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Charities Held to Account as Year Draws to an End

As the holidays come to an end, many charities are being held accountable for their fund raising and expenditures amid recent concerns about how some nonprofit organizations are run. Philanthropy experts consider the rules and regulations surrounding charities.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Now, in 2007's final hours, an end-of-the-year look at charitable giving amid recent concerns about how some nonprofit organizations are run. Margaret Warner has the story.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    For many charities, this is a busy time, as hundreds of thousands of Americans rush to make tax-deductible donations before the end of the year. But once again, there are reports raising questions about how charities use their money.

    For example, earlier this month, the American Institute of Philanthropy rated 20 out of 29 veterans charities with grades of D or F. Just seven groups received an A.

    The bad ratings included well-known groups like the Purple Heart Service Foundation, AMVETS, and the Disabled Veterans Association. It said the eight worst performers gave less than one-third of their donations to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The report cited the worst for poorly managing their funds, paying high overhead and costly fees, or compensating their directors too handsomely. Other news accounts raise questions about whether charities actually receive the full donations when retailers promised customers they'll give a portion of their sales to charity.

    So what do donors need to know and watch out for in their end-of-year giving?

    For that, we turn to Art Taylor, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, which monitors charities and publishes evaluations on the Web site Give.org, and Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a publication that tracks charities and nonprofit organizations.

    Welcome to you both.

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