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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Okay, so.....

There are alot of charities in the public eye here in the US right now, obviously.

I have *never* been a supporter of Red Cross. Why? Because a goodly portion of their own overhead takes much of the charity donations. I don't like that. I don't think that the person in charge should be making $200,000 a year. I don't think my friend who is one of their regional event managers should be making $90,000 per year. Something is very wrong there.
Not to mention, I saw this statement the other day during the React Now concert...

"Your $100 donation to the Red Cross can feed a family of four for 2 days." eek I can feed a family of 4 on $100 for over a week, so I know that statement is bs, and that much of that money is not going to where it is intended.

UCF (United Christian Childrens Fund) was another one that did that. My girl scout troupe collected for them when I was younger, until we found out that only 17 cents/$1, actually went to help the people it was intended for. It was a grotesque abuse of the funds in my eyes.

Now Habitat for Humanity is coming up. I have built for them. I even know someone who lives in one of their homes. They are a great charity, except....how are they going to choose who gets help and a new home and who does not in the Gulf Coast?

The head of the Salvation Army came under investigation a few years ago.

There was Greenpeace talking leaders OUT of using hybrid grains that could feed their countries, but not giving them other options to the starvation.

Now I know there is some overhead, but not obscene salaries and posh, cushy offices. And I don't think help should be conditional to the point of being detrimental. Give me a break.

My rennie group is having a benefit show to benefit other rennies through a really small charity where we know all of the money will go to them, and that makes me feel really good.

Do you research charities fully (meaning looking beyond the good into other areas they effect?) before you donate your time, your money, your clothes, etc?


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:we're lucky in the uk charities are heavily regulated but even so i know what you mean

the flip side is if you had a ceo NOT paid that much you would probably not get a good ceo and end up in a similar situation

but yes i think charities often get too corporate

the RSPCA in the UK recently got investigated because of spending several million on an advertising campagne instead of helping animals

its a fine line

personally i rarly give to charity as i help out at st john ambulance and give a lot of time to that

when i do give it tends to go to cancer research as my nan died of that

the best way is to pick maybe one or two and support only them...


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Medusa
Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...
Member Since: 25th Nov 2003
Total posts: 1433
Posted:I donate to only charities that do research...I fully support the asthma foundation (being an asthmatic myself) and also the cancer council (having had a number of family members and friends touched by some form of cancer).

Not only do the money donated go towards research for better ways of curing and preventing these problems but also into education and advertising, helping people to better understand these problems.

I know the Salvation Army take money out of what is donated and use it for their own purposes (know someone who used to work in one of their main offices in Australia) so I would never give to them.



linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:its nto so much trusting the charities on my part its more that there are so many that you cant give to them all

so i choose jst one or two to help

works better that way smile


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fNi
fNi

master of disaster
Location: New York
Member Since: 8th Mar 2004
Total posts: 3354
Posted:I choose to donate in items that can't be put towards other uses~~food, clothing, etc, or I do research.

I am by no means a fan of the Red Cross, but I do donate blood because I feel its important, and that it is one item that won't be played around with the same way as the money is.


kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more


Eera
old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay
Member Since: 29th May 2003
Total posts: 1107
Posted:I have absolutely no problem with charities paying staff; if someone has a huge amount of people to organise, places to get money to, and all the other organisational feats that are beyond me, then give them their money's worth. I'd rather a ceo of any company gets $200000 a year than Beckham getting the same a month for kicking a ball around.

What I really hate is the aggressive people soliciting for charities when you walk down the street. I really don't like being told that I am a bad person for not giving them my bank account details, so I will not support unsolicited charity calls in any way shape or form.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.


MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:Part of the reason why i'd rather volunteer, say to help rebuiding places, than give money. Part of that is also that i'm pretty much skint as it is.

I agree with Eera, though. the ceo of a charity still needs to feed, clothe and shelter their family and themselves. you can't expect them to volunteer their time, and work elsewhere as well. A lower salary would mean more money going to those in need, but it'd have to be a high stress job.

Even the middle management levels in these organistations would be under a fair amount of stress, i'd say. I certainly wouldn't like to be making choices as to whether one village or another gets enough to survive, or both get half what they need, and neither make it. would you?


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie


linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:i think giving blood should be compulsory

maybe not every 3 months but at least once every 2 years

i wouldnt say its bad when charities pay their staff
its more when charities spend massive amounts on things that arn't needed like mega advertising campagnes or sill revamps of logos etc.

even street collectings ok - when i go street collecting w/ st john ambulance we can make a **lot** of money - but your not allowed to approach people about it they must come to you

its nicer that way biggrin


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Medusa
Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...
Member Since: 25th Nov 2003
Total posts: 1433
Posted:They won't take my blood though....I am too underweight apparently.

Though they keep telling me my blood is really rich in iron so it would be good....

But anyway....my friend who worked with the Salvos told me it wasn't that they were just taking out the funds to pay their staff....



squarexbear
squarexbear

....of doom!
Location: Hastings, UK
Member Since: 17th Apr 2005
Total posts: 585
Posted:i hate charity vampires - being told that i must have serious issues (among other fairly rude things) because i cannot actually afford to give to charity is beyond the pale.

other than that, we as a family support amnesty international and a couple of other things.



Prometheus
Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:More often than not, I donate blood instead of cash, because it's harder to misuse blood.

Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.


