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Do you give less money to charity now than before?

(22 Posts)
PoppyWearer Tue 13-Nov-12 08:01:01

In the news today, charity donations have dropped in the past year as households feel the pinch.

Having just completely "restructured" our charity donations, this rang very true with me! I cancelled about seven direct debits, most of which were to big, national/international charities, set up some new ones with charities that are local/meaningful to us, and reduced the amount we give overall. To put this into context, we had been giving to the previous charities for ten years in most cases, so I don't feel bad.

This is partly also because DC1 has started school and we now get lots of requests from there (something new every week) for money and other donations. We also aren't paying off our credit card in full at the moment and can't really afford it.

Plus we give one-off donations for sponsorship or events like Children in Need, and we tend to be quite generous.

Have you changed your charity habits as you have felt the pinch?

EmmelineGoulden Tue 13-Nov-12 10:49:48

We haven't cut back. Our kids have also just started at school and we give some to the PTA but other than that I ignore the requests because I don't think it is a good way to teach kids about, well, anything really especially not responsible, charitable giving.

But our income has gone up modestly, and with interest rates and inflation low we're probably in a better position now than we were before the recession. Only issue is job security, but nothing disasterous looks likely at the moment. I would not be surprised if job losses and pay freezes have hit a lot of families hard. I could also see the jubilee and olympics may have made some people get involved in civic events rather than specifically charitable ones.

Where was the news article? Is it individual donations that have gone down? Major gifts? Grants and foundation support?

PoppyWearer Tue 13-Nov-12 11:19:52

Link to the article on the BBC website.

I have actually said no to a couple of the school things now, having realised how many requests there will be, or sought out alternatives (example, the dreaded shoeboxes).

For us, now we have children and have lived a bit longer, the charities that matter to us have changed. We don't want to give anonymously to Oxfam or Cancer Research. DH had a family member with Parkinson's, so we want to give money to that. We went to a children's village in Africa, so they get money from us, we sponsor two of the children we met. The local hospice, which almost closed down. The kinds of charities that mean something to us, rather than the big corporate ones, IYSWIM?

It will be interesting to see what happens with Children in Need this year. We always go pretty big on that, led by nursery and now school, although AFAIK there isn't a non-uniform day planned (that will probably change last-minute).

EmmelineGoulden Tue 13-Nov-12 12:20:18

Wow 20% is a very big drop in a year sad I hope this is an anomolous result.

Poppy I know what you mean about priorities changing over time, but that aspect shouldn't impact overall donations, just move money from one charity to another.

stillsmarting Tue 13-Nov-12 12:24:38

We are still giving the same.We "belong" to two charities associated with our DCs disabilities and give money to our church. Otherwise we do one-offs eg Poppy Appeal, and occasional donations to the uniformed group DC3 belongs to.
Probably not as generous as we once were though. We readjusted four years ago because of a change in circumstances, not the recession.

IShallWearMidnight Tue 13-Nov-12 12:39:34

I work with a (non media "sexy") charity, and although we haven't seen our total donations fall, we have noticed a massive drop in membership income over the past couple of years. People are happy to fundraise for us, but turning non-members into members is proving hard. There are some other issues we know about which don't help and which we are addressing, but it's part of the general trend of people having less disposable cash these days sad.

My personal charitable giving has dropped - I do the school "pound for this" things, fetes, raffle tickets, and keep up one charity membership for a health condition, but other than that, I don't do any regular direct debits any more.

MiniTheMinx Tue 13-Nov-12 23:01:09

I don't give any money to charity. I have no plan to start doing so. I help family and friends and I belong to several "things" basically if we lived in a fair and economically just world there would be no need to give money to charity. Damned if I am going to buy costa packet coffee and then give money to support people on the Ivory Coast. Just one example of where the capitalists pocket your money, rips off the worker and then guilt tripd you & ask you to dip in and pay HIS workers. The same the world over.

stillsmarting Wed 14-Nov-12 08:43:10

basically if we lived in a fair and economically just world there would be no need to give money to charity
This is true, but we don't. Whether or not you give to charity is your choice.

Acumens100 Wed 14-Nov-12 09:01:44

Mini, I agree with you in some ways, which is why I lend money directly to individuals through [ kiva] and volunteer in preference to most donations.

