The Cats Protection charity were in my local shopping centre trying to get people to sign up a Direct Debit to their weekly lottery
I make no comment on the work that the Cats Protection people do, I just remember that they had over £11 million in an Icelandic bank when it collapsed.
This £11 million being a mere 16 per cent of its reserves. That is a sum on money most of us can only dream of – even my spoilt brat of a cat would be hard-pressed to spend that!
Just because some charities seem to have more money than sense. donating to charity is certainly not something that should be dismissed, but it is something that should be taken seriously. On an average Saturday in a high street near me there are usually five distinct charities – or things that look like charities to the casual observer, wanting money.
This is excluding the Christian chap screaming abuse through a megaphone who has a collection bucket, the Big Issue sellers, the nice people to want to me to attend a rap concert for God, the people with the ‘free’ Koran stand, the blind chap who whistles with a collection bucket, the chap with the ginger cat who has a collection bucket or the man selling wooden toys “from Jerusalem” who has a handwritten sign with a charity number on it – I’ve not looked up the number but if it is really his then I’d be very surprised.
So a fair few people want my money – and possibly my soul, but working out which ones are meaningful to give to is tricky.
The Charity Commission lets you download annual reports from over 30,000 charities in England and Wales, which lets you see how much money has been raised and work out (somewhat crudely) how it was spent.
There is an American site called Charity Navigator which says it evaluates “the Financial Health and Accountability and Transparency of 6,000 of America’s largest charities.” I have no idea if it manages this but they do have a good guide to donating sensibly and efficiently!
One of my favourite points being to check the Executive pay, apparently the average CEO pay is around $50,000 – to me this is a fantastical figure that surely must eat into the donations raised!
Of course a job done well must be rewarded and to attract the best people you need to pay, however in a sector that is often called “non-profit” that is sounding like a lot of profit for certain people in the organisation!
There is no magical answer, you just have to find a charity that works for you, give them time/money/whatever and hope they aren’t crooked or wasteful.
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