Features

Charities are the last bastion of corporate greed

Their fundraising practices will have to change, after a huge increase in complaints from the public

1 August 2015

9:00 AM

1 August 2015

9:00 AM

Jack Nicholson’s moving portrayal of a lonely old man in About Schmidt convinced me that I should sponsor a child. You may remember the scene at the end: he gets a letter from a nun in the Tanzanian village where a little boy has been receiving his largesse and realises that his life has not been meaningless. He has made a difference to somebody.

I wept buckets as the credits rolled and not long afterwards signed up to a sponsorship programme with a leading charity in the hope that I too could make life better for one person. And maybe I did. I was allocated a child in Armenia. I pledged an embarrassingly low sum of money, really, when you consider how needy half the world is, and how much we in the West lavish on luxuries and incidentals. But it was what I could budget for on a monthly basis at the time.

When the young boy sent me his first letter he told me he was a Chelsea fan, so I wrote back telling him that I was too and sent a few small items in a package from the Chelsea FC gift shop on the Fulham Road. He never mentioned the gift in subsequent letters, all written on the same formal notelets bearing the charity’s emblem. But I like to think he might have got it. I gave the matter less thought over time and when the same standard updates came each year I only glanced through them.

Earlier this year, I received the annual letter saying ‘It’s your sponsored child’s birthday soon, please sign this card’ — a card bearing puzzle games. It occurred to me that he had to be getting a bit old for this. I looked up his date of birth and he was about to turn 18. So I rang the charity and asked whether they had made a mistake and should be informing me that my stint had come to an end. But the call centre was adamant that the arrangement should continue. When I asked what the boy was doing that still required support, they said the field centre was hard to get word back from. I told them I would be grateful if they could try because, quite honestly, if this were my own son I wouldn’t be offering to support him financially for very much longer.

A few weeks later, I rang again and asked if they had found anything out. I was told that my sponsored child was ‘still in education’. Fine, I said. Do we know what he is studying? No. Do we know how long he was going to be studying? No. The point was, they said, it was very important that my support did not dry up when the child turned 18 because if it did then he could get into gangs or drugs.

I put the phone down feeling pretty certain that I could never, ever cancel this direct debit. In a few years, my ‘sponsored child’ may be in London doing loft conversions or running a chain of restaurants and I will still be sending money to Armenia in his name, because there is no way I can cut him off.


I suspect I am not alone. We may start supporting charities with warm feelings, but how many of us end up feeling ever so slightly manipulated as the guilt trip goes on and on? In May, 92-year-old Olive Cooke killed herself after being pestered by dozens of organisations. She had somewhere in excess of 27 direct debits to charities and was getting 180 letters a month asking her to sign up to more. While her family have insisted that she did not kill herself directly through pressure from any particular charity, she was exhausted and depressed. She had discovered that if you sign up to one good cause, you trigger an cascade of requests from others, who, thanks to data sharing, have your contact details.

You may avoid the phone calls telling you about starving children and abused animals by unplugging your landline. But you may not be able to dodge the door-knocking by marketing firms employed by charities who are on commission for every direct debit they get someone to sign. Last year, a guy knocked my door announcing he was from Battersea Dogs’ Home. He said they needed funds because dogs were being tortured, so would I sign a direct debit.

I refused, but later discovered that my elderly neighbour had signed. I rang Battersea and they hadn’t heard of any tortured dogs. They blamed a private firm that was doing their door-knocking, and promised to contact those who had signed direct debits in my street. Charities use every trick to get your contact details, including ‘list brokers’ who obtain data if you’ve purchased something through mail order and did not tick the box stating you do not wish your details passed to a third party. And charities share data with other charities.

It doesn’t help foster feelings of goodwill that in tandem with sales techniques reminiscent of the worst corporate excesses of the 1980s and 1990s, charity chiefs are paid bigger salaries than some City boys. A Sun investigation recently found that Peter Wanless of the NSPCC, a charity supported by Olive Cooke, was earning £162,000 a year; Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty was on £200,000; Age UK chief executive Tom Wright earned £180,000. The RSPCA — whose website home page is one huge advert in large print screaming ‘Help Save Animals Today Donate Now’ — paid its last chief executive, Gavin Grant, £160,000 (a new one is yet to be appointed).

The charities are only able to get away with it because they have convinced the public that when money-making is for a good cause, rather than a commercial enterprise, we should turn a blind eye to exactly how the cash is raised and who benefits. In other words, we are expected to accept that charity greed is good. But is it? Is hard-selling by charities excusable or will it lead to a backlash that will ultimately hamper worthy causes?

I once had a cheeky letter from a charity telling me they were increasing my direct debit by £5 a month in line with inflation. I didn’t argue. My conscience wouldn’t let me. But couldn’t someone else argue on behalf of the donating masses?

The problem is that fundraising is entirely self-regulatory. The Charities Commission is the government body in charge of how charities perform their good works, while the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) receives complaints from the public about how money is being raised. It puts these to the Institute of Fundraising, a membership body containing 1,857 charities, representing 50 per cent of the funds raised by all charities. The FRSB has powers to audit and investigate. Their ‘give with confidence’ tick logo is meant to assure the public that a charity is following best practice. But the IOF set their own code of practice. The code states that charities may not pressure potential donors but ‘may use reasonable persuasion’. Ring a bell? An industry setting its own loose rules?

People have not wanted to complain about charities for fear of being seen as mean-spirited, but now they are coming forward. In the month following Olive Cooke’s death, the FRSB was sent 384 complaints about the behaviour of charities — compared with 488 for the whole of 2014.

The Charities Commission chairman William Shawcross says: ‘Our research suggests that around two thirds of people feel uncomfortable about some methods of fundraising. This is a crisis for the charity sector which is testing the strength and capacity of self-regulation.’ A task force has been set up to look at abuse of data and cold calling. The IOF has rushed out proposals to strengthen its code of conduct. The FRSB has told charities they must respect ‘no cold calling’ signs. And the minister for civil society, Rob Wilson, has told charities that they have until September to clean up their act or face new laws.

Maybe charities should have a statutory duty to check whether a potential donor can afford to donate. The FRSB does not believe, however, that charities should face as strict a statutory regime as financial services, arguing that this could hamper their ability to raise funds and that, away from head office, it is those needing our donations who will suffer.

But if ministers are forced to bring in regulation, it won’t be anyone’s fault but the charities’. They have two months to show they can be trusted. If they don’t, they will have had their chance to behave ethically and, just like the banks, they will have blown it.

