Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesses

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by slim, Oct 25, 2009.

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  1. Charities.
    Give a few pounds and you feel good that you have helped someone less fortunate than yourself.
    But have you?
    Charities these days are becoming more of businesses with the top people being paid extremely well.
    So how much does a charity have to collect before any of the money starts to work for the supposed recipients?
    I can't answer that but a site that may help is:

    Do you know that the top Neddy of our own Royal British legion is paid in excess of £150K?

    So how many poppies must be sold so that he can enjoy a lifestyle which in most cases exceeds that of those giving?

    Would it be better instead of putting £10 in the box for a poppy to put £1 in and then give £9 to help for heroes or Holidays for heroes where you know ALL of the money will be spent on those it has been collected for?
  2. I will never give a penny to an outside charity as long as my arse looks downward. They are the biggest rip off ever thought up. While all these bastards sit around doing fcuk all and wait for the outside world to give them things they can get stuffed. I have even insulted collectors who have thrust a tin under my nose for some obscure African so called charity. When they get off their fat arses and start to do something for themselves then I might (only might) think about it.

    If anyone comes up with some moral reason why I should give anything to bolster the fat bastards that run these scams, you can shove that up your arse as well. There are far too many deserving charities home here.

    Oh, that feels better.
  3. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    Smaller charitable groups (turnover <£10,000) never draw any kind of wages.

    Community Interest Companies (a relatively new kind of 'not-for-profit' organisation), Social Enterprises (such as the Co-op) and Charities are all permitted to pay wages to their staff from the money that they receive. WIth CICs, this is highly regulated and must be relative to salaries in line with private organisations with a similar turnover.

    Sadly, the days of these organisations being run completely by volunteers are long gone.

    During my career break a few years ago, I delivered free business development type services to small charitable groups and worked 60 hour weeks doing so but after six months, I had to go back to full-time work and that break meant that getting back into my chosen field was almost impossible. It took me almost two years to get there.

    People with the right skill set to run large organisations cannot afford to do so on a voluntary basis and big charities must pay them a wage similar to those in the private sector in order to keep them. To be fair, the MD of a private company of a similar size would earn at least double.

    Having said that, I would much rather give my money to Help for Heroes/Holidays for Heroes knowing that more of my money went to the benefactor.
  4. Why 'must' they pay them the same as private companies? If they don't like the pay then sod off somewhere else.

    Except for all those in the shops etc; that do the 'real' work day after day for sod all. They take advantage of pensioners especially who turn up day after day week after week year upon year for nothing and sometimes at their own expense as they can't use their bus pass before 0900.
  5. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    This seems to be a re-run of the annual RBL thread!

    As someone who works for a charity I can tell you that RBL are doing a bloody good job by maintaining their governance costs at under 1.3%, many charites (especially the smaller ones) run into 5% or more.

    Some people seem to have this delusional belief that in the name of charity you can expect all the expertise you need on the cheap, it is charity after all! Unfortunately even the most charitable of us have children to feed, mortgages to pay, pensions to fund, cars to run and we'd all like a holiday occasionally - in short we expect to earn what we are worth whoever we work for and just like anyone else we have financial expectations. Working for RBL is no different and a CEO responsible for the good use of their huge budget (investments, capital, personnel and future plans etc) ain't going do that sort of work for pennies and neither are the Directors.

    There are of course also thousands of us who will happily be out and about over the next couple of weeks selling poppy's for no reimbursement because we feel moved to do so. I volunteer for RBL and do that for free, but I work for another charity and there I expect to get paid well for my hard work.
  6. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    If we wish to compare percentage costs (especially of CEOs) then this site provides some excellent info,,1043285,00.html

    Suffice to say that RBL at £1.62 per Thousand pounds raised does not campare well with :

    Cancer research £0.46
    British red cross £0.77
    and many others

    He does compare most favourably with another service charity however
    Royal Star & Garter Home CEO is paid £85,00 which is £7.14 for every £1000 raised.
  7. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    I hate to tell you this Slim but the Guardian link is a load of bollox. You'd need to go to the Charities Commission site to realise just how bollox their figures are. One quick example, the guardian state RBL's income as £58.5m, in fact their income for last year was £104,081,000. The Guardian seem to have only included voluntary contributions as income, in fact RBL makes a good income from investments and fund raising events - CEO's ROI of around £45M ain't bad for the influences and decisions he and his directors make.

    There seems to be another difference too, you reckon in your first post that he earns £150k and yet the Guardian only have him down as £95K?
  8. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    Guardians information dated 2003
    Intelligent giving is I believe 2007
    So if the figures are correct that is one hell of a pay rise. :oops:

    If ROI is the chief execs pay (including perks) then I agree RBL are getting exceptional value for money. If he receives £150K than the value for money isnot so good.
  9. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    I think as you are begimmig to see Slim you have a number of problems with using some of these 'compare the meerkat' like services. Many do not use consistent measurements so you end up with confusing data .

    At the end of the day if you want some one to do what RBL does or any of the other big charities you end up with a big organisation. If you then add on the additional work they have to do to show they are proper charities the fact that many keep their admin costs as low as they do is very remarkable.

    Most of the big charities do a pretty fair job with our money even if they pay big bucks by our standards, for some of their senior people. Mind you would you be happy with the RBL being run by some one who was not worth that kind of cash.

