A report from the True and Fair Foundation found that one in five of the country’s biggest charities spend less than 50 per cent of their total income on charitable activities.
Some of the charities are some of Britain’s best known voluntary organisations such as Cancer Research UK, the Guide Dogs for the Blind and the British Heart Foundation.
The foundation analysed the latest official annual report and accounts of the 5,543 charities. Its report - "A Hornets' Nest" published today - found that 1,020 charities were spending less than 50 per cent of their total income on charitable activities. Spending on “charitable activities” is defined in accounting rules as “all costs incurred by a charity in undertaking activities that further its charitable aims for the benefit of its beneficiaries”.
They were obtained by dividing charitable activity spend by their total income, which may include the profits of trading arms, charity shops and publications as well as public donations. The British Heart Foundation spent an average of just 46 per cent of its income on charitable activities over the past three years. The Consumers’ Association – which owns the Which? ‘best buy’ guides – spent just 24 per cent of income on good works while Age UK spent just 48 per cent.
Many of the charities also receive millions of pounds of public money on top of the cash they raise from individual donors.
Many of the charities disputed the figures. Cancer Research said it had spent 80 per cent of its income on charity if the cost of running its shops was excluded.
Another issue that we found disturbing was the fact that Charities allowed fundraisers to pressurise vulnerable elderly people into donating money and then sold on their personal data. In another damning report MPs warned that charities are in the "last chance saloon" and said that the reputation of the entire sector had been damaged.
It said that some of Britain's best known charities, including Oxfam, NSPCC, Save the Children and the RSPCA, had used "exploitative and unethical fundraising methods".
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee said that trustees must now take proper control of their fund-raising or face statutory regulation. "All the chief executives of the charities that gave oral evidence to us admitted that they did not scrutinise fundraising by sub-contractors enough. The only possible conclusion is that, by failing in this responsibility, trustees were either not competent, or wilfully blind to what was being done in their names."
MPs heard that some charities made it difficult or impossible for donors to block further communication from them or other charities.
Personal information ended up with scamming companies after being sold on by some charities while vulnerable and elderly people were seen as "fair targets" by some organisations, they were told. The report found that fundraising is "increasingly competitive" and a large charity can spend more than £20 million a year on trying to bolster its coffers.
Finally there are more than 195,289 registered charities in the UK that raise and spend close to £80 billion a year. many spend at least half their income on management, strategy development, campaigning and fundraising – not what most of us would consider ‘good causes’. We recognise the role that good charities play at home and around the world, but we want charities to do what there supposed to do instead of paying fat cat saleries to their C.E.O's.
If you agree with what this article is saying then don't stay silent please,