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shocked at charities..

(129 Posts)
cuckoooo Tue 08-Mar-16 16:13:41

My brother is an auditor in the charity sector and he was telling me that the big charities, particularly the 'sponsor a child' ones are pointless.

He was telling me that the biggest childrens charity - UNICEF - only 14p in the pound gets spent on actual causes the rest of the money goes to advertising, offices and staff costs. He also added that Unicef's boss has a company Rolls Royce and $1.2m salary.

He said for worldvision/plan uk/save the children only between 15p and 23p in the pound gets to the children sponsored and not even directly to the child - just allocated to the local area. The majority of costs are rent, advertising, mysterious 'consulting' costs, and staff costs. He said they have swanky offices in really expensive places - Belgravia/Mayfair etc and the execs have high-ish salaries with lots of perks (chauffeur, paid holidays, lots of annual leave etc)

He said Red Cross was the worst offender of all, but wouldn't go into details.

I just felt a little outraged, though not entirely surprised. It feels like that even the good things of this world are corrupt.

cuckoooo Tue 08-Mar-16 16:17:48

Oh I forgot to mention that he did say the salvation army was the only decent one out there.... I just thought I should be balanced....

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 08-Mar-16 16:18:27

I though that was all pretty well known.

I generally only give to small, local charities I know and trust.

LurkingHusband Tue 08-Mar-16 16:18:59

UNICEF - only 14p in the pound gets spent on actual causes

As much as that ?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 08-Mar-16 16:20:13

Did he mention his licence to practice as an auditor is dependent on keeping client data confidential?

cuckoooo Tue 08-Mar-16 16:23:05

ha ha ha - my brother keeping something confidential is hilarious...... he couldn't keep a secret for 30 seconds.

Besides I am sure this information is in their annual reports if you go looking for it.

Gatehouse77 Tue 08-Mar-16 16:23:44

Sadly, I'm not surprised. NSPCC has a bad reputation for it too. This is why I don't give money to charities. I do volunteering instead.

bruffin Tue 08-Mar-16 16:23:47

The charity i worked for had offices in the City but there was no rent becausevthe space was donated.

cannotlogin Tue 08-Mar-16 16:25:38

so....the CEO of a multimillion £ business shouldn't earn anything? charity staff shouldn't be able to live? charity staff shouldn't be allowed to go on holiday? You are fully aware that no one (and I mean no one) working broadly in the development field is qualified at less than Masters level?

None of the charities you mention claim to sponsor individual children.

It is pretty common place for the major charities to have offices in Central London - largely to do with lobbying centrally, networking etc. It is not possible to get cheap offices in Central London (or not at least the last time I looked). Having a lobbying function makes a head office in the North of England pretty much redundant (and would cost a small fortune in travelling costs for staff so might as well just have centrally based offices).

I am not sure what it is you expect? People with qualifications working for nothing at all?

Spock27 Tue 08-Mar-16 16:27:17

If you look at Unicef's annual accounts they state that 74p out of every pound donated to Unicef goes to children's programmes, 24p goes towards raising more money (the basic principles of fundraising) and 2p goes towards administration costs.

There has been a lot of stick recently about CEOs being paid too much, and while I think that is the case in certain charities it is certainly not in the majority. The majority of charities stick to fundraising regulations, are open and honest about their expenses and do a great amount of work that the government don't do. If these charities weren't around then a lot of people would suffer, we can't rely on volunteers to change the world so charities do need to offer competitive salaries (to an extent as I said) to attract people who will drive their aims forward and bring about positive change.

I think your brother is talking shit to be honest and would advise you to do your own research than just blindly believing people.

specialsubject Tue 08-Mar-16 16:27:43

is this the right way round?

I looked at some charity accounts - all public domain online. Most of them lose between 10 and 15 percent in admin, operating, stupid wristbands and so on. Some also hold back donations so it doesn't all go out as soon as it should.

but if it is the other way about, there's a big scandal, and all the charities are lying on their accounts.

I'm a big cynic but...

228agreenend Tue 08-Mar-16 16:28:35

Figures from 2010. They give higher percentages being for the worthwhile cause,

BeardMinge Tue 08-Mar-16 16:32:26

That's interesting, so is he suggesting that UNICEF are lying in their 2014 annual report and accounts where they say that 74p out of every pound i8s spent on programmes for children, 24p is spent on fundraising activity, and 2p on administration?

If so, maybe he should take it to the Daily Fail or the Times, they seem to enjoy bashing charities.