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Show comments
  • grimm

    I particularly dislike those television ads which appear immediately after a well publicised catastrophe. They usually come with a mournful Irish voice-over (there seems to be an assumption that the Irish are the world’s do-gooders). They are simply opportunistic, claiming that your contribution will go directly to fund aid in the current crisis they are almost certainly just using the crisis to top up their coffers.

    • Zbyrne

      Funny you should say that mate, here in Ireland all our charity ad voice overs are all very formal Oxford English women, condescending us into donating!

    • Gilbert White

      Hare lip adverts are the worse. They act like Christ raising the dead.

    • Jonathan S

      I remember watching a harrowing TV documentary in the ’70s about Rampton high security mental hospital. At the end of the programme there was a commercial break which featured Frank Muir singing, “Everyone’s a Fruit & Nut case!”. The advert was for Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut chocolate bars. I really couldn’t Adam and Eve it. Quite outrageous. And damn funny.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Actually, if they went to general spending they’d get used for charity a lot quicker, generally. The legal funds set up for specific appeals take months or even years to finish diving up and paying the cash out, as the charities need to prove they’re relevant to the disaster (even if all the effective spending has been done).

      Donate directly to a charity like MSF, honestly.

  • WFB56

    A timely and much needed article. Not sure about the title though, but at least it draws readers in.

  • Surely part of the reason they are so pushy today is there are so many charities. Every celeb seems to start a new one – rather than just giving their money to Dr Barnardo or Oxfam. There is a limit to how much people will make in charitable donations overall, and with more charities fighting to get it, they’ll be more aggressive.

    • Infidelissima

      Phack Oxfam.

  • Mr B J Mann

    “The FRSB does not believe, however, that charities should face as strict a statutory regime as financial services, arguing that this could hamper their ability to raise funds”

    Just like it would for financial services.

    “and that, away from head office, it is those needing our donations who will suffer”

    And how much do those in head office donate?

    Do they donate all their salary above the minimum wage? Above the average wage? Do they even donate a tithe?!

  • Mr B J Mann

    “Peter Wanless of the NSPCC, a charity supported by Olive Cooke, was earning £162,000 a year; Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty was on £200,000; Age UK chief executive Tom Wright earned £180,000. The RSPCA — whose website home page is one huge advert in large print screaming ‘Help Save Animals Today Donate Now’ — paid its last chief executive, Gavin Grant, £160,000”

    And the argument is that they need to attract the best.

    But, surely, if a CHARITY is looking to attract the best they should be offering the LEAST? Or am I missing something? What is the purpose of a charity?

    They are NOT supposed to be a “business”, they are NOT supposed to be commercial organisations!

    Why do they need to attract a commercial corporate big hitter?

    And if they DO need a Bill Gates, how much does the Bill Gates Foundation pay him?

    £160,000? £162,000?! £180,000?!?! £200,000?!?!?!?!?!

    NO!

    HE pays THEM!

    Whatever happened to charities “employing” VOLUNTEERS?!

    • davidofkent

      They need to attract the best at raising money so that they can continue paying and attracting the best at …

      • 2fishypoliticians

        Rubbish. I greatly resent the idea of the fact that such a huge percentage of any donation I make ends up in the renumeration package of the fundraisers. I do not give money to pay fundraisers. It is not uncommon for some fundraisers to be earning in excess of £22 – 24k. Charities have lost focus on who they are meant to be serving – those in need, not the organisers bank balances. It is precisely because of this that I am exceptionally picky about contributing.

        • johnhenry

          davidofkent was being satirical.

        • Mary Ann

          £22k is not a lot if you are trying to support a family, if they can’t afford a living wage then they have to rely on part time volunteers, which is fine in charity shops and suchlike but you do need some professional people to keep tabs on the money.

          • 2fishypoliticians

            When so much of charities bills and running expenses are spent on salaries the original purposes of the charities is lost. When chuggers try to accost people on the street to contribute a direct debit of £5 a week it takes approximately 40 weeks of contributions for the so-called charities to actually be any better off. Scandalous.
            Furthermore I know of many people who earn less than £22k who work fulltime yet raise families – I admire those people as opposed to the often less than scrupulous chuggers.

          • Mr B J Mann

            They might well “need some professional people to keep tabs on the money”.

            But that doesn’t mean that they have to be PAID, never mind at commercial rates.

            Are you saying that any retired FOOTSIE100 finance directors volunteering to a charity should be directed to a rag-sorting and shelf stacking job in a charity shop to raise loadsa money all of which goes on a hired in “professional”.

            If that’s the case, then surely the first job a hired in “professional” would do would be to check out whether they had any retired FOOTSIE100 finance directors volunteering in their shops, ask them to take over their “professional” role on the same voluntary basis as they were volunteering in the shop, AS IT’S A *CHARITY*!, and resign themselves!

            And while we’re on the subject (mikewaller might want to help you out here):

            Do charity shops pay commercial shop assistant wages to their shop staff?

            Even those who are experienced shop assistants?!?!?

            You’re not that charidee boss who complained about someone who pointed out that it might be beneficial to people with learning difficulties if they could be aided into a work environment by exempting them from the minimum wage laws.

            While probably “employing” thousands of them on NO wages in charidee shops!!!!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you want to rely on someone giving a few hours a week to look after the books.

            And “Retired” directors of big companies? People on that level don’t retire, they just have non-executive directorships, and certainly wouldn’t know how to balance books!

            Moreover, their style of asset stripping and putting profit first would be entirely unsuitable for charities. You’re just, of course, trying to cripple charities.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You might be on to something there.

            No, wait a minute, you must be ON something!

            So your argument is that charities should employ people on a full time basis, on inflated commercial sector rates:

            Whose “style of asset stripping and putting profit first would be entirely unsuitable for charities”?!?!?!?!?

            As for claiming that I’m “just, of course, trying to cripple charities”:

            Wot?

            By suggesting they don’t pay vastly over-inflated commercial sector salaries to people whose “style of asset stripping and putting profit first would be entirely unsuitable for charities”?!?!?!?!?

            Here’s a thought, if you offer high wages you’ll attract the kind of people whose “style of asset stripping and putting profit first would be entirely unsuitable for charities”.

            If you offer them voluntary positions you’ll attract the kind of people whose style isn’t that of asset stripping and putting profit first and who would be entirely suitable for charities!

            Yes, “Retired” directors of big companies? People on that level don’t retire, they just have non-executive directorships.

            And massive pensions.

            And loadsa money in savings and investments.

            And if they also need a massive commercial sector salary to work for a charity then they are bound to be the kind of people whose “style of asset stripping and putting profit first would be entirely unsuitable for charities”.

            But if they are the kind of people who volunteer for pro-bono, charitable, volunteer positions, they are probably the kind of people who are entirely suitable for charities.

