The true meaning of charity is defined as this : "The practice of charity means the voluntary giving of help to those in need, as a humanitarian act".
The phrase "voluntary giving" is the key. Giving your time, money, expertise etc voluntarily.
So why in the UK are so many people making a handsome living out of charities?
If you look at the list below you will see the salaries that UK charities deem their "employees" worthy of.
In the USA it's even worse.
In fact, in some of the worst cases, less than one cent of every dollar that is donated ends up in the hands of those that need the help. If you can believe it, right now there are 6,000 charities in the United States that use for-profit companies to raise money for them, and in many of those instances the for-profit companies end up keeping more than 50 percent of the donations for themselves. In addition, many charities end up paying their employees “salaries” that are far greater than the total amount of money that the charities actually give to the needy. The Tampa Bay Times, CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting recently teamed up to conduct an investigation, and they came up with a list of the 50 worst charities in America. They discovered that those charities raised more than $1.3 billion over the past ten years combined, but that nearly $1 billion of that total went to the for-profit companies that raise their donations for them. The American people are being scammed out of an enormous amount of money, and people need to learn the truth about this.
The worst charity in America operates from a metal warehouse behind a gas station in Holiday.
Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families.
Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.
Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity’s operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations.
In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity’s founder and his own consulting firms.
110 million dollars is a colossal amount of money.
Imagine how much good that could have done if it had actually gone to sick kids.
Instead, it went to enrich scammers that own shady companies that run pushy telemarketing operations.
Apparently “charity work” has become one of the most prominent “get rich quick” schemes in America. The following is how CNN summarized some of the most important findings of the investigation…
— The 50 worst charities in America devote less than 4% of donations raised to direct cash aid. Some charities gave even less. Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. Six spent no cash at all on their cause.
— Even as they plead for financial support, operators at many of the 50 worst charities have lied to donors about where their money goes, taken multiple salaries, secretly paid themselves consulting fees or arranged fund-raising contracts with friends. One cancer charity paid a company owned by the president’s son nearly $18 million over eight years to solicit funds. A medical charity paid its biggest research grant to its president’s own for-profit company.
— Some nonprofits are little more than fronts for fund-raising companies, which bankroll their startup costs, lock them into exclusive contracts at exorbitant rates and even drive the charities into debt. Florida-based Project Cure has raised more than $65 million since 1998, but every year has wound up owing its fundraiser more than what was raised. According to its latest financial filing, the nonprofit is $3 million in debt.
— To disguise the meager amount of money that reaches those in need, charities use accounting tricks and inflate the value of donated dollar-store cast-offs – snack cakes and air fresheners – that they give to dying cancer patients and homeless veterans.
According to the investigation mentioned above, the following are the ten worst charities in America and the percentage of money that is donated to those organizations that actually goes to help people…
1. Kids Wish Network (2.5%)
2. Cancer Fund of America (0.9%)
3. Children’s Wish Foundation International (10.8%)
4. American Breast Cancer Foundation (5.3%)
5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation (8.4%)
6. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation (2.2%)
7. International Union of Police Associations (0.5%)
8. National Veterans Service Fund (7.8%)
9. American Association of State Troopers (8.6%)
10. Children’s Cancer Fund of America (5.3%)
Back here in the UK more than a thousand people employed across various charity organisations are reportedly paid an annual remuneration that runs into six figures. These salaries are said to be paid by voluntary organisations dependent on donations, endowments or public funding.
According to an analysis by The Times that scrutinised executive pay at Britain's 1,000 highest-earning general-purpose charities:
- Annually, 1,080 executives across 390 organisations receive salaries of at least £100,000 (€137,812, $149,524)
- In some cases, executive pay has soared even though income or donations have reduced
- In 2014, a director at a regional theatre received more than £340,000
- An executive heading a government-funded think tank was paid more than £500,000
- About 11 executives at a planned parenthood charity received an average salary of £144,090
- About 277 staff earned more than the prime minister's salary of £142,500 a year
- Around 12 executives earned more than £300,000 a year
A Times report quoted Bernard Jenkin, the chairman of the Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee, as saying, "The charitable sector needs to guard against an arms race in top salaries. There comes a point where a salary does not look charitable."
I don't know about you but anyone who takes a salary from a charity "does not look charitable" to me.
It seems to me in this day and age charities, especially the bigger ones are just lining their own pockets. Imagine how much better it would be if the money used to pay these disgraceful salaries actually went to the people who needed. The world would be a better place.
Don't get me wrong there are some great charities out there but now I hope you might think twice about which ones you donate your hard earned money to in the future.
Top Salaries For UK Charities 2013
NB* this list is from 2013 so I imagine the salaries would be even higher now.