Spiral
Spiral

Oolering Man
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire
Member Since: 12th Jan 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:I used to donate to friends of the earth alot..... I steer well clear of oxfam though, about 99% of your donation goes to 'running' the charity - makes me angry eek


Nephtys
Nephtys

resident fridge magnet
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Member Since: 3rd Oct 2002
Total posts: 835
Posted:Hmmm, charities in Holland are regulated too, there's an upper limit to the percentage of their income that can be spent on running the charity itself. All the large charities make their annual reports public, and they get evaluated independently as well.

That said, you, musn't underestimate the cost of running a charity: aside from salaries there's office space, computers, travel etc. I'm inclined to agree with Linden and Eera on the CEO salaries: you are unlikely to find someone with the kind of background, skills and experience needed to run a medium-to-large organisation if you are not willing to offer them a decent wage packet.
I worked for an NGO for a while, and our director was a wonderful, visionary and extremely dedicated man. He also had a fairly high salary, but I always felt he deserved it: he's been working to save the world for 40 years! (started out in development, worked on linking it to environmentalism, and is now involved in the prevention of armed conflict & peacebuilding.... and he definitely hasn't been making this kind of money for most of that time) He's 63 and running around the world gathering support for his cause: he'd fly in from New York and come straight into the office from the airport at 8 in the morning, jetlagged and all, and stay until after everyone else had left. He barely has time to see his grandkids, and his wife is threatening to leave him if he doesn't start taking it easier soon - I very much doubt he's making $200,000, but i wouldn't begrudge it him!


everyone's unique except me


Spiral
Spiral

Oolering Man
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire
Member Since: 12th Jan 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:My last job was for a registered charity, unfortuneately they were a rinse organisation.... they used the fact that they were a charity to get funding from europe - this they used to put towards the wages of the people that worked for them, on the basis that they trained these people (the whole bent of the charity was that they were taking long trm unemployed - and giving them trade skills). In the long run it turned out they were just using this as a method of getting cheap labour, and getting more work by using this cheap labour to undercut the competition - in the 2 and a half years I worked there, not one person left with a qualification they were supposed to. It really was a case of the fat cats getting fatter off the backs of the people they were supoosed to be helping angry


flid
flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by: pele
Do you research charities fully (meaning looking beyond the good into other areas they effect?) before you donate your time, your money, your clothes, etc?



Absolutely, because not all charities fight for the same thing. Some charities exist which are acting in direct opposite direction to other charities, and some are even responsible of prepertating acts with other charities work against. Most of my donations in the past to charities have been my time, I'd rather give a charity free professional service than money.

I have worked on a paid basis for charities too, but at a much discounted cost than I can charge to businesses. Charities do need to have employees, volunteers are great but unreliable. I've been involved with charities that have been severaly screwed over by mood swings amongst key volunteers, petty squabbles and the like which wouldn't (or shouldn't) happen with a company.

I do agree that super salaries shouldn't exist, but again it's debateable whether if person x is making the charity y amount of money per year, if perzon z was employed for double the salary but could make a return of 10 times this amount for the charity, then employing them could be good.

I also don't have a problem, assuming the money is well spent, with charities advertising - part of many charity's work is raising awareness.



newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Many of the organisations I have worked for are charities. It is completely unrealistic to expect charities to run for nothing. They have to pay rent, phone bills, run safe cars, buy equipment etc etc etc just like any other organisation. If they are going to keep staff who know what they are doing, and NOT waste money, they have to pay a living wage. Volunteers are all very well in some limited roles, but even they need to be recruited, trained, insured, equipped etc. A great example is how much it costs to run our Surf Life Savers.. one of the charities I regularly support.

I also support a charity that works in community development in many countries. A friend was criticising them because 'their workers always seem to have the nicest cars'. On questioning though, they also had a reputation for keeping their workers for years. Well, if that's what it takes to keep good people in the field, building up expertise,relationships and continuity, fine. Better to do that than have a constant turnover of unsustainable, altruistic cowboys. That might look better on paper as a % of money spent, but it doesn't necessarily mean it really was quality work. Let;s not forget the espisoe of Yes Minister where the most 'efficient' hospital was the one that actually had no patients at all..


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....


DeepSoulSheep
DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin
Member Since: 25th Sep 2002
Total posts: 2617
Posted:NGOs are still the best way to get money where it needs to be. Compare their efficiency to that of government aid and there's no comparison.

I live in a world of infinite possibilities.


Helen_of_Poi
Helen_of_Poi

lapsed spinner
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Member Since: 28th Apr 2004
Total posts: 412
Posted:One thing that really gets my goat is the fact that most of the time when you donate your clothes to a charity shop, they don't get sold in that shop.

Most charity shops receive far more donations than they can handle, and these are sold by the (often unopened) large bag for around 1 per bag, to companies that stock 2nd hand shops in Eastern European countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, and often in Africa, where there is a demand for "western" style clothes.

Ok, this means that environmentally, at least they aren't just being binned, and the charity makes a small amount. It also means that local clothing manufacturers in poorer countries are being put out of business because they can't compete with the low cost price of these clothes. So that leads to more unemployment etc.....

more info here

More complicated info (very long and detailed): : here


Helen_of_Poi

EJC Ireland 2006 Organisational Team


linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:thats a lil worrying

at least it ends up helping someone but it sucks that such profit is made form it

i know where i live because its fairly well off about 90% of whats donated gets shipped off to other charity shops around the country


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