            And what if they certainly wouldn’t know how to balance books?

            They can, similarly, recruit retired accountants and book-keepers on a voluntary basis to do that!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            It’s, once more “ON TO”.

            But no, I didn’t say what you claimed I said. No surprise you think the 99% in the private sector is overpaid, though. And WOT, I talk about what you said…

            And they’re not volunteering. It’s an issue. And not only do charities want straight books, they need proper and legal signoffs on their accounts, which means paid accountants.

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, clearly ON “something”!

            “Didn’t say what you claimed I said. No surprise you think the 99% in the private sector is overpaid, though.”

            Errmmmmm, and where did I say “99%” as you’ve claimed I said?

            Never mind that I “think the 99% in the private sector is overpaid” as you’ve claimed I said.

            And as for paid accountants, are you referring to backhanders to auditors?!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Oh, it’s 99.9, my bad!

            And then you leap magically from proper accounts to bribes. The Bribery Act thankfully, restricts your options there sharply.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Looks like you’ve leapt from bribes to imbibes, and you can’t blame your dyslexia for that.
            Come back when you’re sober!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, further accusations I must be JUST like you.
            And a good little censorship whine from you, aww.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Keep knocking back the “whine”!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            That’s your bottle, in your room. I’m not there. So sorry!

          • Mr B J Mann

            8<

      • diqi

        I stopped donating money and my time as a volunteer when I found out how much the CEO of a Age UK charity was paying himself and going on foreign junkets.

        This person was getting over 190K a year yet the charity relied on over 30,000 volunteers to actually provide a service. Maybe his value to Age UK was the ability to scam large amounts of government funding but as far as I was concerned their attitude was insulting to the volunteers so I decided to stop being one.

    • mikewaller

      The point about Bill Gates is ludicrous: he set the charity up and funds it. What would be the point of paying himself out of his own money? This morning I heard Esther Rantzen speaking on this question of running charities. Her central point was that although inspirational leaders are very valuable, don’t let them run the thing as they rarely have the necessary skills. To keep the show on the road you need able professionals.

      Others have already made the point that seem crucial to me: in paying the kind of money exampled above, the charities are merely reflecting a market the salary levels of which are set by the overwhelming levels of greed shown by the new managerial class. In picking on the charities rather than the private sector that sets the trend, Ms Kite is simply earning her corn as the thinking capitalist’s favourite doxy.

      • Mr B J Mann

        Errrmmmmmmm, and your point is?
        Bill Gates can afford to fund his own charity.
        Some people are unskilled poor pensioners, and “just” help out in charity shops, or with fundraising.
        Traditionally corporate big hitters used to give their services for free, plus big donations, to their favourite charities.
        They still do:
        See how many big hitters get their OBEs through Knighthoods to seats in the Lords for “Services to Charidee”!
        So why do “charities” need to hire high earners?
        Only, yes, because other high earners in the charity sector want an excuse to up their own pay to “market levels”.
        That doesn’t make it right.
        And it doesn’t make it acceptable!
        But there is NO reason to benchmark their pay against the private commercial sector.
        There is no risk.
        No profit.
        No shareholders.
        And not really, or shouldn’t be, any “competition”.
        And do people like Bill Gates “compete” to see if they can put LESS into their foundation than anyone else?
        Do celebrities compete to see if they can have FEWER honorary Chairmanships or Patron positions?!?!?
        So why would a retired person looking for the kudos of helping run a charity want a BIG SALARY?!?!?!
        What cachet is there to doing charitable works……..
        For £200,000pa?!?!?!?!?!
        It’s as logical as employed professionals fighting to be paid LESS than everyone else for a private sector paid position.
        Would you boast about how much you had r0bbed out of the church poor box?!?!?

        • mikewaller

          Do you have any experience of managing volunteers or dealing with the wayward behaviour of charismatic leaders? Ms Rantzen who has experienced both spoke in the terms I have outlined. The idea that celebrities could do the nitty- gritty management is a nonsense. They float in and they float out. Effective organisational management is a valuable skill that commands its own price. My bet would be that – if they are any good – the folks earning the salaries to which you object could get very much more in the private sector. In the cases where this is not so, they should be fired. To you and I, £200,000 p.a. looks like big money; however I recently heard that the head of ITV gets £8 million a year and he is by no means an outlier. Do something about that and the downward pressure on the salaries of charity CEOs would be irresistible.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Have you got any experience of managing to read with comprehension?

            I never suggested that “celebrities could do the nitty- gritty management”, only that people, even those that expect to be paid even £MILLIONS for their professional employment, do charitable works for prestige, kudos, recognition……
            How many times do I have to point out that traditionally top notch commercial big hitters would typically take up charitable work for free on retirement (some organisations even allow their senior staff time off to help run charities as they approach retirement).
            Just because some people work themselves into senior positions and then try to siphon off donations to pay themselves commercial sector level salaries, and then start a game of salary leap-frog, “justified” by the fact every other charity is supposedly doing it, is no reason to accept it.
            Especially as the commercial level salaries aren’t even justified in commercial organisations!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “Especially as the commercial level salaries aren’t even justified in commercial organisations!”

            Exactly. The downward wage spiral must continue.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’re clearly on a pretty sever downward spiral yourself!

            Did you used to have lots of people asking you for a bit of whatever you’re on?!?!?!

            Let this be a warning to them!!!!!!!!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Warn them that you think you’re lots of people, and that you accuse people of being “on” things.
            Right.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          “Traditionally corporate big hitters used to give their services for free,”

          Back before, say, WWII. Sure. These days? ahahaha.

          No, the people getting OBE’s and Lordships are professionals in running charities and fundraising.

          And for you, right, no profit means no risk, never mind the very real people who are helped, never mind the internal structure of charities requires oversight – and oversight which, unlike a company with shares, can fire paid staff easily.

          Honorary positions are just that – being on the letterhead and turning up to a few events. As you argue the “logic” of downward wage spirals for everyone outside the city again.

          (And of course, the CoE is in fact sold off much of it’s property portfolio, to become an extremely wealthy investor…)

          • Mr B J Mann

            Thanks, but I didn’t need further proof that, no, you aren’t on TO something, but ON something!

            What on earth does this mean:

            “And for you, right, no profit means no risk, never mind the very real people who are helped, never mind the internal structure of charities requires oversight – and oversight which, unlike a company with shares, can fire paid staff easily.”

            And, were, exactly, do I:

            “argue the “logic” of downward wage spirals for everyone outside the city again”?!?!?!!?