    Any way I think you will find that in the bigger charities the rates of pay are lower than you will find in an eqivalent commercial organisation.
  10. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    Thr RBL is a large organisation that mainly runs itself. The clubs are run by commitees, the social services in the main run by volunteers.
    Now what I need to know is what the CEO actually does workwise to actually deserve the huge salary he is given.
    Let's face it he has no shareholders to justify his decisions to, if he makes a cock up it isn't going to be yelled about over the main broadcast.
    The position of CEO in a charity and that of a CEO in industry is not comparable.
    As has been stated,in th early years the RBL was run by volunteers who wished to give something to the community.
    The RBL was at those times a much larger organisation than it is today with far more members and clubs.
  11. Slim.

    Issues with the RBL? Join a Branch (St James Central Branch) and take up your concerns direct with your rep/committe up on become a subscribing member.

    IMO RR is certainly no place to either rubbish one Service charity nor tout for any others 'in lieu'.

    Readers of RR probably consider that their charitable donations and activities are, like religious beliefs, private matters.

    Just as we learn to become impervious to incessant bombardments of mass advertising so we become 'Charideed-out' with the increasing number of worthy causes pulling & chugging at us for our hard-earned and well-taxed residial income.

    As stated elsewhere, the benefits of Gift Aid can increase a donation to a charity by 25%, it is a little sad that not all worthy charities take advantage of that facility.

  12. I have not rubbished the work that the RBL do but questioned as to why the CEO should be paid so much.
    As for touting for other charitees I merely asked if it would be better to give to a service charity where you know 100% is being given to those that the charity is meant to help or give to a large charity where only a percentage reaches the parts that the cash is meant for.
  13. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    RBL Clubs are run as RBL Clubs Ltd and are not directly involved with the charitable work of the RBL, they are however, the main reason for the high RBL membership figures. They do pay the RBL a fee to operate as a club and must have a branch to exist,but you can exist as a branch without operating a RBL Club
    St James' branch and the Riders branch are the largest of these branches
  14. Slim, I know you have not rubbished the work the RBL does but you do seem to be rubbishing the CEOs remuneration package and I repeat that your questions about that specific issue are best answered by asking the RBL itself (though I doubt that any answer could convince you that most Head Honchos are deserving of the Head Honchos pay scales)

    Whilst I am aware that there is little to be gained by bandying and throwing figures at each other please have a look at these facts at the RBL Website:

    <<The Poppy Appeal raised almost £31 million in 2008.

    In 2008 the Legion spent over £100 million on its work. Apart from donations, funds come from legacies, sponsorship, corporate support and fundraising events.

    For every pound raised 80p goes towards achieving our objectives and of that 6.6p goes towards our support costs.>>

    Without making comparisons with any other Charities (Ex-Service or others) I, for one, am in no doubt that the RBL is providing excellent value for its primary, but not sole, objective: Aiding needy Ex-Service ‘Customers’.

    Re: Your original question:

    Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesses

    A: Yes and Yes.

    Finally, Slim, questions for you to ask yourself (which means that no reply is needed here or elsewhere):

    “Are the purveyors and disseminators of ‘News Stories’ big businesses?

    Or are they purely altruistic organisations; desirous of providing unbiased information for us; the great unwashed?â€

  15. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    As with any charity, the CEO of the RBL is in fact answerable to a board of trustees. These are volunteers and can in fact be held personally liable (i.e. lose their personal assets) should things go badly awry.

    A company that I used to work for had a turnover of £40,000,000, much less than the income of the RBL and the directors (below the CEO in the food chain) earned £150k pa, plus benefits which included company cars, pensions, private healthcare etc. In comparison, the CEO of the RBL is earning a paltry sum for his skills and could very easily gain employment in the private sector for a much higher salary if he chose to.

    People that are good at what they do, regardless of whether they are administrators, business managers, web designers or whatever, need to earn a living. You cannot expect a good CEO to work full time for free. You stated that if the money isn't good enough, he should 'move on', that is exactly the problem, don't pay him and he will and you will not be able to recruit anyone else into the role because the salary is very low for the level of responsibility.

    The RBL may very well not have the lowest running costs but then, the bigger charities will have lower overheads in relation to their income, making the percentage smaller.

    You plainly do not understand business at that level (inclusive of the private sector, and the three arms of the third sector, CICs, Social Enterprise and Charities). Come back and argue about this subject when you do.
  16. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    Pink Princess
    The arguements that you use are very similar to those used by:
    1 The BBC
    2 Members of Parliament
    Both these organisations try to justify high salaries by sugesting that if they are not paid then the top talent will leave.
    These arguemants have recently been disproved with many stars taking pay cuts and accepting much less for their contracts.
    Oh and have you noticed the rush of MPs running from parliment to take on other work?

    Charity is charity, business is business, but I think that you have answered the question I asked in the headline.
    Charities are indeed Big Business :twisted:
  17. H4H that's the only one for me, the rest can foxtrot oscar.
  18. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    Knew a lad from before he joined up, family all involved with the church,
    scouting and raising money for charities. (Sister was divs)

    Last I saw of him was when he left the mob from Dolphin, as a Killick Pinky 1885ish, to work for one of the charities he had been raising money for. Salary half as much again as he got as a Killick Pinky and a very nice company car.

    Must have been a bl00dy good fund raiser to justify that lot :?

    Wonder how long that lasted?
  19. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    I can't see what big wages has to do with it. Most of the country survives on £20,000 or less so why does it cost the ceo £100,000 to live. He/She will retire when they are 50 on charitable donations.
  20. Re: Are Charities still charitable or are they Big Businesse

    To think that charity is not business is plain stupid.

    An organisation has to be managed and administered regardless of whether it is private or not-for-profit. Ultimately, a charity is no different to a private business in that their aim is to make money.

    I agree that it is galling when you think of what the money could be used for but it is the way that the business world works.

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