Consumer Reports: Charity Monitoring Sites - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/16/07

Consumer Reports: Charity Monitoring Sites

More and more companies are donating a portion of their sales to charity and it can pay off.  Research shows shoppers are more apt to buy something that's associated with a charitable cause.  But how much of the money actually reaches charities?  Consumer Reports' ShopSmart says that's a very smart question to ask.  

Olive oil, iPods, salad dressing, and bottled water - just some of the many products that promise to support charitable causes these days.  And the money can add up.

Take Starbuck's Ethos water.  For each bottle, a nickel goes to help bring clean water to developing countries.  So far, millions have been raised.

Lisa Lee Freeman, Editor of Consumer Reports' ShopSmart, says a closer look at do-good products reveals the amount of money doing good can vary significantly. For instance, buy a KitchenAid Pink Mixer for nearly 350 dollars and 50 of it will go to breast cancer research - or 14 percent.

A Patagonia Ocean T-shirt sells for 25 dollars - five of it goes to protect marine wildlife.  That's 20 percent.

The Body Shop's Daisy Soap costs four dollars - three of which goes to prevent domestic violence - a 75 percent donation.

And with the 14-dollar MAC Viva Glam Lipstick, all of the purchase price goes to treat AIDS patients.  All 14 dollars - a full 100 percent!

But Consumer Reports ShopSmart says there's an even better way to get money to your favorite charity. "If you really want to support a cause, the best thing you can do is write a check.  You'll feel good about it - and you'll get a tax break!"

But, if you're going to be buying something anyway, ShopSmart says why not go with the one that's supporting a good cause?

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says if you're donating directly to a charity, you want to look for one that puts at least 60 percent toward the cause.

There are several charity-monitoring Web sites, including:  charitywatch.org, give.org, and charitynavigator.org.

 

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