            And what on earth has this to do with the price of fish:

            “(And of course, the CoE is in fact sold off much of it’s property portfolio, to become an extremely wealthy investor…)?!?!?!?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            That’d be “ON TO”.

            And it’s English, you may have heard of it. Thanks, Capitalist.

            As I point out something relevant to your side..

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, clearly you are ON “something”!

            And you might think it’s English, but not as we know it.

            But as for “Capitalist”, was that a reference to my use of CAPITALS?

            “My side”?!

            Oh, I get it:

            You don’t agree with me, so I’m supposedly on some “other” side:

            A “Capitalist” side!

            Sad!!!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Exactly, your English is poor. As your personalities don’t know much of it.

            Then you get all confused. You’ve staked out your position quite clearly – and it’s completely on the other side, way over the hill and far away from mine.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Yup, you’re clearly over the hill, and far away, with the fairies!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, I don’t live with you and won’t move in, no matter how many times you ask.

          • Mr B J Mann

            In your dreams! Suppressed latent tendencies always come out when you’ve had a few, do they?!?!?!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, still not moving in with you, even with your “dreamtech”.

            And you go right back to blaming me for your issue.

          • Mr B J Mann

            8<–

  • Fraser Bailey

    You seem to have reached middle age before realizing all this, Melissa. Why do our journalists so often seem to be as out of touch as our politicians?

    And charities are not ‘the last bastion’ of corporate greed, they are merely the most outrageous and unashamed. Or among the most outrageous and unashamed.

    • Jean-Claude Cameron

      Greed has gone so far in Britain, even charity workers now demand city style levels of remuneration.

      There, I think I fixed it for you.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        No, the pay multiples in the charity sector are a small fraction of those in the City. Have a look again at what City workers earn…

  • Bonkim

    If you had any sense you will cancel all direct debits to charities and not take any telephone calls.

    • Gilbert White

      Even the ex Peers to the Bangkok Hilton Charity?

  • Jugurtha

    I only give cash to people shaking buckets in supermarkets…generally following some disaster. Fucked if I know what happens to the cash. I naively assume it won’t find its way to funding some lengthy lunch involving some 6 figured salary earning goon and a Guardian journalist who then writes a puff piece about how much concern, empathy and and ‘one-of-us’ liberal piety was on the menu…but I’m probably wrong.
    I still upset people collecting, mind. I was about to chuck my change in a bucket a month or two back when I noticed it had a large picture of a doe-eyed little girl with a tear rolling down her cheek. “Who’s that?” I ask. “Erm…not sure”
    Then there was the time I told the lad collecting for Amnesty that he could dream on following the sacking of Gita Sahgal since his organisation supported reactionary bigots with dubious friends. He explained to me I was a dupe of neocon forces who were using a feigned concern for oppressed groups to attack peaceful Muslims who were “just trying to make a difference”. I suggested they’d certainly made a difference already, upon which he declared me an islamophobe. I then declared him to be a useful idiot of the highest order and that I’d make a difference to his face if he called me anything else. Naturally, he reached for his phone and threatened to call the police, waving his phone in the air and looking very pleased with himself.
    “Go on then.”
    “I will.”
    “Do it then. I’m not going anywhere.”
    “I’m going to.”
    “Ok, do it.”
    “I am.”
    “No you’re not. Do it now.”
    “It’s my break.” He then heads for Starbucks.
    “Where are you going? Don’t you know Starbucks are a CIA front which uses child labour to kill seal cubs?”
    “Really?”
    “Who knows…probably.”
    He thinks about it and goes in anyway.

    • davidofkent

      Language!!

    • Kennybhoy

      rotflol! 🙂

    • Infidelissima

      Lol.
      I don’t give to any British charities anymore, since I discovered that most of them support and finance terrorist groups and muslim countries. As if the billions of taxpayer’s money, sent each year to various pits such as Pakistan weren’t enough, they have the audacity to corner us while shopping or waiting for the bus.

      During the Gaza war of 2014, I was walking on Gloucester Street in South Ken, when I saw the following sign in an Oxfam window “Gaza crisis relief”.
      I poked my head in the shop, there was a far east asian student and an elderly woman shopping, and a salesgirl. I said rather loudly “What’s the crisis in Gaza dhimmis? The terrorists are running out of rockets?”

      The next day the sign was gone.

      • Jugurtha

        Yeah, Gaza’s always a good one. I tell them I’ve already donated to another charity which aims to reduce civilian casualties. When they as which one, I tell them it’s hard to pronounce but it carries out research on new artillery sighting mechanisms for the IDF.
        They’re so stupefied they can’t even force out a quick “FASCIST” or “RACIST” before I’m on my way whistling a little tune.

        • Jugurtha

          Incidentally, there is no such charity as far as I know.

          • Infidelissima

            there should be

        • Infidelissima

          Lol!
          I’m gonna have to try that, cheers.

        • grutchyngfysch

          I made a similar point to a colleague during last year’s bombing, when the IDF ran out of smart bombs and began shelling using conventional artillery – that the most helpful thing that the U.S. could do would be to supply more smart bombs. Fortunately they did just that, but I also got that look of utter shock.

    • Gilbert White

      Amazing charity in Norfolk linked to Luxor with the support of a big name. The charities name mimics another well known charity and people innocently deposit money in unsealed open buckets. You ask the local council to investigate and follow its own rules as well the Charity Commission guidelines, local the council do not give a toss.

    • Eurocentric

      I know someone who collected in a bucket for various charities. He got 30% of the takings as commission. That’s where your money goes, mate.

      • Jugurtha

        Well, to be fair, I wouldn’t begrudge him that as long (which I doubt) that the rest goes to whoever needs it…which is not some Oxbridge CEO prick with a huge sense of entitlement and a desire to play Lady or Lord Bountiful with other people’s dough.
        It’s not an easy job…loads of hassle and abuse, which I know from personal experience…having hassled and a used loads of them.

        • Eurocentric

          As far as I know, most charities (The Salvation Army a notable exception) get only about 10% of the total takings to the people who need it The rest go on administration costs. The ones I really have no time for – despite having a sympathy for the cause – are those who use guilt. The society for the Blind used to do it midway through films and there are the deaf, who come to restaurant tables with a charm to sell – all designed to make you feel like a real heel for having a little money to spend on pleasures. I now only give to the Sally Army, knowing that most of their funds are used where they’re needed.

          • Jugurtha

            Yeah. I know what you mean with the guilt thing. I think I get pissed off because I don’t want to be seen as someone who’d only give when it’s a cute kid or donkey staring out at me with plaintive eyes or, indeed, as someone who’d only give if embarrassed into it by turning down a heart rending plea in an intimate setting. Fuck that etc. I’m not being hard-sold compassion.
            Thing is, as you kinda say, you’re put right off if you look into it and see how much actually makes it where it’s needed and how much funds what seems a well remunerated, semi-social network of the sort of people who doubtless all knew each other before anyway and frankly wouldn’t be pulling in anywhere near 6 figures anywhere else.

