Guest Author - Rev. Jackie OŽNeal S.T.M.
While Osacr night loomed on the horizon last week, I decided to do a little research to learn about an annual findraising event, "The Envelope Please." The event revolves around raising money for AIDS project Los Angeles, one of the largest non-profit AIDS Service orgnizations in the United States to date.
Apart from providing programs on prevention and education, they also have developed programs in leadership on HIV/AIDS related policy and legislation.
SBE Entertainment, The Abbey ( a trendy West Hollywood restaurant), Esquire magazine join forces to host AIDS Project Los Angeles sixth annual party hosted by Jennifer Love Hewitt. The actress has hosted the popular event multiple times.
It appears the event will bring attention and funds to the organization which has served the Los Angeles community for over two decades and provides food banks, dental clinics,and many other urgent services for the HIV/AIDS community of Los Angeles.
Although the organization seems to have a meritorious mission, after doing some research on the premier Charity Evaluator, Charity Navigator, I learned AIDS Project Los Angeles received only one star from the evaluator. One star certainly is better than no star at all, however one star indicates poor performance and failure to meet industry standards. Charity Navigator estimates AIDS Project Los Angeles performs well below most charities in its cause.
In light of these findings, I highly recommend potential donors always check the statistics on Charity Navigator. Not only will it be an enlightening exercise, but you can depend on accuracy.
"The Envelope Please" may attract celebrities and also put forth a glossy Public relations campaign for their organization in advance of the event, however all the glitz and glamour cannot obscure their poor rating as an inefficient charity.
The question naturally arises regarding where the funds raised will actually be going. Most donors want to rest assured their money is being used in the areas with the most urgent needs and not being embezzled, or mismanaged in some other unscrupulous way. Charity Navigator works as an excellent resource for donors and persons seeking an accurate record on a charity's performance level.