StickyToffeePuddingAndCustard Tue 08-Mar-16 16:32:32

All charities' accounts are published on the Charities Commission website.

Page 53 of Unicef's accounts show the top earners' individual salaries as well as staff bandings and numbers, no £1.2m salaries there:

Unicef also publish 69% of income is spent on charitable spending also reflected in their accounts which are deemed to be signed off by their auditors Sayer Vincent (your cousin's employer?) on pages 43 and 44

Maybe research what you are talking about before posting, that took 5 mins.


MrsTerryPratchett Tue 08-Mar-16 16:33:07

Yeah the Salvation Army is the best. Right. The fact that they push religion, use really dodgy religious stuff in their programs and, where I live, don't allow people under the influence in at all, no matter their need or behaviour. Leaving the other homeless charities to pick up the pieces. They rock.

Just look for smaller, lower cost charities.

I give to the Red Cross. Regardless of their costs they do great work. I've seen it on the ground. You know, in the trenches. Out in the snow with the homeless people.

BeardMinge Tue 08-Mar-16 16:33:30

Ah, Spock beat me to it!

cuckoooo Tue 08-Mar-16 16:34:06

worldvision/plan uk/save the children - they all sponsor children.

Head of charities do not earn extortionately in UK, but they get certain perks that CEOs don't get - take worldvision - they get an ok salary plus private school for kids paid by company and home in london paid for as well - those alone are worth much more than their salary.

Spock27 Tue 08-Mar-16 16:34:19

Besides I am sure this information is in their annual reports if you go looking for it

Have you bothered to go look for it or were you too busy getting your pitchfork and burning torch out?

StickyToffeePuddingAndCustard Tue 08-Mar-16 16:35:00

an erroneous "DEEMED TO BE" in my last post... grr

glenthebattleostrich Tue 08-Mar-16 16:35:03

cannot, plan adverts at the very least imply that you sponsor an individual child and your money goes to that child.

No one is suggesting that charity staff work for free just that they are cost effective.

I think the Kids Company debacle shows how we need to question where the money goes. Why should chauffeurs be paid for, for example. If you have a 6 figure salary I'm pretty certain you can pay for a cab.

OneMagnumisneverenough Tue 08-Mar-16 16:36:43

It has always been thus. I do appreciate that charities do need staff and to pay them and they need to advertise etc but the proportions are really bad for the vast majority.

My DH was talking to an older gentleman who's retired early. He did a lot of voluntary work and charity fundraising for a local hospice. When they had a vacancy for an official fundraiser, they invited him to apply as they thought he'd be ideal. As he was still fairly young, he thought "why not?" and went along for an interview. Then they told him what the salary was and he said he felt sick. It was in the region of £40k. He felt disgusted that he had spent years raising money to basically pay the salary for someone to raise money. I appreciate that it is a job that possibly needs doing but that salary in the area we live in is far too high.

Its sad as he now feels that he doesn't want to do it anymore.

exexpat Tue 08-Mar-16 16:37:47

You can get data on what proportion of charities' funds are spent on admin/fundraising on this website or get recommendations for particularly efficient (mostly small) charities on this one - possibly more reliable than going by what someone on the internet's brother said...

NameAgeLocation Tue 08-Mar-16 16:39:49

There are very small sponsorship charities which give all money directly for the support of the child. I was involved in one as a sponsor and was in a position to visit the child at one stage, so I could see with my own eyes that it was all true and above board.
They are not well publicised (no advertising budget!) but they are definitely out there.

RhodaBull Tue 08-Mar-16 16:40:07

The Salvation Army don't allow people under the influence in at all, . And this is wrong - why? confused

I have personal experience of being helped by the Salvation Army and have nothing but good to say about them. So they're religious. Would you condemn a mosque for helping people in their community? Complaining about the Salvation Army's religious basis is really cutting off one's nose to spite one's face - or rather cutting off a person in need's nose.

NewLife4Me Tue 08-Mar-16 16:40:12

I'm not surprised.
They are all at it, but if you mention the wrong one on here you get bombasted by a particular poster.
That happened to me when i mentioned the practices of the one that likes to use a weed every november. Even less goes to that charity.
A poster had a real go because she worked for them and refused to admit/ believe it. grin
Some folks are just daft.

I donate both money and used clothes etc to our local hospice, apart from the rent for the premises, everybody is a volunteer. No fat cats driving expensive cars, no area managers or head office officials.

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