          • Freddythreepwood

            Exactly. I have advised Melissa to cancel her DDs and do the same.

      • Tony Allwright

        And who gets 30% of the remaining 70%, and then 30% of the remaining 49% and so on? A lot of happy people!

    • Tony Allwright

      “Make a difference to his face” Must remember that one!

  • WTF

    A direct debit to a charity, a fool and his money are easily parted !

  • davidofkent

    Whatever you do, do not leave a legacy to charity in your will. If your poor executors miss the year’s deadline for completing probate (for whatever reason), the charity will sue them and the costs will be paid by your executor. The RSPCA are well known for their litigiousness

  • kaymanaisle

    What a depressing story. I’ve wanted to sponsor a child for a while but am put off by stuff like this so am trawling around to find a way of doing this. Can anyone recommend a child sponsoring charity that genuinely ensures my money will get to the child concerned and will genuinely make a difference to his or her life? Would really appreciate it if anyone can suggest one. Thanks.

    • I am a poor orphan child living in one of the abominable ghettoes in the Greater Manchester region (I’m crying as I write this). Could you sponsor me for £100 per month? I’ll be able to grow up, learn how to read and write, and get a job making people happy. Pleeeee-eeeeeaaaase!

      • kaymanaisle

        Surely if you’re a UKIP fan you ought to practice what you preach, and stop trying to sponge off people.

      • red2black

        “You gotta ask yourself a question…
        ‘Do I feel lucky?’…
        Well, do ya?”

    • Zabazius

      Yes. I can.

      Melissa’s article was permeated by the middle-class diseases afflicting this country: fear and guilt. Folk are afraid to to open their door or answer their phone because they can’t trust themselves to think for themselves and say ‘no thank you’. Even worse, they are so guilty they’ll do anything to keep up appearances; Melissa: ditch that so-called charity, now!

      After reading this tonight I went out, knocked a few doors and tried to talk to folk about supporting – ‘sponsoring’ – a child. (I may be that rare breed: a Spectator subscriber and Conservative voter who also does a bit of face-to-face fundraising for an international development charity).

      Yes, I do get ‘commission’. For me this is about maintaining links with the company that trained me which in turn works closely with the charity. (I think we Brits are a bit iffy about this, as though we should all be Lady Bountifuls, swanning about. I remember one, non-Brit asking me directly about this, and when I said ‘yes’ in that diffident way we have he simply said ‘Good. That’s the way it should be’). He signed up over a glass of wine.

      On one of my first knocks tonight a lady said no. She already sponsored, with the charity. She ended our chat by saying ‘they’re doing a great job’.

      Supporting a charity is not for everyone. And applying stricter criteria would be a great boon – as well as making my job easier. But please, be angry if you must, but just don’t give in to fear and guilt.

    • Jab

      The charity run by zen monks at Plum village in France sponsors very poor children in Vietnam.I saw the work there myself and gave them £1000. I still give funding.They help the villagers build their own schools and pay for a teacher , each child gets one meal and they get washed too, lessons in morality.No religious indoctrination.Plumvillage.org is the place to lookReally great work with no wages going to CEO.The head nun is Sister Chan Kong and she has taken over from Thich Nhaht Hahn who is 90 and sick, he was a friend of Martin Luther King and the Dalai Lama.

    • Jab

      Try Plumvillage.org who I saw in Vietnam doing a lot of great work.They employ teachers via their network of volunteer monastics, zen not Christian, these kids get washed,fed and taught and are happy in these schools.The parents are too poor and almost always rural.Really great kids, you can visit the schools too although they are in remote areas where the people have nothing.One village gets flooded out and families take to boats, they needed straw mattress for the kids to sleep on in the heat of the day as the floors were often wet.Rising sea levels are already affecting these very poor people.The head nun is sister Chan kong who took over from Thich Nhaht Hahn ,who is 90.he was a friend of Martin Luther king and is a pal of the Dalai Lama.So give plum village a try and if you can get over to Vietnam to see all the good work then do go.

      • kaymanaisle

        Thanks, will do

  • KilowattTyler

    ‘Charities’ seemed to have mutated in the last 20 years or so. Instead of being organisations set up and run by well-meaning individuals to do good things, they now seem to be vehicles for smooth professionals to build their careers, using the methods of the dodgier double-glazing companies to raise funds. Many in any case are effectively political parties in disguise. The RSPCA, judging from its behaviour over the last few years, seems to think it is a private police force (the TierePolizei perhaps?).

    In any case, many organisations enjoy charitable status even though most people would hardly consider their activities charitable. Why do public schools enjoy charitable status? Eton may have been for poor orphans when it was founded by Henry II but for about two centuries has been overwhelmingly for the offspring of the very wealthy. Increasingly, the world’s plutocrats are using British public schools to educate their children (thanks British people for not taxing this benefit).

    Why not do something radical – abolish charitable status. Not in one go, but a phased reduction in tax relief over say, 10 years. This would give the organisations concerned time to adjust (not least by relocating their HQs out of the pricier bits of London). Abolishing charitable status would also eliminate the thorny problem of defining ‘charity’ – is the promulgation of religion a charitable activity?; If so, where does ‘religion’ stop and ‘politics’ begin? (and so on).

    • Mr B J Mann

      But if you are going to abolish public schools’ charitable status won’t you also have to:

      Give each pupil their share of government education funding.

      Allow them to offset bursaries against taxable income.

      Remove the obligation to help state schools.

      If they continue to do it, allow that to be offset against tax……

      • KilowattTyler

        Personally I’d like to phase out all direct state funding of all schools and replace this with a voucher system in which all children receive exactly the same level of funding for education between ages 5 to 18, and do this in tandem with the phasing out of public schools’ charitable status.

        Both of these processes could be done so that children already in education at the time of the legislative change(s) being enacted would be unaffected, but children starting school would be covered by the voucher system. There would have to be some sort of interim compensation arrangement for children already attending public school so that the loss of their school’s charitable status would not affect their education or the cost to their parents.

        A voucher system makes funding more visible – no more tricks like parents pretending they are religious so that they can get their kids into good Church-run schools, which get more than their share of state funding.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Ah, the system of subsidising private schools for the rich, taking away funding from normal schools.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      There’s a difference between charitable for name, and charitable for tax purposes.

      And I see, tax the work of charities. Making sure that far, far less goes on.

