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?