I recently signed up with Charity Navigator, an online service that provides financial information about and ratings for specific charities. I'm starting a new mini-feature in which I'm posting about the results of my research into some of the groups I support.
Yesterday, I contributed to People for Puget Sound, a local organization that works on protection of Puget Sound and the Northwest Straits. We live in Seattle and I think it's very important to remember our oceans and the life that reside there.
Anyway, they received three out of four stars. Here is a snapshot of their 2007 budget breakdown. The key is how big their program expenses are. Effective charities should spend the majority of their revenue on programs, not overhead.