      • KilowattTyler

        ‘Charity’ in the sense of pro-bono giving of money or resources to good causes is a wonderful thing.
        Unfortunately parasites and other unpleasant people exploit good human impulses to build their own empires and push their own agendas (cf. ‘equality’ and the way this noble aim has been exploited by the deeply undesirable over very many years). ‘Charities’ as organisations seem to be becoming the product of nasty empire-builders and obsessives.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Ah right, so you support discrimination, and object anything working against it.
          No surprise you object to charities and their work.

          • KilowattTyler

            Communism was ostensibly about peace, equality and social justice, but unfortunately these noble ideas were used by deeply ignoble people for malign ends.
            Communist East Germany (the GDR) had the most economically-equal society ever (using the economists’ measure, the Gini coefficient). I may be wrong but I believe the formidable border between East and West Germany was constructed to keep GDR citizens in, not FDR citizens out.

            I have no objection whatever to charity, to equality or striving for a fairer world but one should always be aware that there are people, and organisations, willing to use the power of moral appeal to set their own agendas and build their own empires.

          • KilowattTyler

            Whoops! I wrote FDR, but should have written FRD (Federal Republic of Germany)

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You make a *little* mistake there.
            I’m not a communist. And have about as much time for a Marxist as I do a Randroid.

            Awareness is not the same as dismissing charities offhand, of course.

          • KilowattTyler

            No, no, – I’m not suggesting you are a communist or anything else for that matter.

            My point is that we all have to be on our guard against people or organisations that exploit the best human impulses for bad ends. Communism is perhaps the ultimate example of how things can go terribly wrong (Nazism by contrast was overtly evil).

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, okay.

  • Rob Harris

    Any ‘charity’ that pays a CEO more than £100k/annum is not a charity, it’s a corporate scam.

    • JSC

      100% agreed. I can’t get behind any “charity” where the people at the tops official policy towards their volunteers is “your time is worth nothing, my time is worth £100,000+”. It’s utter greed. I’m a hardcore capitalist, but that kind of behaviour is far too far even for me.

    • Gilbert White

      I would want a premier league team for 100,000!

      • Mr B J Mann

        But premier league teams employ fit young men.

        Charities used to “employ” senior staff who had retired after gaining a lifetime of premier corporate league experience.

        And who probably PAID the CHARITY out of their pensions and savings.

        How much were charities paying that premier league fundraiser who topped herself?!?!!!

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Before current neoliberalism meant those people are both unsuited and disinterest in charity these days.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I think you’ll have to beam that down to planet Earth again.

            Something seems to have been lost in the translation or transmission!!!!

    • knight

      These executives are there for charity, not to line their pockets with donations.

      Got to be careful that your charity money does not fund terror.

      I am going to dump Red Cross, they were posting away on Twitter #GoBackSBS Australian SBS Television Go Back From Where You Came From. Red Cross with UNCEF were posting to boost the influx of refugees and left a bad taste in my mouth

      I am sure UNCEF also did a drive to fund a person in the Middle East, on that they want deduction to be automatically taken out of Bank Accounts. That is a no no!

    • janetjH

      Have you seen what the Red Cross pay their top people?
      Far, far more than £100K

  • John Lea

    Do NOT give any money to corporate charities: it goes to fat-cat CEOs. If people want to be truly charitable, befriend someone who is living alone/ill, or check if frail/ elderly neighbours needs any shopping. There’s more charity in that, than giving a fiver every month via your debit card.

    • Tris

      Agree. I stopped giving nameless, faceless donations years ago. Every month now, I give a fifty (cash) to either a homeless person, direct into their hand, or an oldie I see at the market, or to an obviously harassed young mother.. No questions asked. Best kind of charity I’ve ever been involved in.

      • Freddythreepwood

        Well done Tris, but you should know that 50p doesn’t go very far these days!

        • Tris

          True, but getting an ATM to dispense change is impossible.

          • Jonathan S

            “Charity is the most mischievous sort of pruriency.” GBS

      • andylowings

        Bravo Tris!
        Could not agree more. No loss or admin costs whatsoever!

  • sidor

    It isn’t greed that should be discussed. Greed is eternal and universal. But the attitude of big business to the non-commercial expenses has changed dramatically within the last 3-4 decades. They do not pay for science anymore. The glorious era of Bell Labs which produced a constellation of Nobel laureates in fundamental physics is now a history. The modern corporations do not give a damn shit about science. That is, they don’t give a damn shit about the future. They follow the trend and entertain the public by some a priori useless and idiotic charities, like malaria in Africa or the notorious Global Warming. This reflects the parasitic state of mind of the modern society which is a result of the parasitic economy. What can we expect when all the wealth is produced by a minority, the rest are busy with distribution and entertainment. It is Rome in the last period of the Empire.

  • ReefKnot

    We have taxpayer funded so-called charities like Stonewall who lobby and campaign to promote homosexuality, Brake who lobby and campaign to reduce speed limits to 20 mph, Alcohol Concern who lobby and campaign to stop you drinking, ASH who lobby and campaign to stop you smoking and 26000 other taxpayer funded so-called charities who don’t do any real charitable work at all, instead they spend their time lobbying and campaigning. Many of these have CEOs on salaries of £100k and more. Meanwhile, real charities doing real charitable work such as the Lifeboat Institute and Air Ambulance don’t get a penny.

    It is a total scandal and needs complete reform.

    Charities should not receive any taxpayer funding directly or indirectly.
    Charities should not engage in lobbying or campaigning.

    If George Osbourne is looking to save money and reduce the role of the state he could start with the so-called Charitable Sector. Then he can move on to Quangos, another disgrace.

    • PaD

      Believe it or not Common Purpose describe themselves as a charity

    • Mary Ann

      Would you have a problem with the NSPCC campaigning for more government money to be spent on more protection for children who are being abused, I thought not.

      • Mr B J Mann

        That isn’t a charity’s purpose, that’s the role of a political organisation.

        They can either help children themselves, with charitable donations (NOT taxpayer funding, which is where they get much, if not most, of their income from), as a charity.

        Or they can campaign as a political organisation.

        But they can’t do both.

        As progressive “liberal” lefties like to say when someone gets a speeding ticket for doing 35 on a former 70mph motorway standard road with a new 30mph limit:

        The law’s the law:

        If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Ah.

      So, charities must be excluded from contracts.
      (Because, of course, they often do them more cheaply and more effectively than private companies)

      Charities must not be allowed to criticise the government
      (Because they’ve been right so often about it’s failings)

      Then you of course want to dismantle the disgrace of the Courts Service and that nasty, nasty Meat Hygiene Board. Say, want some unmarked horsemeat?

