Giving Tuesday: The 11 best-rated charities in Delaware

, Delaware News Journal

Giving Tuesday, celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is devoted to charitable causes, allowing people to focus on giving to others.

You can find a list of local organizations online at givingtuesday.org. But how do you pick who to donate to?

Luckily, Charity Navigator looks at nonprofits’ tax forms and websites to rate how well they use donations, how sustainable they are and how committed they are to accountability and transparency.

These are the 11 best-rated charities in Delaware, which all have four stars for exceeding industry standards and outperforming charities with similar causes.

Note: Ratings, which are on a scale of 0 to 100, are based on 990 forms from 2016, the most recent Charity Navigator has access to.

11. Boy Scouts of America, Del-Mar-VA council 

Mission: Boy Scouts of America, Del-Mar-VA Council provides scouting opportunities throughout the Del-Mar-Va Peninsula, serving approximately 388 units and more than 4,500 volunteers who are delivering the promise to about 10,000 youth in traditional scouting programs. The council covers 14 counties and is divided into eight scouting districts and three areas.

Rating: 88.65

Operating expenses: $4.16 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 86.6 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 8.9 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 4.4 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.17

10. Delaware Art Museum

Mission: The Delaware Art Museum’s mission is to connect people to art, offering an inclusive and essential community resource that through its collections, exhibitions and programs generates creative energy that sustains, enriches, empowers and inspires. Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum is best known for its large collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art, works by Wilmington-native Howard Pyle and fellow American illustrators, and urban landscapes by John Sloan and his circle.

Rating: 89.04

Operating expenses: $4.94 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 71.3 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 12.1 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 7.4 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.14

9. Hagley Museum and Library 

Mission: Hagley Museum and Library collects, preserves and interprets the unfolding history of American enterprise. It is located on the site of the gunpowder works founded by E. I. du Pont in 1802. Hagley’s library furthers the study of business and technology in America, especially the Middle Atlantic region.

Rating: 91.09

Operating expenses: $10.44 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 86.3 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 11 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 2.5 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.15

8. Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County 

Mission: Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Established in 1986, Habitat NCC has completed more than 200 homes and ranks among the top three Habitat northeast affiliates (of 210 affiliates from Delaware to Maine) in terms of housing production.

Rating: 91.16

Operating expenses: $4.33 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 86.5 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 6 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 7.3 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.10

7. Special Olympics Delaware

Mission: Special Olympics Delaware changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. We build sports skills, confidence, strength, motivation and self-esteem — not just for 4,200 athletes, but for everyone involved.

Rating:  91.35

Operating expenses: $1.74 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 85.6 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 3.8 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 10.4 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.28

6. Delaware Nature Society 

Mission: Founded in 1964, the Delaware Nature Society is the pre-eminent non-profit environmental organization in the state. DNS is unique in the way it integrates education as a vital element in its role in preservation, conservation and advocacy. Currently, thousands of members support this important work and/or participate in programs while over 1,000 volunteers assist the 33 member core staff and interns so that annual programs continue to improve and increase.

Rating: 91.54

Operating expenses: $4.33 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 77.3 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 15.5 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 7.1 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.09

5. Ronald McDonald House of Delaware

Mission: Founded in 1986, the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware provides a safe, affordable “home away from home” to families of seriously or chronically ill or injured children who are being treated at area hospitals and operates three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms within pediatric units of hospitals across Delaware. The House is a place where families can stay together and receive the kind of special care they need at such difficult times.

Rating: 91.59

Operating expenses: $2.39 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 76.8 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 8.1 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 14.9 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.16

4. Food Bank of Delaware

Mission: The mission of the Food Bank of Delaware is to provide nutritious foods to Delawareans in need and facilitate long-term solutions to the problems of hunger and poverty through community education and advocacy.

Rating: 93.33

Operating expenses: $19.93  million

Percent spent on programs and services: 91.4 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 3.7 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 4.8 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.04

3. Ministry of Caring

Mission: The Ministry of Caring is committed to serving the ongoing needs of the poor: food for the hungry, shelter, transitional living and permanent housing for the homeless, jobs for the unemployed, clothing and furniture for the needy, child care for homeless children, medical and dental services for the poor, and advocacy as well as outreach for the disenfranchised.

Rating: 94.62

Operating expenses: $9.8 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 80.4 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 14.7 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 4.7 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.05

2. Intercollegiate Studies Institute 

Mission: The Intercollegiate Studies Institute is a non-partisan, educational organization with some conservative principles whose purpose is to further in successive generations of college youth a better understanding of the values and institutions that sustain a free and humane society. Founded in 1953, ISI works to educate for liberty — to identify the best and the brightest college students and to nurture in these future leaders the American ideal of ordered liberty.

Rating: 94.89

Operating expenses: $7.28 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 82.2 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 10.3 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 7.4 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.06

1. Jewish Federation of Delaware

Mission: The Jewish Federation of Delaware works to mobilize the Jewish community to address issues, meet needs and build an agenda for the future. Its vision is to bring Jewish people together into a community coalition, grounded in Jewish teaching and heritage, to strengthen the State of Israel, the global Jewish family and local organizations in order to further the survival of the Jewish people.

Rating: 97.79

Operating expenses: $4.56 million

Percent spent on programs and services: 87.6 percent

Percent spend on administrative costs: 6.2 percent

Percent spent on fundraising: 6.1 percent

Amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions: $0.08

Want to donate to somebody else?

The 11 charities listed above are only a few of many, many well-deserving Delaware nonprofits.

Visit charitynavigator.org to see how your favorite charity is rated, or visit GivingTuesday.org to give a gift.

Giving Tuesday organizers are also encouraging people to share how they’re giving back by posting their #UNselfie on social media Tuesday. That means posting a picture of yourself volunteering for or donating to your favorite charitable cause.

This article originally appeared in The News Journal on November 27, 2018. You can read it here