This entry was posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 8:00 pm and is filed under New Zealand.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Recent news stories suggest, as much as 90% of money raised by charities, goes into the personal pockets of those collecting the money.
Until the corruption is gone, I refuse to line the pockets of greedy middlemen. Speaking of which, I must cancel my charity donations on my utilities bills.
One thing I’ve always wondered – supermarkets also collect for charities.
But, would the supermarkets/utilities who collect on behalf of charities claim a tax rebate for customer supplied donations? I wouldn’t have thought so, since the customer could also claim a rebate. Just curious.
This whole charities business has just gotten out of hand and confusing.
I understand what you mean about promoters staging ‘charity events’ to line their own pockets. In Britain there is an epidemic of ‘chuggers’ (charity muggers) who stop you on the street soliciting donations for various causes. I found out later that these people work for agencies witholding monthly donations for up to a year before the charities they represent see a penny.
The reason third parties can do all this is because charities are constantly having to (literally!) beg for money, and you have to spend it in order to make it. Fundraising and building awareness is a constant uphill struggle for them. A charity might prefer someone else organises an event to footing the bill themselves. Otherwise they would have to explain to their trustees and supporters why they were spending more on marketing than service provision. It is an awkward position to be in.
But if you want to donate money, it is best to go to an organisation directly. There are a large number of charities which make a virtue out of their transparency. For instance, I donate to Oxfam, who inform the public how much of their funding is absorbed into administrative costs, and publish their accounts on the web.
Finally, when it comes to volunteering, it is sad to hear your partner was turned away. Was it for a larger national charity, or a small local one?
There are many causes needing money and manpower, and many great people working with them. Don’t let anything disuade you from offering anything you can to help.
Involved in charities and I can confirm you the target should be ~70% (or more) of money raised is to go to the charity whether it is a 3rd party ran fundraising campaign or in house. Most charities do hit those targets and better them. There are several 3rd parties who run as trusts who raise money for charities via events or telemarketing who keep their costs under the 30% mark. This is a similar target to Australia, UK and USA.
The case of Epilepsy needs to be understood that there were TWO charities involved. Epilepsy Association of New Zealand http://www.epilepsy.org.nz and The Epilepsy Foundation http://epilepsyfoundation.org.nz/. There was a relationship as the expectation was that the Foundation would help fund the Association, which turned out to be untrue. They are two distinct and separate bodies with different boards etc.
The Association is the one that actually helps people with Epilepsy and education regarding epilepsy. The Foundation exists to raise money. As the Foundation was burning up all the money the Association severed ties with them. http://www.epilepsy.org.nz/main.cfm?id=71&nid=33. Sadly, this is not illegal and the Charities Commission has no real teeth to punish the foundation.
The Association publishes its books and does not charter 3rd parties to raise funds and uses all its funds on providing help to people with epilepsy. Because of the Foundation everyone now believes the real charity, the Association, wastes money and they will struggle to raise publicly donated funds.
On the volunteer front charities need two types of people; some with some professional skill that can be used to help out whether it’s accounting, IT, legal etc or legs to do the more ‘grunt’ work. The latter have to be managed in many cases, especially someone new to the charity and I’ve found myself in the embarrassing position of having volunteers but no ability to use them because charities are invariably short handed in the people who know what is required to be done and to organise it.