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to have reservations about donating to a large charity's

(107 Posts)
dhdjdbrjrkbr Sat 31-Jan-15 11:38:51

Nc for this.

I give to a few small charities that I've worked with. But I just always question when i give to very large charities as they mostly seem to be run like big businesses, who spend alot on top management, advertising and swanky offices.

Aibu and a total dick? I'm currently donating to friends sky dive and can't decide between 10 or 20. I'm looking at the charity's public information and a lot seems to be wasted and the money that is spent with this health charity mainly goes on treatment rather than prevention.

KingJoffreyObviouslyWatchesHol Sat 31-Jan-15 11:41:41

No, donate to who you want.

I won't be donating another penny to charity until they all calm down.

The knocking on doors/badgering in the street is really intrusive. And if they can pay people to do that then they don't need whatever measly sun I can offer.

Viviennemary Sat 31-Jan-15 11:45:25

I couldn't believe the proportion of donations MacMillan used for admin and paying huge salaries to fundraisers and directors. Very little is filtering through to the actual work they are meant to do and help for patients. It's put me off donating. Charities are getting very grabby and trying to make people feel guilty. If a charity puts me on a guilt trip they get nothing.

ohmymimi Sat 31-Jan-15 12:09:08

Well, I've just read the Macmillan Annual Report 2013 and it does not indicate 'very little is filtering through to the actual work they are meant to do ...'.

Plateofcrumbs Sat 31-Jan-15 12:09:15

I work at a fairly senior level in a large charity.

Yes the best of them are run like big businesses in so far as they have to be extremely strategic, make tough decisions and be very financially shrewd. They do however think things that big businesses don't do - we are not there to get bigger for the sake of it, only if it is justified by need/the cause we are working for.

Yes CEOs have six figure salaries but honestly, they are paid peanuts relative to a comparable role in the private sector. No-one is in this line of work for the money, seriously. It is really bloody hard to recruit good staff as the salaries we offer don't compete. It is easy to find people with the willing, but not to find people with the skills.

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Sat 31-Jan-15 12:13:54

I agree, the salaries some charity workers are paid are astounding and I now won't give to them and stick to two or three charities I truly believe in.

There's so much pressure, even the supermarkets aren't hassle free anymore. I don't mind the children bag packing for their clubs but there are too many others now.

OP, I don't give to things like sky dives etc as their is a min they need to raise just to cover the cost of the activity and it's not cheap. So effectively you are paying for the activity and if anything extra is raised it covers salaries, overheads etc.

PtolemysNeedle Sat 31-Jan-15 12:17:28

Some charities are run like big businesses, but that's because that is the best way for them to help their intended beneficiaries in the way they are supposed to. They can't do what they are aiming to do if they don't employ people to do it, and so many charities are propping up services that should be state provided it would be completely unrealistic to think that they should only be run by volunteers or people who are rich enough to do highly skilled work in exchange for minimum wage.

If you'd rather donate to a charity that focuses on prevention rather than treatment then that's up to you, but treatment is still a worthy thing that is deserving of donations.

I think people sometimes forget that if a charity presents itself as being run on a shoestring comes across as unsustainable and will therefore get less funding in the way of lottery grants or donations from big companies or rotary clubs and the like. Appearing like a small struggling charity might make a few more people decide to donate a fiver or might make people choose to give a slightly higher amount when they're sponsoring a skydive, but it won't work in flavour of the charities finances in the bigger picture.

Cantbelievethisishappening Sat 31-Jan-15 12:20:46

I couldn't believe the proportion of donations MacMillan used for admin and paying huge salaries to fundraisers and directors. Very little is filtering through to the actual work they are meant to do and help for patients.

What on earth are you basing this on? hmm

Viviennemary Sat 31-Jan-15 12:24:36

There was a thread about it a while back when that pouring water over your head fund raiser was being discussed.

Nancy66 Sat 31-Jan-15 12:26:13

not unreasonable. There are some charities I wouldn't donate to. Some of them actually don't need money, they have more than they know what to do with.

Eltonjohnsflorist Sat 31-Jan-15 12:28:36

I think you've got to be fair, big charities do need up run like big business'- they have huge amounts of revenue and it be allocated efficiently and strategically. That needs business skill; and that's expensive. Strategic level
Staff need to be paid decent salaries ; Pay peanuts get monkeys- believe me they'll waste far more money in the long term.

