By: Vivienne Forstner

Donating to charity is a great way to give back to your community, especially if you don’t have the time. Unfortunately, however, some charities are corrupt with greed or have poor morals. Here is a list of the worst charities to donate to and good alternatives that actually make a positive difference.

1. Kids Wish Foundation

Not to be confused with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Kids Wish Foundation has made the top of the list of America’s Worst Charities list and has frequently been bashed for their dishonest ways. They found all sorts of tax loopholes and had been funding their retired founder’s various companies, only spending three cents on the dollar for the children they were supposedly raising money for.


The previously mentioned Make-A-Wish Foundation is a well organized and well-respected organization. It’s a large organization, but the money that they raise is going to the children. It has a much more reputable donation rate of 78 cents to the dollar instead of a mere 3 cents. Donate here:

2. Public shelters

Of course, this is a case by case scenario, but public shelters are notorious for having high animal kill rates. Of about 6 million animals that enter public shelters every year, roughly 2 million are killed (32%-ish). Only about 1% of the six million shelter animals are actively suffering and in pain.


There are several no-kill shelters worth donating to. The Best Friends Animal Society is a no-kill shelter whose mission is to “save them all.” They have saved many animals who would have been put-down otherwise. Donate here:

If you want to support a local charity, donate to Maggie’s Mission. They are a small organization that rescues dogs and horses. Donate here:

3. Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is one of the most widely recognized charities around, but they have faced several controversies and supported anti-LGBT legislation. They have campaigned against the Homosexual Law Reform Act of 1986 and several other laws that would equalize taxes of those in same-sex marriages. They also referred LGBT individuals to conversion therapy in 2013. Overall, they do not support the LGBT community and if you donate to them, your money might be going towards oppressive legislatures and organizations.


Doing local charity work is one of the best alternatives to donating to large corporation-esque charities. Providing work is sometimes a better way to give back as opposed to donating. However, if donating is your only option, then a good option is to go local. Of course, do your research beforehand, but going local directly impacts your community and allows you to give back effectively.