Does charity begin at home?

in Money Saving Polls
23 replies 5.9K views
It was Comic Relief last week. Yet to pay for the developing world to have food and be brought up to a decent standard of living takes governmental action. So would you be willing to be taxed more to help the starving in Africa?

a. No. We're already overtaxed
b. No. We need to focus our charity on the problems at home
c. Yes. 1p rise in income tax
d. Yes. 3p rise in income tax
e. Yes. 10p rise in income tax
Could you do with a Money Makeover?

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  • I have been in international development at a variety of levels for over 10 years and personally I don't give money to charities. I know this sounds very pessimistic and hard hearted but I don't trust where the money the goes and how the charities administer the funds. Out of every £1 donated anything between 35% and 60% of the money goes no further than the charity itself. Before people start throwing things at me let me explain. All charitable organisations have to cover their admin and other costs. When a UK based charity, for example, says that only 10% goes on admin this is usually true, however, they will then assign wages, travel expenses, per diems etc. as direct project costs. These costs cover the expenses the organisation incurrs in overseeing the projects they fund. They pay their staff to over see the project, send their staff out on monitoring and evaluation missions, they employ (often UK based) consultants and/or external evaluators. All of these costs are legitimate but they all come out of the money donated and means less money to be spent on in the country and on the people who need it.
    As for the percentage of funds raised on the streets that goes to the 'professional' fund raising 'consultants' - don't get me started!!!
    Undoubtedly governments HAVE to do something to allieviate suffering and hardship in Less Developed Countries (LDCs) but it has to ensure the money goes where it is needed and not spent on UK offices and staff.
    Personally, I would reccommend to anybody who is serious about helping those less fortunate than themselves to do the following. Depending on how much and how often you want to give (even club togeather with others and decided what geographic area your interested in helping e.g. Africa, Asia, Central America, etc. and what you want your money spent on, e.g. health, education, training, water, youth, women, etc.) contact VSO, OXFAM, Save the Children UK, Plan International, or many of the excellent smaller agencies and ask them to give you the contact details of some of their field staff or volunteers who are working DIRECTLY with the type of people you want to help. Then contact those people and ask them what they could do with the money you have to spare. Get them to give you a breakdown of what they want to do, how they are going to do it, how much it will cost and who will benefit from it, and take it from there. Make sure they send you a short letter explaining what was done with a few photos once the money was spent.
    Please do not stop giving to charity but please do make sure that your money goes where it is need. With some imagination you could make a big difference.

  • Unfortunately Africa needs more than money, over the years there has been enough spent to rebuild the ecconomies of most european nations, let alone third world nations.

    Some is bad luck, some unfortunate natural disaster, but a large part is misguided opertunism, "politically correct" projects, mismanagement and corruption. Money alone will not solve any of these, and in many cases will just increase the problem.
  • Eliza252Eliza252 Forumite
    449 Posts
    I would be ecstatic to withdraw the 10p of my tax that is currently funding the war in Iraq (and elsewhere) and redristibute it to charity

    specifically to shelterbox as I have worked out that
    The government is pledging 400 million to the war in Iraq this year
    Thats 9 million shelter boxes
    Thats approximately one shelter box for every refugee in the world

    Although I agree that hand outs dont solve the long terms problems - I'm not going to complain if it keeps someone alive while we try and sort the bigger problems out. I dont mind that much if my 10p (s) get absorbed in admin just so long as its not killing people.
    I've made my debts bite-size too depressing to look at all at once so am handling them one at a time - first up Graduate Loan £1720 paid off! only £280 to go!!!
    Money to raise for tuition fees: £3000
    When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!
  • quackquack Forumite
    21 Posts
    cancel the debt that is owed by the poorer countries, as i am sure that they are only now paying off interest and not the actual loan borrowed and will be for decades (centuries) to come. Remove the political agenda (whats in it for us all as the western world econemy's) ie OIL, trading etc. The western world is partly to blame for the deaths that are occuring. There is enough money in this world to save it many times over, the problem is there is enough power hungry, greedy meglomaniacs to stop it being saved.
  • maneesh_2maneesh_2 Forumite
    118 Posts
    Big Company's and Polititions EXPLOIT Africa in the first place for cheap goods, thats really all there is to it.

    Also this Iraq War is costing a BOMB in our taxes, all in the cause for "Justice", i see no "Justice" in War, as well as the government telling us to turn out our pockets, when they use most of the money for causes of there own self greed, rather than any good for the world.

    Heres an Equation:
  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
    21.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    As others have pointed out there is a significant overhead in administration within charities ... and also some very unscrupulous people out there (some taking as much as 95p in every pound donated). The other problem in various parts of the world is that many bribes have to be paid to government officials, 'freedom fighters' (or whatever they call themselves) etc. and even then you can not guarantee that they will not steal the lorry loads of aid that are due to be delivered.

    I would have no problem giving more if the countries would sort out their own internal issues first. I do however begrudge knowing that in some cases very little of my contribution is reaching the people who desperately need the aid.

    Also, many charities simply need people to offer a little time ... I don't think money is always the answer.

    Board sex symbol
  • maneesh_2maneesh_2 Forumite
    118 Posts
    The problem with money is you don't know where it goes, and there have be too many scams in the past eve with big well known charities.

    People need to understand that Greed runs this world, because when you get more, it gives you power over others, whatever you want, and a higher status (a social norm, no one is better than any other person, it's inequality).
  • bridiejbridiej Forumite
    5.8K Posts
    I think other countries need to take a hand in helping themselves also.

    After all, we keep hearing about the HIV crisis in Africa yet the people wont have safe sex as it's against their religion!

    Religious beliefs are all well and good but they need to take action themselves as well as rely on handouts from other countries.

    I just pop in now and then.... :)
  • Charity should begin at home, people spend too much time looking down on the Big Issue seller and avoiding somebody shaking a tin. When comic relief comes around they're all too happy to shave their hair off or thrust a tenner into a bucket.

    I donated to the battered womans hostel last week.

    i gave them my girlfriend
  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
    21.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I donated to the battered womans hostel last week.

    i gave them my girlfriend
    I prefer mine in breadcrumbs

    Board sex symbol
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