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Charities have limited funds to offer for financial help

We are always surprised when someone writes to us and complains (or even worse such as writes to us with hateful message) that a charity has no funds and can’t help them pay their bills. People literally complain that a church, non-profit, or charity can’t give them money to pay their living expenses. Or people complain that an agency maybe can’t give them food, clothes, or something else. The fact is every single charity or agency has limited funds and resources.

Not only do they have limited resources, but even if they have funds they are not obligated to assist anyone. An agency will generally try to provide help to applicants that have a crisis that they did not cause themselves and that have a plan for financial stability. Once again, a charity will do that only if they have the funds and capacity to assist in the first place.

As we have noted many times, too many people in this country have a horrible sense of entitlement. Not just struggling households but also wealthy one. But when it comes to the low income, they think a charity has to help them and they mistakenly think a charity is obligated to assist, and sadly that mindset is so untrue. Charities have limited funds themselves to offer financial help to anyone, they rely on donations and volunteers, and charities are under no obligation to help anyone.

In fact, many people complain about the wealthy and say just tax the rich or successful. Well the fact is about 33% of all donations to charities come from the top 1% of Americans. Going down the income scale a little, the majority of donations to charities come from the highest 20% of earners. About 50% of wealthy people volunteered at a charity too, vs. about 25% of the general population.

So it is sadly ironic in that people who ask for financial help from a charity and that also complain about the wealthy are in some ways really complaining about the hand that feeds them.

As we have noted too, there is a major income gap in this country and some (many?) unfair benefits given to corporations, etc. and the poor as well as rich can be entitled in their own ways. But this post is mostly referring to those low income people who expect a charity to give them free stuff or money to pay their bills. And then, at the same time, complain about successful Americans with money.

Also, not only do charities have limited funds to help struggling families, but the financial assistance or free items such as food or any aid is usually given out on a first come – first served basis for people that qualify. That means that once an agencies money runs out, everyone else will be turned away or referred to another program until if/when the charity gets more resources. Such as donations from the wealthy.

If and when a charity help you, people should be very thankful. Not only to the charity itself, but also too all the volunteers who allow it to operate. And all the donors, such as higher income Americans, that provide funding to a charity so that they can provide financial help. And if an agency can’t help you, those organizations should not be frowned upon as more than likely they have helped many other people before and maybe after you.

The bottom line is when dealing with a charity, remind yourself they do the best they can with limited resources. But thankful to the volunteers and donors (often wealthy people) that allow a charity to even offer financial help. But thankful that a charity, church, or non-profit is even there as an option in the first place.


Jon McNamara is the CEO of needhelppayingbills.com, a company that he started in 2008 and that specializes in helping low income families as well as those who are in a financial hardship. He also found NHPB LLC, a company committed to helping the less fortunate. Jon and his team also provide free financial advice to help people learn about as well as manage their money. Every piece of content on this website has been reviewed by him before publishing and many of the articles he has personally written. Jon is the leading author for needhelppayingbils.

2 thoughts on “Charities have limited funds to offer for financial help

  • August 18, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    OK start the high earners paying 60% tax for any income. I need free health insurance and education and free rent. That way charities can go away. Also the rich people tend to give to rich people institutions like libraries, higher education, hospitals, museums and music ensembles; them doing that leaves out poor people charities that help people who need help the most.

  • August 26, 2019 at 6:21 am

    You just said it.. dozen of agencies, NOT hard to find.. but those 4 little words… “Unfortunately funds are limited” is the kicker. Funds are NOT limited from charities. Funds flow in left and right by state, local, federal, grants and so on… It’s the picking and choosing of who is worthy of being passified that is the problem.
    These charities don’t provide help…they provide the bare minimum and spread the wealth thin, so to show their support to many and gain more. You know this as well as I do. If places and organizations of large funding and donations such as the for example “Cancer Association” does nothing, do your really believe there is funding out there for someone like me and in my position? Posting links to places that a person can TRY to find help at is insulting and should be a crime. Truly helping people is a joke. Going through hours of paper work to get $50.00 towards the gas bill is not even close to helping people. Or being told “we can’t help you” or being told We don’t have the funding right now. Or get $100.00 from a charity toward my $1200 rent, the $100.00 does not make a dent. Really helps…. I really hope that you don’t get paid to work from home posting links in the name of humanity. When YOU can sit down and provide me with specific honest help in quality healthcare, charities that can pay my rent, paying for and finding me help with radiation damages. Or even provide true and honest help, to anyone. In need financially, medically, mentally. Please, direct me to that person or charity. Otherwise. sending me a bunch of bogus links with limited funding does not help anyone. Been there done that. It’s a joke in Pennsylvania. I can’t believe this is called “HELP.
    Thanks for your time and effort.


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