Is it good to give?

Hi – I’m Polly, one of the International Journalism MA students from Cornwall, UK, who will be taking part in the World Have Your Say programme next week…here is my first blog.

I wonder how many of you have donated to charity recently?

Just eight days after the earthquake hit Haiti, donations in excess of $305 million had been received and are still pouring in now. We trust charities as a matter of course and most have an exemplary record, but there have been many examples where their conduct has been called into question.

Even celebrity Wyclef Jean recently had to defend how his charity Yele was spending its money.

There are commissions and regulators that are responsible for monitoring charities, but this gets particularly difficult when organisations are operating overseas. And what happens when a charity receives too many donations for the cause it has earmarked?

It’s reported that the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies received more than $3 billion for tsunami relief in 2004, but five years down the road, it still had about $500 million left over. The US site Worth gives an ‘Elite List’ list of what it calls its ‘Ten Most Fiscally Responsible Charities’.

Its ‘top’ charity gives ninety-three cents of every dollar donated to its programmes, demonstrating that there are many charities out there doing incredible work. In comparison, The Canadian Association of the Blind (not to be confused with the Canadian. National Institute for the Blind) was stripped of its charity status when it raised $1.5 million in three years, and spent just $10,912 on charitable works.

Do we need to take more time when deciding which charity to give our money to?

Are smaller organisations sometimes more efficient than global charities?

20 Responses to “Is it good to give?”

  1. 1 Jaime Saldarriaga
    February 18, 2010 at 17:12

    Yes, sometimes it is good to give to people who really need the gift.

  2. 2 steve
    February 18, 2010 at 17:50

    All organizations will have some overhead, unless it’s completely run by volunteers that don’t have to pay any sort of rent or utility. Some of the charities, well, the overhead is part of the services. I donate lots of money to animal shelters, for example.

  3. February 18, 2010 at 18:03

    Yes Polly,I do give to charities but only long standing ones.I once gave a man in a wheelchair two fifty p. pieces,I could not get them into the tin,so I put them in his hand and took a sticker from him,as I walked away I glanced round and he was putting them into his pocket.That was the last street collection I ever gave to,or ever will.Good luck with your prog.Probably more to say next week.

  4. 4 JanB
    February 18, 2010 at 18:18

    Yes, I’ve donated for Haiti, but only to responsible, established charities. I am however opposed to countries using a percentage of their GDP to donate to undemocratic regimes as a form of aid.

  5. 5 @guykaks
    February 18, 2010 at 19:38

    Yeah,i generally believe in the art of giving.As long as i have means and someone really needs it

  6. 6 Idris Dangalan
    February 18, 2010 at 20:23

    Am ready to donate but my/our problem here in Nigeria is channel of communication.

  7. 7 MEERA
    February 18, 2010 at 22:24

    Charity is always meant to be a kind and generous gesture.
    The problem is with the lack of confidence as to where the
    money goest – including for the known big charity funds.

    There is a slip between the cup and the lip.

    Whether small or big well known charities, one is not
    sure whether the majority of amount donated reaches and
    is effectively used.

    SOLUTION; Tracking your charity

    How to do it and who should do it?

  8. 8 MEERA
    February 18, 2010 at 22:27

    Hope someone can find a solution to track the donations
    and their effective use,

    Charity is an essential part of our life and is necessary,

    The problem is the fraud and waste of money along the way
    and also people should not become completely dependent on
    it otherwise they will never stand up to life and do something
    if possible,

  9. February 19, 2010 at 02:09

    Natural disasters are no respecter of international borders or culture but stalk round the globe striking where they please… If we can see our own land as being vulnerable to natural or political disasters, it behoves us to give aid to other victims, as we would (and will) expect same if and when our land is attacked.. The theme is that ..” WHAT IS WORTH HAVING IS ALSO WORTH GIVING TO OTHERS “. How would you feel being at the receiving end, without any giver ?

  10. 10 Cabe UK
    February 19, 2010 at 12:09

    It is good to give – but a fair but possibly ‘UnCharitable’ observation is that I notice that it seems to be mainly the ‘Freer’ countries that upkeep (- on a long term…) large charitable organisations and have a continual supply from their ‘donators’. Don’t see the rich from countries like China, Africa, Parkistan or the Arabic states etc, etc stepping up to help their own in a crisis, although they are happy to take handouts from the rest of the world!

  11. February 19, 2010 at 13:38

    It is but it would be nice to know what % of the donation reaches the victims I do not donate to make a second party wealthy

  12. 12 Subhash C Mehta
    February 19, 2010 at 14:20

    It is good to give (in charities) in the times of unprecedented crises and the havoc caused due to the natural hazards/vagaries of nature.

  13. 13 patti in cape coral
    February 19, 2010 at 14:54

    I gave a little to Yele before the critisisms started, and now I wish I had looked into it more thoroughly. I really hope some of my contribution got into the hands of the people who really needed it,and I will definitely be researching more in the future before I give.

  14. February 20, 2010 at 12:28

    I give to charities. But the incomes of those who administer them is a well-kept secret despite my polite inquiries.

  15. 15 mat hendriks
    February 20, 2010 at 23:34

    To give from your heart, is something beautifull to do.
    Give without wanting something in return.

    Give is good for them who need it and it is good
    for yourself.

    The feeling of giving-giving only to help some-one else,
    is one of the most fine- feelings a human person can aware.

    It belongs to, what we call Love.
    Love in it’s most pure form.

  16. 16 Ronald Almeida
    February 21, 2010 at 12:44

    Yes, If you have more than you need. For everything superfulous causes its owner only problems. The question of course is knowing the difference between need and want.

  17. 17 Carlos A Londono
    February 21, 2010 at 18:19

    It is not good to give regardless the cause. It is way-out clause for any developed government to avoid it’s responsibilities with in a country or world wide. The more one gives the less a government will do. Charity has no place in our world.

  18. 18 Cabe UK
    February 24, 2010 at 11:48

    Hummm….. why are the mods being selective about the ‘charities’ it posts?
    The BBC is happy to name drop on the charities it has named above, but when I post a negative comment (twice now!) – about Cancer Research or Oxfam – it won’t go there?
    Well BBC – What??? – Are these particular Charity – “Companies” too big and powerful for the rest of us that they cannot – EVER – do anything that warrants a negative comment then ? Isn’t this just a perfect example for this whole Topic !!!

    • 19 MEERA
      February 25, 2010 at 19:21

      The comment by CABE UK is not justified because the
      accusation is against BBC.

      Both the comments are posted by BBC which I find is an
      extremely fair and tries its best to remain neutral.

      Should stick to the subject regarding charity

  19. 20 Cabe UK
    February 26, 2010 at 01:58

    Ah Meera, Meera, Meera – but you don’t know what my comments were about, because they – The BBC – have refused to post them! 🙂

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