N.J. offers a snapshot of charities’ spending

Curious just how your charitable donations are being spent?

The state of New Jersey is ready to help you get some answers.

The latest list of the top 10 charities N.J. residents are asking the state Division of Consumer Affairs about shows quite a disparity in how those organizations are using their donations.

Consumer Affairs Director Tom Calcagni said Monday Michigan-based Cancer Support Services spends just a quarter of its donations to help cancer patients, while devoting 69 percent to fundraising efforts. He contrasted that with Ewing-based NJ Shares, which used almost all of its cash to help families pay their energy bills.

“Times are tough and for many in the state every dollar counts,” Calcagni said. “We believe every consumer has a right to know how their money is likely to be used before they make any charitable donation decisions.”

Calcagni said any legitimate charity should encourage questions and provide details on just how contributions will be spent.

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