Now I will have to reevaluate this.
So should I have invested in it at first, then stopped investing as it started sucking, and then reinvested again to the new people using it?
Given that type of friction, I may give up donating altogether. Or good ideas which hit a genuine rough spot may lose all funding and die off before reaching their full potential.
What would be a realistic ratio of overhead to target? Apple-like? Say 30% should be acceptable overhead? Or a sliding scale? For example, if a charity raises $1bn does it really need $300m for overhead? Maybe there is some middle band of maximum overhead percentage, say up to $1m <=5% $1m-$1bn up to 30% and over $1bn <= 15%?
> Miller’s True and Fair Foundation argues (pdf) that charities should spend a minimum 65% of their total income on charitable activity. Any charity spending less than that, it says, “must by definition be one or more of poorly governed, unethical or appallingly mismanaged” (pdf). One in five larger charities is said by the foundation to spend less than 50%.
> The foundation has simply taken a charity’s total income and contrasted it with charitable expenditure. But, the total income for many large charities includes the costs of trading (eg running a charity shop) – money which could never be spent on the end cause, but helps generate additional funds for it. Like any business, part of the charity’s income goes to cover these costs, before a profit is made which can go directly to the charity’s cause.
> For example, a charity may spend £30 running a charity shop. It makes £40 on the till, so therefore makes a £10 profit which goes to the end cause, along with the initial £10 donation.
> In doing all this, its total income is recorded as £50 – the £10 donation, plus the £40 from trading. The £20 it has to spend on its cause is 40% of this £50.
Donate to charities like you would invest money. Do your research and be sceptical about extraordinary claims and glitzy marketing not backed up by data.