Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Charity Overkill

It seems that there is a charity event for every conceivable cause imaginable. The argument is that there is no public money and so they have events like runs, or golf games and solicit funds over the telephone. They are not small like a local church bazaar or bake sale, many of these events are large and professionally run.

I wonder if some of these are not make work projects for those involved. Take the millions of dollars raised for breast cancer. It cost a considerable amount of money to raise that money. Recently the Weekend to End Women's Cancer, which charged its participants $1500.00 in fundraising (they had to raise that) disclosed to me that it cost them around $500.00 per person. That is outrageous..the event is cancelled for next year.

I am sure this is not atypical of charities. Where they may have started out as well meaning and the money would go to those who needed it, I think that many of them have lost their vision and are simply profit making companies with CEOS etc.

Should we support these businesses? Should they have CEOS who are paid considerable sums of money? Why can we not direct more public funds to assist those where the need is greatest? By diverting charity from the public to the private sector, are we not allowing our government to abdicate its responsibility to the poor and disenfranchised of our country?

The charities that cry the loudest for funds, appear to have plenty of money to spend on advertising, free Christmas cards, pens and stickers.

I believe that charities should return to their more humble roots and realize that they can help many more people if they divest themselves of costly administration, CEO's and cultivate a larger volunteer base. I believe the time is coming when the charities will say "Please sir I want some more" and the collective answer will be no.

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