BathtimeFunkster Sat 31-Jan-15 12:31:38

I read this in the New Republic about this issue, it's really enlightening, both about how big charities waste money and about how money spent on admin isn't "wasted".

The problem with international development

It's focused on international development, but interesting generally.

ohmymimi Sat 31-Jan-15 12:41:11

Nancy Please list those charities you refer to that have more money than they know what to do with.

SorchaN Sat 31-Jan-15 12:49:47

I often wonder whether people who complain about charities spending money on admin are people who want to find excuse for not giving, perhaps because they don't much care that we're living in a terribly unjust world, and that political solutions take time. Those of us who lead comfortable lives don't need to feel guilty exactly, but I think we should feel responsible towards others in the world who are suffering. Of course charities spend money on admin: they have to pay salaries to people who get the charity's work done. No organisation can operate without admin, and people who work for charities need to pay their mortgages and feed their families just like everyone else. I think people should choose one or two causes they want to support and set up a direct debit... and inform themselves about why charities have admin costs.

PtolemysNeedle Sat 31-Jan-15 12:59:26

That's a valid point Sorcha.

I think it works the other way too sometimes though, in that people who work for charities, either paid or voluntarily, or who already donate regularly get a bit more picky about the charities they will give to occasionally.

I agree people should donate to one or two causes they care about and become better informed about why charities can have high admin costs.

Nancy66 Sat 31-Jan-15 13:00:27

ohmy - GOSH, RSPCA, RSPB, Comic Relief are some of the charities who have kept vast amounts in reserve rather than spending it.

Certainly GOSH was ordered to offload some of its funds by the Charities Commission a few year's ago.

I don't know what their status is today

dhdjdbrjrkbr Sat 31-Jan-15 13:03:35

I do see what your saying sorcha.

I've just taken umbridge at this charity friend wants me to donate to with some of the propaganda she's posted. She suffers from a rare heart condition so supports a heart charity that has helped her. But she's posting that 1/4 have a heart problem in their life that I don't doubt but the money seems to be going on treatment rather than prevention and I expect the vast majority of the 1 in 4 could be prevented.

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Sat 31-Jan-15 13:07:35

I don't disagree that charities need some employees as well as volunteers but what they don't need is employees on huge salaries. Nobody needs a six figure sum and all it does it take the money away from the actual cause. If working for a charity, you'd expect the person to be charitible not taking way more than necessary from those funds.

Eltonjohnsflorist Sat 31-Jan-15 13:08:26

I think that's a really good point sorcha, especially as, with all respect, said people are usually talking about tiny amounts of money; not life effecting for them or the charity. It seems an over reaction- "I don't want to donate £10 because they'll waste it on admin"

Eltonjohnsflorist Sat 31-Jan-15 13:09:43

You need to pay someone a six figure sum if they're good and won't work for less. How could you get a CEO or director for less than 6 figs?

PtolemysNeedle Sat 31-Jan-15 13:12:13

In my experience of people that work for charities, they are charitable. They do jobs that they could get paid more for if they went to private companies, they don't have the same perks or benefits that they could have in private companies, and they spend their own time being involved in fundraisers or raising publicity.

But either way, if a charity needs a job to be done to achieve it's charitable aim, then it is going to need to pay the going rate. Otherwise it won't get the best people for the job.

Sn00p4d Sat 31-Jan-15 13:16:53

I may be all kinds of naive but I think with smaller charities there tends to be more people volunteering than salaried. Certainly from my own perspective I've recently become involved with CDH UK when my baby was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia, They strike me as a charity without huge salaries and whatever the outcome for my baby I'll definitely be donating and fundraising for them in the future, because they've helped me.
Most people choose to support a charity because they've been in some way affected by whatever they're fighting/supporting, i can't say the CEOs salary has ever crossed my mind when donating hmm

heartisaspade Sat 31-Jan-15 13:18:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

caroldecker Sat 31-Jan-15 13:18:50

In 2013, macmillan raised £187m, spend £121m on charity and £58m on fundraising, so basically 33% of funds raised.
4 people in Macmillian earned 6 figure salaries, 38 between 60-100k and 1,262 less than 60k

heartisaspade Sat 31-Jan-15 13:19:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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