(And if I ever need that money back myself, I can withdraw it. I'd much rather do that than pay the astronomical salaries of charity bosses.)

I do still make some direct debit donations but I wish there were a better way. I fundamentally disagree with charity. I really believe we can meet the needs of society collectively without it, but we don't do that right now, so...

I never give to disability or carers charities because I know from experience they do sod all to help, just ponce around on telly telling each other what great people they are. I've never had a penny or a single lifted finger of help from a charity and I doubt I ever will, though I've cared for my DP for over a decade now on my own.

I think a lot of chicanery goes on under the cover of charity. People are scared to object.

Acumens100 Wed 14-Nov-12 09:02:34

MrsApplepants Wed 14-Nov-12 09:07:50

Yes, we have stopped giving to charity. We simply can't afford to these days.

MiniTheMinx Wed 14-Nov-12 09:37:07

I was expecting a bashing smile I think more people are beginning to realised that many charities are often self serving institutions, at the heart of which is massive salaries to directors, links with wealthy individuals who have an agenda and increasingly tied to governments and lacking credible purpose.

I think Micro-financing is a brilliant way of cutting out the crap and providing capital to those who would otherwise not be able to borrow. Hopefully in time it will mean that more small producers will be able to take back the power from corporations that would otherwise dictate terms to them.

For this to work though one has to turn their attention to the IMF and the WTO who are acting like leeches, sucking the life blood out of the third world.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 14-Nov-12 10:13:34

You do all realize that Kiva (and most other microfinance charities) also has directors connected to wealthy individuals and pays staff significant salaries?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 14-Nov-12 13:46:24

I give less than I used to unfortunately.

I used to sponsor a child in South America, but when he became too old to be in the programme any more, I declined the offer of a new sponsor child and cancelled the donation. It was £15 a month, which we did start to miss. My dd donations to cancer research and the NSPCC have stayed the same, but in the past I used to let them take another pound a month every time they phoned to ask, now I have had to ask them to stop asking.

I do a lot of voluntary work with one particular charity, and I used to just write off costs associated with the work I did for them, now I am more likely to fill in an expenses form and ask for my money back. I hate doing it, but I have to. They hold raffles twice a year too which I used to buy a lot of tickets for, but now I just get one book.

I used to put money in pretty much any collection tin when there were collectors in town, now I will only give to charities that I especially care about.

Acumens100 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:46:35

Sure they do, Emmeline, yep. But at least with Kiva those donation options are separated, so you can make a donation to running costs and/or directly towards the loan.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 14-Nov-12 17:55:05

So you freeload off those who make running cost donations in order to make yourself feel better about loaning instead of giving?

Acumens100 Wed 14-Nov-12 18:01:43

lol ok

EmmelineGoulden Wed 14-Nov-12 18:12:41

If that isn't it, what is it? Why do you think it's all seperate? If they can't get enough donations to cover running costs they'll hold the loan money in banks and take the interest until they can afford to loan it out.

Acumens100 Wed 14-Nov-12 18:20:50

You'll notice I made no comment on what I did, just what the options are. And upthread, I commented that, you know, I donate by direct debit to charities, despite having some issues with the concept. Because the world isn't perfect yet so we all make our compromises.

Calm down.

MiniTheMinx Wed 14-Nov-12 19:20:05

I like the idea of the loans because it is helping people to take control of their lives, is that a bad thing? Of course, the charity must have overheads and staff wages. I suspect someone somewhere will be making money but I like the idea of people being able to borrow the money and start businesses, this is especially good for women.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 14-Nov-12 20:19:10

Acumens sorry, I was conflating your posts with others. The point about it being separate still stands. The loan money may be held in a different account for legal and other reasons. But it doesn't stop the program costing as much to run, or lower the costs to raise money. It just changes the categories they list figures under in their reports.

Mini I think microfinance orgs are generally brilliant - I take issue with the idea that they are somehow superior to other charities in terms of their running costs and hiring practices.

laughtergoodmedicine Mon 19-Nov-12 11:53:01

my circumstances have not yet altered. So I give as much as before. A lot
of peoples financilal circumstances have been reduced a lot. It will have an effect on charity

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