CITIZEN philanthropy appears to be thriving through the charity website DonorsChoose.org.
The nonprofit, founded in 2000 to help public-school teachers fund projects for their classrooms, is extremely efficient with its funds, according to charity observers.
In fiscal year 2011, for example, Donors Choose funneled 95 percent of its total $33.4 million budget into programs and services, according to financial records on its website. About 5 percent is spent on fundraising and administrative costs, the records say.
Most nonprofits spend 75 percent on programs and 25 percent on fundraising and administration, said Sandra Miniutti, vice president of CharityNavigator.org, which rates 6,000 charities.