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5 Charities You Want to Avoid

The Committee for Missing Children
Money going to professional fundraisers: 86.7%

CharityNavigator has given the Committee for Missing Children a zero-star rating out of a possible four stars all eight times it's reviewed the group in the past seven years. Similarly, CharityWatch gives the committee an "F" and Missouri's attorney general included the group on his 2010 list of worst charities.

The committee, which didn't return calls seeking comment, posts photos of lost kids on its website and provides other resources for parents. But Miniutti says the group spends almost 90 cents of every dollar it collects on professional fundraising fees. Just 11.1 cents go to actual charitable endeavors.

Cancer Survivors' Fund
Money going to professional fundraisers: 89.2%

This charity claims to provide college scholarships, prosthetics and counseling to young people who either have cancer or are in remission.

CharityNavigator gives the Cancer Survivors' Fund a zero-star rating, though, primarily because the group spends just under 90 cents of every dollar raised on professional fundraising fees. Only 7.4% of money the charity takes in goes to the group's stated mission, according to CharityNavigator's analysis.

The fund, which did not return a call seeking comment, also gets an "F" from CharityWatch and made the Missouri attorney general's 2010 list of "15 Worst Charities."

The Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center
Money going to professional fundraisers: 94.6%

This group claims to offer a crisis hotline and peer counseling to current and retired police officers, especially those who suffered disabling injuries in the of duty.

But CharityNavigator found that just 4.4 cents of the average dollar the Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center raises go toward such programs. Professional fundraising fees eat up nearly 95% of total donations.

The nonprofit has gotten a zero-star rating all six times CharityNavigator analyzed it since 2007. CharityWatch likewise gives the group an "F," while South Carolina's secretary of state included the nonprofit on last year's list of "Scrooge" charities.

The center could not be reached for comment, as calls to the group's business line rang to a voicemail mailbox that was full. A message sent to an email address associated with the charity went unanswered, while a "24-Hour National Crisis Hotline" advertised on the group's website has been disconnected.

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