NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When donating to a nonprofit, you like to think that most of your money is going towards its stated goal, and that the nonprofit spends most of its money towards making the world a better place. Sometimes, however, the nonprofit spends more money on its overhead costs, such as fundraising and paying management, than on other efforts.
Thanks to some data from Charity Navigator, we have the top 10 charities with high overhead costs. These are largely smaller charities, probably ones you've never heard of, that look to spend almost all of their funds on overhead costs.
However, we should note that except in extreme cases, Charity Navigator believes that focusing on overhead without considering other critical dimensions of a charity's financial and organizational performance can do more damage than good. They further believe that the most critical dimension in evaluating a nonprofit has to do with it achieving meaningful results. To read more on this topic, see Charity Navigator's President & CEO's related articles:
Also note that there are about 1.4 million nonprofits in the US. Of those, about 1 million are public charities. Charity Navigator rates over 7,700 of them (which account for 50% of annual donations when excluding houses of worship). As such, the "top nonprofits with the highest overhead costs" are not of the universe of U.S. charities, but of those that Charity Navigator tracks.
25. Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
Total Overhead: 82.4%
Management & General Expenses: 14.7%
Fundraising Expenses: 67.7%
CEO Compensation: $192,00
Starting the list is Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, which has a total overhead percentage of 82.4%. The nonprofit spends 67.7% of its funds on fundraising and 14.7% on management and general costs. CEO David Martin received 7.2% of the nonprofit's funds in 2012.
The goal of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund is to assist law enforcement officers when they are brought to court. The nonprofit helps pay legal fees and serves are co-counsel for police officers as part of its mission.