03 Jun I despair of the corporate costs associated with running a charity
I run a small charity, it has minimal administrative costs, no fees go to the trustees or patrons and there is no executive team on the payroll. All this ensures the money raised goes to delivering what the charity was set up to do – provide support and advise to young people about careers.
So I was horrified to find out that the Charity Commission has discovered that charities can be spending up to 80% of the money they are raising, and in the worst cases 90%, to pay for direct mail campaigns. So when you think you’re giving a £10 donation to charity you’re not. You’ve given £8 or £9 to a mailing company via a charity that’s lost its way and cares not a jot about the donor, who invariably hands over money because they believe in the cause.
Wouldn’t it have been better if the charity had only aimed to raise £100,000 and done it in a simpler and more honest way rather than pushing for the big £1 million, only to fritter it away showering letters and gifts on the public through the post.
So next time you’re wondering what charity to give to, check out if it uses a direct mail businesses to do its fundraising and while you’re at it, you might want to check out what the CEO is being paid, the cost of their offices, the lobbying costs, in fact the whole ‘corporate costs’ associated with the charity!
There are lots of great charities out there, but this report shows how so many have lost sight of what they were set up to do and who they were set up to help. Lots of small charities working in their local community do exactly what they say on the tin and the people working for them are doing it out of a real passion and belief. Big doesn’t always mean better and big payouts for small returns means a charity is getting it wrong.