Too many charities

Roarprawn reckons Kidscan should be canned.

I don’t think it’s the only charity of which that could be said and part of the problem is there are too many of them.

It starts with an itch and before it can get scratched someone’s formed a committee, found a name, created a brand, registered an incorporated society, claimed charitable status, set up an office, found staff, designed a letterhead . . . and is looking for money to pay for it all.

How much is left for the itch after all that?

Too often not enough which is why a bit of a cull is in order, or at least a straggle muster to bring some of the strays into the herd.

For example, if there’s a problem with hungry, unshod and underclothed children, wouldn’t established charities like Red Cross or Save the Children be able to help without incurring the overheads and other costs of establishing and maintaining a new organisation?

5 Responses to Too many charities

  1. pmofnz says:

    The same charges should be levelled at the plethora of ‘health’ sites available locally. Everyone of them requiring similar overheads to establish and fund before a single taxpayer health dollar is consumed on the itch.

    One local district hospital, a small number of doctor surgeries. End of.

  2. ZenTiger says:

    Usually, such a suggestion would send shivers down my spine – who decides what monopolies we allow to exist, and when they realise they have a monopoly, will they change their behaviour.

    The market sorts this out.

    However, the main issue is if the tax laws are being used to shelter money making schemes under the guise of a charity. Furthermore, many “charities” exist on the back of government funds, not just donations.

    We need greater transparency over their accounts, such as a requirement to disclose the source of income, and where the money goes, to qualify for the charity status.

    Ending government funding of “charities”, or at least the government listing all its own “donations” would be worth considering.

    Of course, for some charities, the amount they spend on advertising suddenly goes up the moment traditional funds dry up, and chasing the donations becomes a necessary primary activity. The big charities tend to be “appeal” driven, using specific events to simultaneously advertise and collect donations to help them deliver services, and I think that works quite well.

    The little ones need to be active in the community and rely on volunteers and that also works quite well. The ones in between that suck government money, have high paid salaried staff and pay for high cost revenue garnering methods need to be looked at.

  3. homepaddock says:

    I’m not suggesting monopolies Zen. But when so much money goes on overheads, working through existing groups might be better than starting new ones with similar aims.

  4. Well and truly agree with you Ele

  5. JC says:

    There are over 23,000 charities registered with the Charities Commission.. and thats just those that meet the CC’s requirements for registration.

    All up there were 97,000 not for profits in 2005 employing over 100,000 with over 430,000 volunteers.

    I’m not sure what all that means, but its telling that health soaks up about 34% of the paid employees and is far and away the biggest grouping.

    On the basis of these figures you have to ask who are the beneficiaries, the paid employees, the volunteers or the targetted group? Whatever, its diamonds and rubies if you can work the name “kids” into the title of the group.


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