  • CalUKGR

    Excellent piece. Isn’t it a scandal that the RNLI is still a charity – totally reliant on public goodwill? I have never understood why the actual business of saving lives imperiled at sea is not a publicly-funded service.

    Meanwhile, our Government wastes – actually throws away – £bns to fund corrupt regimes across the world.

    • Seaton

      Chharities without giant bureaucracies, try ZANE or Ghurka Welfare Trust

      • perdix

        ZANE does a fantastic job. Check them out and donate.

  • perdix

    Watch out for outfits that change from “hands-on” helping people to “campaigning” outfits and creating “awareness”.

  • John Thomas

    Isn’t it true – as I’ve heard – that many major charities carry out projects for the Overseas Development ministry, or whatever it’s called, and get public funds to use – ie. that we, the taxpayers, are already supporting these charities, and so don’t need to give a second time, in donations?

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      Yes. You don’t believe that DfID, for example, employ their own people to deliver aid at the sharp end? Incidentally, that’s why I no longer give a penny to the large charities – our own Government do it on my behalf by taking it out my back pocket.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        You mean charities have bid to provide services, and so so – usually cheaper than private companies since they don’t need to make a profit.

        Then they also want to keep doing their other work. But no, to you..

    • Mc

      Correct, as confirmed by charities’ financial statements. The irony is that many of the prominent charities in effect use government funds to castigate government policy and to demand more government money for their cause – except for a few think tanks and the Taxpayers Alliance, has anyone ever heard of a charity that demands lower government spending?

      • JamesCovey123

        It is common practice – especially in America – for Leftist governments to give Billions – literally – to ‘charities’ that promote Leftist government.

        It’s a scam.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          But of course you support right wing people giving to “charities” which promote your right wing views.

          Anti-scam, blah blah.

          • JamesCovey123

            Those examples would be few in comparison.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Examples? Perhaps.
            Statistically? Oh hey!

            Moreover, one would be sufficient to prove my point, of course.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        The TPA’s “charity” is a clear example of one of the few real abuses in the system. They’re a political think tank.

  • Dazed & Confused

    I once had a brief but far too long role as a senior fundraiser for a major national charity with a massive profile and patronage of royals and a litany of celebrities.

    I joined from the world of advertising (a profession that I was disillusioned with) and genuinely thought I was joining an organisation where I could make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people.

    How wrong I was. The charity was large and complex for all the wrong reasons with an organisational structure that made the Indian Civil Service look lean. There were not one but two directors of fundraising and a hierarchy of senior middle management that became laughable. So-called fundraising innovation groups were ineffective because senior management would want to own any innovations that came up from frontline staff to justify their over-paid existence.

    I once took a call from a national radio station who invited us to be short-listed for their charity of the year. They wanted us to summarise in 20 words, why we should be considered to be their charity partner. As a man who, in a previous life won two awards for my copywriting, I wrote some imaginative copy but dutifully cascaded it up two levels to my superiors who, at the time were locked in a senior strategy meeting. Within 30 minutes however they had all descended on this possible opportunity to grandstand their expertise. 8 hours later no less than 5 people senior to me had put their mark on a simple statement. At one point I wondered if the The Queen, as patron, would be asked to add her two penneth.

    In another episode, when we secured a major partnership with a nationally known financial institution, no less than two directors, three senior directors and three senior managers rocked up like a presidential convoy to host a thank you party on their premises.

    And then there was the farce of national conferences where armies of people from all over the country would descend on a major city for a pep talk, workshops and networking at God only knows what cost to the bottom line. These would be two day jobs with everyone claiming travel and all the expenses that come with a paid for bender. If our donors could see what was done in the name of the cause they supported they would have padlocked their purses and wallets.

    And the biggest crime of all was the fudged story of how the money was spent. Most charities like ours were sub contracted by local authorities to deliver frontline services with voluntary funding used to prop up the shortfall. Sometimes we were raising money for services that we had no guarantee of securing when they came up for re-bidding.

    Many people in the team I worked in eventually left, disillusioned with oppressive bureaucracy and the power hungry vanity of seniors who often took the credit for successes so hard fought for by vocation driven frontline fundraisers. The organisation instigated a continuous programme of restructures aimed at achieving greater returns on investment. Yet the senior management would often descend on regional office for regular development meetings to look at new ways forward, then put ideas out to lengthy consultation. I used to joke that if anyone came up with an idea as simple as a bucket for collecting cash in high streets it would go up, and then down the chain of seniority, and re-emerge with director level enhancements as a combine harvester.

    Ultimately, the organisation was an overfed pantomime horse. It behaved like a charity when it wanted money and morphed into a cold hearted company when it wanted to push people harder to deliver. Individuality and creativity were sucked out at every opportunity in a organisation that had risk aversion drilled into its DNA. Yet, every month people would gather from all round the UK at its headquarters to look at ways of being the best.

    When I first worked there I would do charity runs and cycle rides to show my commitment. After I left I vowed never to donate to a large, national charity again. I had my eyes opened and my fingers burned.

    I’ve now returned to advertising. At least I know where I stand. I no longer donate to any large charity. Keep it local, small and accountable.

    • No Man’s Land

      “Keep it local, small and accountable”
      Sound advice, I now look for smaller charities because they’re usually doing rather than talking. I suppose they haven’t lost the founders zeal and missionary spirit.

  • Jab

    I give to individuals and small charities not to big ones.They need to be run as a way of benefitting the recipients not the CEO.I have had it even with barnardos.Sorry but give where you really know the outcome better to target your giving to one you know really well

  • Charles Hatvani

    In a wider view, it seems that the institutions created by us with all the best intentions are beginning to drift away from us, and they even seem to be turning against us.

  • Jacobi

    The recent report highlighting the tactics of some charities is a wake-up call. Yes, we should all give, that is our God-give duty as comparatively well of Europeans. But we should be very careful who we give to.

    In a talk I had with a friend who is in the military and served extensively in Serbia and Bosnia, he commented in particular on one of the recently named charities. Apart from executive salaries and expensive London offices, he had noted the very expensive and comfortable hotels, offices, cars etc., they, and apparently most charities, used locally, as well as their extraordinary ability to vanish back to those hotels when the first shot was fired, leaving the care the unfortunate to the military.

  • The Dybbuk

    We, surely shouldn’t begrudge the CEO’s of these organisations their perks, paid for mostly by getting chuggers or call centre operatives on incentivised minimun wage to tug at the consciences of gullible, trusting punters? After all, not much first class travel and large pension pots from the flag days of old?

