Christian Cults In Top 20 Of Least Liked Charities

Maybe there is hope for the U.S. after all -- or maybe not. After an election season in which it seemed that Americans would believe any Christian Coalition fundraiser sent to them, the _Chronicle of Philanthropy_ has come out with some truly surprising survey results.

_The Chronicle of Philanthropy_ is, of course, the "newspaper of the non-profit world." Published biweekly, it serves up news of interest and import to nonprofit administrators. Typical articles include news on foundation annual reports, tax law, grants, etc.

The front page article of December 13 issue is the results of a survey conducted by the Chronicle on how Americans view different charities. The top 10 groups listed as "least credible" by those surveyed were:

1. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
2. American Civil Liberties Union  [this isn't a charity!]
3. National Rifle Association      [this isn't a charity!]
4. Christian Broadcasting Network
5. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
6. United Way
7. Greenpeace                      [this isn't a charity!]
8. Campus Crusade for Christ
9. Jewish Defense League
10. United  Negro College Fund.

The top ten of the "most opposed" charities were:

1. National Rifle Association
2. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
3. American Civil Liberties Union
4. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
5. Christian Broadcasting Network
6. Greenpeace
7. United Way
8. Campus Crusade for Christ
9. Planned Parenthood
10. Jewish Defense League
The only religious organizations to make the "best liked" and "most credible" lists were the Salvation Army and the Boy Scouts. Health-related charities were a favorite.

Only 28 percent of those survey supported the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association at all. It does well with that percent, however. In 1993, the Billy Graham organization raised $69.7 million, making it No. 80 on the Philanthropy 400, the annual compilation of the charities that raise the most money from private donors.

CBN, which raised $92 million last year (making it No. 52 in the Philanthropy 400) challenged the results of the survey. The survey also found that 18 percent opposed CBN and 27.9 percent support it.

The poll results were based on responses from 1479 people and have a sampling error of 2 percent. Respondents were asked to rank 96 organizations and causes on several scales.