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Charities are a con


red750
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This debacle over the Celeste Barber charity just proves that charities are a con. Very little of the money donated goes where people think it is. Did Queen, K.D.Laing, Alice Cooper, and all the Aussie artists who performed at the Fire Fight concert know they were only performing for the NSW RFS? Did donors from Victoria, Queensland, and the rest of Australia know they were contributing to the NSW RFS? I'll bet they didn't. They should demand their money back. Sure, NSW RFS said it will go to good use, and support their injured firefighters and families of firies who died,. Bully for them, but that's not the point.

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It's a crying shame when an good-hearted individual tries to do the right thing and the vultures land to scavenge. Australians have shown great generosity in the past, but the revelations of the way the established "Charities" handle those financial donations is going to make the average Aussie keep their hand out of their pocket when the next Appeal comes along. I see the the Salvo's Red Shield Appeal is coming up. I wonder how many battlers will withhold their donations this year.

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I'm extremely selective about who I donate to and I investigate any charity who wants my money. But many people donate on a whim, on an emotional urge, and fail to investigate who is getting what from their donation.

I floor most charity collectors by saying straight out, "No thank you, I already have selected charities I donate to, and that's my limit". They can't seem to understand that many people are on a limited budget.

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The charity in question seems to me to be honest and not grasping. The problem is that it was so succsessfull that the money became an embarrassment and the person running it said it could go to other charities. Problem is, that it was raised for the RFS and that is where it has to go. The Red Cross can get over that problem by raising money for Tsunami victims and then not using it all for them, but putting it in their general revenue. It appears that the Salvos have about half of what was collected for bush fires, still not distributed. I have donated to them for many years and am now having a good look at where my donation money goes.

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Yenn, it was not raised for the RFS, it was intended for the fire victims in all states. It's just that Celeste Barber gave it to the RFS to distribute, but some dumbass law states that it can only go to the NSW RFS, no other state, no other beneficiaries, and the stupid High Court failed to see logic and overturn the dumbass law. Thousands of people around Australia and around the world, including world celebrities donated millions to help people who lost their homes and businesses, and they won't get a penny. It may be legally right, but it's damned well not morally right.

Edited by red750
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I do not know when, or under what circumstances the law was drafted and enacted, but these were exceptional circumstances. Large areas of NSW and Victoria were devastated by the fires. Here is a quote from Wikipedia -

 

" An estimated A$500 million was donated by the public at large, international organisations, public figures and celebrities for victim relief and wildlife recovery. "

 

By applying that law, the intended beneficiaries did not receive one cent of that money. Victoria's CFA did not receive one cent. Why would Victorians donate to the RFS when their own fire service suffered losses? East Gippsland, particularly Mallacoota, suffered devastation, why would Victorians direct their donations to NSW and not Victoria? I'm a pensioner living on the smell of an oily rag and could not afford to donate, but if I had, I would be demanding my money back.

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You are being realistic. The intent and expectation should take precedence over the literal wording. LAW is not Justice. The fact could be a lot of those contributions. being from Victoria MIGHT NOT have been forthcoming if they knew that the intention was that it all goes to NSW. Nev

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It's obvious that our legal system as inherited from the British has its limits. If courts decided cases on the spirit of the law rather than on the strict letter of the law a multitude of highly intelligent lawyers could be redeployed into more productive work.

 

During the fires and then the pandemic, Australian governments adapted fast and showed commendable unity of purpose and cooperation. Why can't that continue? The NSW government could allow the RFS to grant the donated funds to local organisations in the areas most affected by the fires.

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The NSW government could allow the RFS to grant the donated funds to local organisations in the areas most affected by the fires.

 

Yes, quite a good idea, but would the NSW RFS send money across the borders? We seem to suspect that people donated money without regard to where the recipients lived, so the money should cross borders.

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I think it might be a bit of an exaggeration to say that charities are a con. In Australia charities are thoroughly audited and the information is freely available online. I know that people tend to worry about the proportion of charity money that goes to administration. Most charities employ people and employing people involves paying them and all the administration that goes along with this. Providing clean water for a village requires people with expertise. You will never get 100% on the ground unless every step of the way is handled by volunteers, even then, things just cost money. Consider the work of Fred Hollows, part of the money raised for his work was used to advertise in order to keep donations coming in. I know he did great work in minimising the costs of the operations he performed but there are still many costs such as transport and materials.

 

I think many people don't observe the work that charities do on the ground, mostly we live charmed lives and don't require help.

 

I have never been unlucky enough to require that kind of help although it can happen to anyone. I do have a couple of examples I do know of from my own family.

 

My sister and her partner lost their house on the south coast in the January bushfires. They escaped with their car and a couple of precious possessions and their beloved dogs and the clothes they were wearing. The Australian Red Cross helped them with temporary accommodation until they were able to sort something out.

 

My father has skin cancer on his scalp (wear a hat folks) and a few years ago had a series of traumatic operations skin graphs and radio therapy etc. Living 80km from Adelaide and being too old to drive he and my mother were able to stay in motel run by a charity for about $20 a night, I am not sure what the charity is but my father always referred to it as the "cancer lodge" as all the residents had cancer or were there to support someone with cancer. I know there are charities that also proved support for country kids needing accommodation in the city while receiving treatment.

 

I have a regular monthly donation to an overseas aid project and before anyone says it is a con, I did research it. This is not purely altruistic because I get something from it. I adds to my quality of life, It also reminds me that as a middle class, middle income person in one of the wealthiest nations on earth, my life is pretty charmed really.

 

I don't particularly care if a person donates or not in fact I don't donate to 98% of charities. to me it is entirely acceptable to say "I don't give to charities" however it should not be justified (in my opinion) by suggesting that all charrites are cons.

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Excellent reply, Octave.

It's easy to criticise the Red Cross and others for not having spent all the donated money, but they have to be responsible. I believe that after the fires, some charities were inundated with claims, many of which were bogus. I'm glad they are taking their time to get it right.

 

"I know that people tend to worry about the proportion of charity money that goes to administration..."

This is the sad reality of charity work. Complying with oversight and governance requires trained administrators and (as RAAus has found) you can't attract the right people with starvation wages.

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I would like to see them trying harder Old K. There are retired and unemployed accountants etc who would do this work as volunteers. I well know a guy with an MBA who would help. Where ere the requests for such people?

Reminds me of RAAus during the restructure. Lots of experience and expertise offered, but not taken up.

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I'm not sure how much of a cut the fundraising contractors get. I've heard a couple of versions, one was 60/40 in the charity's favour. The other was in relation to the monthly donation type, that the fundraising company keeps the first 12 months donation as commission. If so, at $10 per month, that $120 commission is probably quite reasonable considering the charity doesn't have to employ people to do it.

 

I remember a few years back when the charities used to ring my dad and try to get money from him. I checked them out and only two did their own fundraising. One was the Qld. Sporting Wheelies who had and old bloke who would drive to peoples places and collect the donation if that's the way they wanted to pay. Very old fashioned, but a nice touch. The other was the Guide Dogs Association who would offer products for sale and keep the profit margin. Things like pens and teatowels with the Guide Dog logo and they were good quality products. With all the other charities, there might be a dozen of them using the same commission company to fund raise. It frees the charities up a lot.

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" Here is how Red Cross Australia spends it's money. "

Excluding the Black Summer Fire fire collection ?.

The one right up my nose, was the English " CHILDREN'S FUND" who only got 2 pound out off every 500 pound collected.

The CEO's had payed for Bentley's.

spacesailor

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