  • Brogan75

    I’m so tired of “give 3 pound” ads on my train. Trying to make commuters feel guilty and more miserable than what they already are. The other day I read “text COW” to give a cow to some poor sod in Africa.
    I will never give a penny.Used clothes maybe, not money.

    • Gilbert White

      The used donated clothes scam is worthy of a book to itself.

  • rosebery

    My wife travels throughout eastern Europe, the middle east and Africa. Her job is strictly commercial, as a senior manager in a global IT company. She flies economy everywhere because that’s the way her company works. She frequently encounters the International charity glitterati on airport concourses in showing all the signs of the NGO, World Bank, IMF afflictions: designer luggage, hand baggage, tailored fatigues, etc, just before they are wafted off to the best hotels available. I was reminded of this when I read another comment here about the military man citing similar. I give to no charity I cannot see working locally. I volunteer my time for three charities and was once the finance director of a local training charity (unpaid post, but fully legally and fiscally responsible as a Company Director). I don’t and didn’t do it for the money.

  • Frank

    Melissa, you are something of a drip.
    Just walk into your bank, ask for a print-out of all your direct debits / standing orders and cancel all of them – start afresh.
    The other issue you don’t focus on is the way the Government hands out vast sums to its chosen charities, both nationally and internationally. Just what methods does the Government employ to ensure that all this money is well spent?

  • Tony Allwright

    Through their bad behaviour, charities have lost the right to be given the benefit of any doubt. This article lists only some of this. Other instances include things that have nothing to do with the stated causes of the charities, such as supporting abortion (eg Amnesty), pushing left-wing political agendas (Trócaire, Concern), donating collected funds to gay pride events (Vincent de Paul).

    The default position now should be – “you’re all a bunch of crooks and malefactors, and until you demonstrate otherwise you’re not getting a penny of my money”.

  • Freddythreepwood

    Melissa. Cancel all your DDs and give to the local Sally Ann. They will make good use of your money and they won’t be hiving any off for ridiculous salaries. And your conscience will be clear.

  • Mc

    There’s a very simple solution to the problem: don’t give money to charities.

  • JamesCovey123

    “. A Sun investigation recently found that Peter Wanless of the NSPCC, a charity supported by Olive Cooke, was earning £162,000 a year;”

    I would like to point out that all the NSPCC’s frightening statistics concerning “child abuse” includes teenagers up to 18 who are engaging in consensual activities.

    Further, the NSPCC’s research on child welfare specifically buries the data on children who live in traditional families with their biological parents by combining it with families of a less traditional variety.

    What are they trying to hide?

  • Ron

    Charities are used by Government to save themselves having to do anything. Just look at Ian Duncan Smith applauding himself for stopping disabled payments then claiming for a packet of biscuits on his expenses.

  • andylowings

    Cut out all middle-men and tricksters. Watch and observe in your daily life. There are many whose lives are not easy and who have no help. Slip them your monthly donation.

    It’s as close as you can get to perfect 0% administration, with nothing lost or funneled off.

  • Mr.Johnson Brown

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  • Mr.Johnson Brown

    How to Fix a Broken Relationship” My name is Mr.Johnson Brown from France and I am a 59 years old. I was married to Mrs.Helen Baines Johnson and I’m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife.so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn’t love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.{salvationlovetemple@gmail.com}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who didn’t call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster. So, i will advice you out there if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to the Dr Sam for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. salvationlovetemple@gmail.com, Thanks..,,,,.

  • Mr.Johnson Brown

    How to Fix a Broken Relationship” My name is Mr.Johnson Brown from France and I am a 59 years old. I was married to Mrs.Helen Baines Johnson and I’m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife.so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn’t love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.{salvationlovetemple@gmail.com}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who didn’t call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster. So, i will advice you out there if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to the Dr Sam for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. salvationlovetemple@gmail.com, Thanks……

  • Mr.Johnson Brown

    How to Fix a Broken Relationship 100% Powerful and Genuine Spell Caster” My name is Mr.Johnson Brown from France and I am a 59 years old. I was married to Mrs.Helen Baines Johnson and I’m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife.so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn’t love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.{salvationlovetemple@gmail.com}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who didn’t call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster. So, i will advice you out there if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to the Dr Sam for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. salvationlovetemple@gmail.com, Thanks..,

  • Mr.Johnson Brown

    How to Fix a Broken Relationship 100% Powerul and Genuine Spell Caster” My name is Mr.Johnson Brown from France and I am a 59 years old. I was married to Mrs.Helen Baines Johnson and I’m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife.so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn’t love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.{salvationlovetemple@gmail.com}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who didn’t call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster. So, i will advice you out there if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to the Dr Sam for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. salvationlovetemple@gmail.com, Thanks..,,,,,

  • Mary Ann

    I’m sorry but if I had a letter from a charity telling me they were putting up my direct debit, I would cancel it, no matter how much I believed in the cause.

  • Precambrian

    Hardly the last bastion of corporate greed. More like just another form of corporate greed along with all the others (banking, energy, media, etc).

  • MathMan

    For years I gave to several national charities, paying by direct debit. After recent exposures of where my money was actually going to I’ve cancelled the lot. What surprised me is that I didn’t receive a letter from any of them asking why I stopped. It seems like a beggar, being thwarted, simply turns to the next punter.

  • sarah smith

    I find the comments underneath this article even more frustrating that the article itself. It’s so sad that charities are being attacked, and the good work they actually do is seemingly being overlooked. Why not focus our attention on actual corporate greed and corruption, or the privatisation of the NHS, or the Government not fulfilling its promises… – much more valid injustices to expend our energy on. Thankfully the hugely generous response of the UK public to appeals from the DEC, Comic Relief etc indicate these overly simplistic, narrow minded, and in part, ignorant views are held by a small minority. We seem to be forgetting charities are not out to make a profit, the funds they seek are to do good – and they do, do good. There is a huge amount of need, which requires a huge amount of money. Salaries of fundraisers have been highlighted – but no one has mentioned the ROI of that fundraiser, who is likely to be raising at least 10x their salary which enables the charity to carry out their work. Whilst I’m not naïve enough to think there aren’t some charities that have some questionable tactics, or have mismanaged resources, the majority do amazing, inspiring work that benefits hundred of millions of people.

    Those that seem to have a lot of free time to read articles such as this should spend a little time considering another point of view – Dan Pallotta argues the way we think about charity is wrong. I agree.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong/transcript?language=en

    • Mr B J Mann

      But this isn’t an article and comments about corporate greed and corruption, or the privatisation of the NHS, or the Government not fulfilling its promises… – or much more valid injustices.

      Neither is it about the good charities do, or about good charities.

      It’s about problems with problem charities.

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