Do charities pay out too much in costs?
Do you give to larger charities - but fear your donations are being swallowed up in big wages, administration, advertising and marketing?
Comment on this letter, which appears in today's Grimsby Telegraph Viewpoint spread, below.
I ASPIRE to giving the old tithe (one tenth) of my income to various charities. However, in the current economic climate I have been forced to look more closely at the charities which I had previously supported.
It has proved to be a real eye opening – and somewhat depressing – experience.
Out of the 12 national charities I had asked for information concerning how donations were spent, e.g. much was spent on all staff costs( not just the governance costs), and administration, only eight attempted to address the issues I raised.
Out of these eight, four simply provided me with the current report and accounts published under the Charites Act legislation.
The remaining four came through with flying colours – they could see the points I was raising and provided me with all the information that enabled me to see that I was not simply funding “charity businesses”.
Unfortunately, one of these four was paying a chief executive £140,000 and an assistant chief executive £98,000 per year, which made my direct debit of £4 a month seem paltry, especially as the overall income of this particular charity had actually declined in real terms over the last three years!
So I have been left with three charities out of my original 12, which I shall continue to support with larger contributions, knowing that it is money well spent.
I would suggest that others look more closely at the charities they support.
All look good on paper and in the adverts, and commercials, but how much is spent on high salaries, company – sorry charity – cars, BUPA membership, plush offices? Well it’s all in the accounts, but how many of us look at them, I certainly didn’t.
It doesn’t end there. Has anyone else noticed how national charities are becoming so similar in their modus operandi? I get four separate appeals from each of my charities over the year and unsolicited spring, summer, autumn,and Christmas raffle tickets.
Perhaps this is the influence of all these Chief Executives moving from one charity to another.
However, two small local charities, one for animals and one for human care came through my critical examination the best. No paid staff, run by real dedicated volunteers, and showing exactly where the money goes in achieving their goals.
These really embodied the real meaning of Charity.
Full address supplied.