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SC releases 'Scrooges and Angels' charities list

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -

South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond has released his annual "Scrooges and Angels" list of what charities in the state give the most toward their goals.

Hammond names as "angels" those charities that use at least 80 percent of their donations for their charitable purpose, use volunteers and don't rely heavily on government grants or outside money.

On Thursday, Hammond said the charity that spent the highest percentage of its money on program efforts was Seneca-based Rosa Clark Medical Clinical Association, Inc., at 99.1 percent.

  1. Rosa Clark Medical Clinic Association, Inc., Seneca, SC 99.1%
  2. Habitat for Humanity of North Augusta, North Augusta, SC 96.7%
  3. Humane Society of McCormick County, McCormick, SC 95.1%
  4. Deep Well Project, Hilton Head Island, SC 91.6%
  5. South Carolina Hunters and Landowners for the Hungry, Spartanburg, SC 91.2%
  6. East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO), Mount Pleasant, SC 85.4%
  7. Samaritan House of Orangeburg, Inc., Orangeburg, SC 84.3%
  8. Nurturing Center, Inc., Columbia, SC 83.0%
  9. Early Learning Partnership of York County, Rock Hill, SC 81.4%
  10. America's VetDogs - the Veterans's K-9 Corps, Inc., Smithtown, NY 80.2%

Hammond also annually alerts residents to charities whose financial reports show they spend little on their stated purpose and much on professional solicitors.

The organization with the lowest expenditure was the Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge No. 3 in Hanahan, at 4.1 percent.

  1. American Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., Baltimore, MD 37.5%
  2. Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, Inc., Annandale, VA 36%
  3. Veterans Support Foundation, Silver Spring, MD 24.6%
  4. Firefighters Support Services, Incorporated, Wyandotte, MI 21%
  5. United States Deputy Sheriffs' Association, Inc., Ashburn, VA 14.8%
  6. Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc., Madeira Beach, FL 11.8%
  7. Operation Lookout National Center For Missing Youth, Everett, WA 9.9%
  8. Fraternal Order of Police York County Lodge #15, Rock Hill, SC 9.2%
  9. Missional Advancement Project, Inc., Aiken, SC 6.4%
  10. Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge #3, Hanahan, SC 4.1%

The following criteria were considered in selecting Scrooges: the charity had devoted 40 percent or less of its total expenditures to charitable programs; the charity had spent a significant amount of revenue on fundraising expenses; and the charity had registered with the Secretary of State to solicit funds in the state of South Carolina.

"As Secretary of State, I have the duty of enforcing the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, and of protecting the public against "Scrooge" organizations that want to take advantage of our giving spirit," Secretary Hammond said. "

Charitable solicitations across the state have increased in the last four years because more and more people are in need of assistance. Times are still tough in South Carolina, but our residents continue to be some of the most generous people in the nation and always answer the call when it comes to defending and helping the less fortunate."

"However, there are those who would take advantage of our generosity," he continued. "So I ask that you check out any organization before you contribute your hard-earned money."

Charitable donors may research organizations registered in South Carolina by visiting the Secretary of State's website at www.sos.sc.gov.

To review an organization, select the Charity Search button to learn a charity's total revenue, program expenses, total expenses, net assets, and fundraiser costs.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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