Tools to Choose the Right Charity


Tools to Choose the Right Charity


shutterstock_140883283Right now there are more charitable organizations operating on behalf of veterans than ever before. This is wonderful and we are proud to be among such good company. Unfortunately, there are a few scammers and poorly run organizations in the mix.

Before giving to any group, we recommend you do your homework and find out where your money is going. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to quickly gather some good info. Here are some very helpful websites you can use to check up on the veterans organizations you are considering:

Charity Navigator is the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. They use very intelligent metrics to determine how well donated money is spent. They put a high value on the percentage of dollars that actually make it to the people each charity is founded to help.

Guide Star has a simple to use interface. It allows you to compare charities and evaluate them based on each nonprofit’s mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency, governance, and much more.

Great Nonprofits is a bit smaller of an organization, but they also do a tremendous job helping people decide where their money is best spent. Their focus is a bit more on telling the stories of featured charities, but their evaluation methods are excellent.

If you search “The Jonas Project” on these sites you might be surprised to discover we are listed, but not ranked. The reason is simple. These amazing organizations do not rank groups with an operating budget of under $1 million.

We hope to be that large one day so we can help more veterans, but right now we are a small team with a very focused mission: to help grow veteran owned small businesses by providing them high-level mentorship and professional services at no cost.

We practice good stewardship of your important donations by operating with a lean business model and leveraging decades of connections with industry leaders. They donate their time because they believe in supporting veteran owned businesses, just like you do.

We are completely transparent with our spending practices and welcome any direct inquires. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating our good work:

  • 92% of donations go directly to our veteran programs.
  • 8% of donations go to administration costs. This is a very small percentage and we are quite proud to keep it low.
  • Our office spaces are donated. This is major because the cost of office space can be a large part of a charity’s operating costs.
  • Our founders, John and Teri Kelsall, have donated most of our office supplies.

For a bit of perspective on those numbers, we recommend you read about the industry standards at Charity Navigator and Charity Watch. Charity Navigator gives their highest score to organizations that keep their administration costs under 15%. Charity Watch considers an organization efficient if 75% or more of their donations are spent directly on programs. We greatly exceed both of these conditions.

We hope to eventually be large enough to rank on these great websites. When we do, we will maintain the same high standards we do now. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We would love to have your help and are happy to provide any information to help you make a decision to donate.

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