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Jeff Palmer: Is 100% for hunger better than 20%?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
EDITOR'S NOTE: On Oct. 14, Southern Baptists will observe World Hunger Sunday and congregations across the United States will receive offerings for the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. Since its inception in 1974, Southern Baptists have given more than $235 million through the fund. For information on the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund, visit

NASHVILLE (BP) -- I ran into an interesting article not long ago on Fox News. It was enlightening in regard to celebrities and the charities they promote.

A reliable charity watchdog group that also looks at organizations such as ours, Baptist Global Response, reported that some of the best-known celebrity charities send only 20 to 30 percent of donations to meet actual needs. Up to 70 percent is spent on salaries, marketing, advertising and overhead costs.

I'll not name names here, but I suspect many of these famous people would speak negatively about a World Hunger Fund that is connected to Southern Baptists, even though our fund sends 100 percent of every donation straight to people in need.

You read that right. The Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund is a dollar in, dollar out vehicle to help hungry people all around the world. Not one penny is taken out for administrative costs. Salaries and operating expenses are already covered by the generosity of Southern Baptists through giving channels such as the Cooperative Program.

When you give a dollar to the World Hunger Fund, you can be sure a dollar will be spent somewhere in the world to alleviate hunger or address hunger-related issues.

Eighty percent of World Hunger Fund donations are allocated to feed hungry people in other countries, and the other 20 percent are distributed to feed hungry people in North America.


Baptist Global Response administers and oversees the international portion on behalf of the International Mission Board, and the North American Mission Board oversees the domestic component. Both these organizations are blessed with other sources of income for operations, so the World Hunger Fund can be used 100 percent for what it was designed to do: address hunger needs.

So here's my question. Whether you're a Southern Baptist or not, why wouldn't you give to something like the dollar in, dollar out Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund?

Jeff Palmer is executive director of Baptist Global Response, online at

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

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