Yesterday’s negative claim about the ALS Foundation by the Political Ears website is an outrageous example of a low class website intentionally using data out of context to exploit a good organization. Yes the article reports accurately that only 27% of funds raised (last year) were directed towards research. But then like a dirty political campaign it uses that one fact to claim the ALS Foundation is being fraudulent in an effort to sucker people into sharing the article on social media which is unfortunately working.
What is left out of the article is very well described in this Quartz.com follow up of Why nobody should be upset that the ALS foundation only spends 27% of donations on research which I will summarize and add my own thoughts on below.
The Quartz article points out that the mission of the ALS Foundation is much broader than research alone and includes education and patient services. Accounting for all three of those uses ALS spends 79% of funds raised on mission centered programming which is a very good allocation of funding. Quartz also points out that the foundation’s executive compensation is aligned with industry averages and that administrative expenses are only seven percent.
With those clearer facts you can still feel good about having done the Ice Bucket Challenge and for donating money if you have done that as well.
The only fraud that has occurred is a political website taking advantage of the ALS Foundation to benefit their own website traffic.
If you would like to read more about what ALS plans to do the Boston Globe asks Will $94 million raised from Ice bucket challenge yield cure for ALS? and notes that the “group has the highest four-star rating from charity navigator, a non-profit watchdog group”