My view on charity giving

Sadly people are taking advantage of people’s good intentions.

The ancient workhouses of the UK were charities for the poor who were notorious for starving their "inmates" whilst the administrators grew fat on charitable donations.

The ancient workhouses of the UK were charities for the poor who were notorious for starving their “inmates” whilst the administrators grew fat on charitable donations.  Dickens Oliver Twist story exposed the scandal.

In the Colchester square the smiling face offers a leaflet, “for you!” he says.  I take the leaflet, but it is held tightly, wheeling me in to the grinning face like a fish.  The charity salesperson is selling a worthy charity called the World Wildlife Fund.

Welcome to cynical capitalism, salespeople as predators on the good intentions of human beings for emotive causes.  Should I donate to the charity via these salespeople they will keep 90% of the donation, the charity will get practically nothing.  I politely tell them I am not interested, I stay silent about where I would like to shove their leaflet, which they keep.

Anything of a charitable nature is via my business, which as its CEO I am the ultimate decision maker.  For legal and business reasons I have policies and processes in place to assist in the decision-making, activity and recording of charitable donations.  I have a localism policy which means the donation must relate to something in Colchester; the donation must benefit the business in some manner such as its brand or products; the donation must translate into a tangible result such as the planting of trees; the donation must meet values such as sustainability, liberty and opportunity policies.

One charity I might consider partnering with in the form of corporate sponsorship is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which has broadened its scope to dealing with other wildlife and the land.  The RSPB runs many nature reserves around the UK including a small nature reserve near Colchester. This potential charity donation ticks all the boxes such as localism, sustainability and branding, so this is where I might donate to.

I argue that people need to become wise to the fund-raising activities for charities, checking that donations are properly used and administrative costs are low.

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8 responses to “My view on charity giving

  1. A good read. Does the UK have an equivalent to the US’ http://www.charitynavigator.org/ for verifying legitimacy? I’ve found it very useful to make sure my own concerns are met before I donate.

  2. It is true, Alex, that many unscrupulous organizations prey on unsuspecting good-hearted people. Perhaps your readers would be interesting in a website like charitywatch.org that rates charities, many of which devote only 10% to administration.

  3. Yes Alex unfortunately Charity is BIG Business and its funds which that little old lady in the street digs deep to give even though she cannot really afford her heating bill.. Are not going to the main charity but often feathering someone’s nest-egg .. And I so dislike hard sell charity on the streets…

    The other week I was stopped by the Charity Help for Heroes Now I usually throw into the buckets of charities depending which they are.. This man who had a large bucket on their charity set up desk in the precinct .. They didn;t want me to donate what I could afford in the bucket.. No they said… we do not want your money in the bucket.. they tried getting me to donate monthly. when I said no, they then proceeded to sell me a raffle ticket.. £2, which I bought.. and afterwards thought how pressured that donation was!.

    Many were walking away from this hard hitting salesman and not putting anything in his bucket at all.. He was over heard calling people mean.. I think he was getting a mirrored reaction of his hard selling as his greed was turning people away.. So totally agree with what you are saying..

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