CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME


Charities which begin at home: the easy work if you can get it (or stoop to it) of setting up a charity to provide remuneration for yourself  in a way which circumvents the usual prohibition against self-benefiting from charitable fundraising. May take two forms:

1. A registered charity is set up quite legally for the purpose of providing income for an allied telemarketing business. The two entities (charity and telemarketing firm) share personnel or are closely linked by personnel. Mr Smith starts up a charity whilst himself or associates are in charge of the telemarketing business. The charity awards contracts to the telemarketing business which by law can keep up to 70% or more of the fundraising income as commission.

2. A registered charity is set up by an individual who soon pops up as the boss of the charity drawing a nice full time salary from mercenary telemarketing - and advancing his/her career beyond what their resume would normally provide for.

In both cases the law and its guileless technical provisions are easily tip toed through.

They are able to exploit public generosity and gullibility and make money by aggressive telemarketing which aims at and succeeds in acquiring money from people in a few minutes of beguiling spiel.

How can you avoid these self serving “charities”? They bear common hall marks:

* the charities are recently established.                    

* the fundraising is almost exclusively through telemarketing.

* the charities website has little if anything to say about who the people behind it are. The people behind it have no meaningful professional or personal background relating to the charitable cause. A fundamental objective of setting up these charities is to provide personal benefits in the form or paid employment, career advancement and/or commercial fundraising contracts. For example an individual without the skills or resume to gain employment in a respected mainstream charity can find themselves the boss of a charity which they have instituted! The trusting funding fodder on telemarketing call lists are not equipped to see this detail behind sentimental marketing spiels.

* the charity doesn't publish information about its finances and fundraising.

* the charity has a name that makes it sound like a respected mainstream charity (which does NOT do all the above). People contacted may mistake this scheming charity for the respected one – the charity and its fundraising firm will have bought lists which contain contact information of people who have given to respected charities.

* these "charities" raise money and pass it on to functional bodies who do actual charitable work such as research. You'd be better to donate directly to these real charitable groups than pay wages for someone to shuffle money and organise raffles.

You can avoid these charity free loaders by never giving over the phone. The schemes work by telemarketing. Avoid telemarketing and you won't get caught out.

Take a bit of time to think about your giving -  how much you want to or can afford to

give, which charities you want to benefit and how you want to give. Do you want to give by

entering a raffle whereby only 30% or 40 % goes to the charity? Or would you prefer to

give a donation where it all goes to charity apart from a small administrative fee? Select

well known charities who are open about their processes and who have a track record.