Valley - Oceanside, CA
The Reverse Mortgage Speciailist

Some of them are good. I like to check into them first before making donations.

Jun 22, 2015 12:36 AM
M. Melissa Lee, Esq.
Keller Williams Market Pro Realty - Bentonville, AR
Executive Broker, NWA Real Estate Solutions

I generally trust the organizatioins, but verify where they spend their donations.  I feel it is important for the charity to pass on the vast majority of the money/in-kind donations collected to the people and organizations that need it.  I do not contribute to NPOs who spent a large percentage on their overhead and operating costs.

Jun 23, 2015 07:25 AM
Joe Provost
The Pro's Real Estate Team - Worcester, MA
Top producing real estate team in Worcester County

Yes.  I will do some online research and ask around for input about them

Jun 23, 2015 07:16 AM
Gordon Hodges
Real Estate One - Traverse City, MI
Traverse City Trusted Agent

Generally like Charity that supports our troops

Jun 23, 2015 04:06 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

I liked he Rotary Foundation and otherwise keep it local, donating things and money to organizations I know keep it in the community.  Much has been said about "Goodwill" already, I think they are using the name to their advantage, leadi g many people to believe they are no profit which IMO is deceptive.

Jun 23, 2015 02:52 AM
Wesley Larkin
Keller Williams Advantage - Beavercreek, OH
Realtor for Greater Dayton and Cincinnati Area.

I love charity organizations and as for trusting them you just need to make sure you get in contact with people who are running the organization to learn what they stand for.

When it comes to choosing an organization I tend to lean towards smaller ones that impact my surrounding community. This doesn't just help the community but it impacts the way you are viewed in the community. For someone to look at me and say, "Wow! Wes is such a great guy. He's successful when it comes to selling real estate and he also gives back to his community" is a great goal. It's what anyone should inspire to do. Not only does it make me personally feel good but helps the community.

Bigger charity organizations are great too. I personally don't lean towards them only because they have a ton of support already, but when it comes to giving there really isn't a wrong way to give. Just make sure you're giving for the right reasons. Don't give to an charity that you feel is going to benefit you, but instead give to a charity that will benefit from you.

Jun 23, 2015 02:21 AM
Althea Kippes, Esq.
A.T. Kippes, Real Estate Broker - San Francisco, CA
Serving San Francisco to Silicon Valley!

As someone who does animal rescue work for a small nonprofit rescue group,, I like to support similar organizations. We have no staff and are run by a small number of dedicated volunteers. If someone donates $20 for food, it is all used to buy food. Nothing goes to overhead, administration, or staff. People volunteer for this group because of their love for animals. Small groups like this are great to support because you can donate items yourself (like food or money) which makes a bigger impact than donating the same amount of money to a larger organization.

Jun 22, 2015 07:58 PM