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Our Opinion: Salvation Army gives bang for the buck

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Our Opinion: Salvation Army gives bang for the buck
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Cheers to the Salvation Army, which was on pace to exceed its $39,000 goal for Becker County this year, thanks to volunteer bell-ringers and those who donated to the Red Kettle campaign.

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The Salvation Army gives donors the best bang for the buck of any large U.S. charity, collecting nearly three times as much for every dollar paid its boss as does the largest charity, the United Way.

According to Forbes.com, the Salvation Army brought in $1.89 billion in donations last year and pays its top executive $250,000 a year.

The Salvation Army ranked best of the top 10 U.S. charities in dollars donated per dollar of compensation paid to its top executive.

The next best was the Task Force for Global Health, which raised $1.66 billion and pays its top executive $320,000 a year.

Catholic Charities USA was third best, raising $1.45 billion and paying its top executive $354,000 a year.

Feeding America came in fourth, raising $1.51 billion and paying its top executive $431,000.

The United Way was fifth best, raising $3.93 billion and paying its top executive $1.5 million.

Food for the Poor raised $891 million and paid its top executive $411,000.

World Vision raised $826 million and paid its top executive $457,000.

The YMCA raised $827 million and paid its top executive $501,000 a year.

Goodwill Industries International raised $949 million and paid its top executive $725,000 a year.

The American Cancer society raised $889 million and paid its top executive $832,000.

All are excellent charities, but some are better at reining in the salary of the top boss.

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Here’s a reform that’s way overdue — keeping a job applicant’s personal credit report private.

A 2012 survey by the Society of Human Resources Management found that 47 percent of employers now use credit checks when hiring for some or all of the positions at their firms.

Bad credit? Sorry — you don’t get the job.

We can’t think of a worse system: Denying a job to someone trying to work their way out of a financial problem.

Maybe that explains the outpouring of support for a bill proposed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that would effectively prohibit employers from requiring job applicants to disclose their credit history as part of the application process.

Warren argues that the practice of checking job applicants’ credit reports can create a vicious circle for poorer workers who fall into a financial hole and then are unable to get a job they need to dig themselves out.

Poor credit reports are often the result of unpaid medical bills, prolonged unemployment or even basic errors, which can be difficult to fix, she said.

Worse yet, these issues disproportionately hurt poor and minority workers.

The major credit bureaus have thrown their weight against the bill, because they make lots of money selling those credit reports.

Workers’ rights and privacy advocates say that many people denied employment because of a credit check are lower-wage workers applying to large retail chains.

Credit reports should be reserved for their original purpose — giving lenders a way to gauge how much interest to charge for a loan or credit card.

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