Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

Check your Charity

I had the pleasure of speaking with Nolan Watson and David Awram last week. Both were involved with the silver streaming success story Silver Wheaton (SLW.TO, SLW) and have moved on to create a gold streaming company Sandstorm Gold (SSL.V) and a metals and energy streaming company appropriately called Sandstorm Metals and Energy (SND.V). I'm still reaseaching the Sandstorms but any method that avoids the dilution pollution that contaminates most junior companies is a great start.

More importantly, after the conference call, I noticed that my friend Tommy Humphries (NEVER play golf for money with this guy...just a heads up) had a post with Nolan Watson's face on it. Naturally I had to read it. 

Here's a quote:

The very first charity I came across (a multi-billion dollar charity) had advertising material that claimed that 80% of all donations went to the end cause. What I found was of that 80%, approximately 90% (i.e. 72% of total expenditures) were salary expenses. This means that 92% all expenditures related to either salaries or administration costs.  My feelings on this issue are particularly strong, and I can say for certain that I work way too hard for my money to have such a small portion go to the actual cause.  I am no longer impressed by an organization that claims that 90% of my donations will go to charitable works unless I know exactly what types of expenses are allocated where.

Nolan's accounting expertise make him uniquely qualified to evaluate charities. He ended up starting his own, called Nations Cry. You can read more about it on Tommy's blog.