View Full Version : UK Charities expenses?

17th Apr 2012, 11:28
Anyone have a handle on the percentage of monies gathered for charities like GreenPeace, Oxfam, WWF and Friends of the Earth that is claimed as expenses? Is there a legal limit?

Just curious.........

Ancient Observer
17th Apr 2012, 12:00
I was nosey about this some time ago. There are publicly available ratios, but I can't remember where I got them from.

The biggest expense is always fundraising. Some spend 50% of their total donations on fundraising.

Those that are already funded - such as the Welcome Foundation, don't spend so much on fundraising, but build super-douper luxury offices in Central London.

As they become more "businesslike" their CEOs pick up huge salaries.

17th Apr 2012, 14:36
The one that I harbour suspicions about is the Gt Ormond St Hospital.

Don't know if it still goes on but they used to be in every commercial break on several TV stations, often top & tail of the break with very long commercials. Must have cost many thousands. Often wondered if it worked like some kind of Ponzi scheme, where the donations paid (or not) for the adverts.

17th Apr 2012, 14:55
Many so called "Charities" are in fact what are called "Advocacy Organisations."
Money they receive does not go to the cause they claim to represent, but instead pays for their members to jet around the world attending summits, conferences and other beanos where they press their various causes and mingle with world leaders and the glitterati. Not many of them fly LoCo or stay in motels.

17th Apr 2012, 15:17
It was most amusing when, a couple of years ago, the local paper published the salary of the Chief Executive of the Air Ambulance organisation (a charity with thousands of volunteers raising money by hard work and perseverance) Strangely enough it's not possible to see the accounts on-line anymore. Apparently these charities need to employ the best possible CEs and therefore need to pay the highest salaries. Meanwhile the unpaid volunteer flag sellers on a cold wet Saturday morning......

17th Apr 2012, 15:30

67% of money donated goes to the same old usual suspects (i.e. large charities turning over 5m plus per annum).

See here (http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/About_us/About_charities/factfigures.aspx) for the breakdown. It'll make you think about who you donate to next time !

See also the UK Civil Society Almanac (http://data.ncvo-vol.org.uk/) from the NCVO.

You should also refuse to give money to any charity that insists its "right" to pay their CEOs and management commercial rates ! Same goes for certain charities who insist on having plush riverside offices in the City of London ! Don't get me started on chuggers......

17th Apr 2012, 15:47
Ancient Observer

The biggest expense is always fundraising. Some spend 50% of their total donations on fundraising.

Erm ... not quite.

The Major charities only spend 14% of income on fundraising, the smaller ones spend a smaller proportion. The average is 8.8%.

The biggest expenditure is always Staff, Charitable Activities and Grants.

See this bit (http://data.ncvo-vol.org.uk/almanac/voluntary-sector/expenditure/do-large-and-small-voluntary-organisations-spend-money-on-different-types-of-activity/) and this bit (http://data.ncvo-vol.org.uk/almanac/voluntary-sector/expenditure/how-much-does-the-voluntary-sector-spend-on-fundraising-and-publicity/) of the almanac.

17th Apr 2012, 17:48

Money they receive does not go to the cause they claim to represent, but instead pays for their members

Indeed. The major organisations spend 43% of their expenditure on staff ! (and that's only the value of wages + pension + government taxes)

Breakdown in the almanac here (http://data.ncvo-vol.org.uk/almanac/voluntary-sector/work/how-much-does-the-voluntary-sector-spend-on-staff-costs/).

green granite
17th Apr 2012, 18:01
The biggest expenditure is always Charitable Activities and Grants.

Try salaries mixture

In Canada the WWF refuses to be transparent. The only information it thinks its supporters need to know is that, in 2011, its seven mostly highly-paid employees received compensation that added up to $1,144,000

The CEO of the US branch of the World Wildlife Fund, was paid a total of $455,147 in 2009 his base salary being $425,000.

Executive officers a little bit less in the $300,000 area.

17th Apr 2012, 18:24
green granite,

You must have been taking an eternity to reply to my post !

After my original post, I popped back around 20 minutes later after having a better dig through the NVCO and re-worded thus :

The biggest expenditure is always Staff, Charitable Activities and Grants.

I should have probably added "in that order" at the end of that phrase. :E

green granite
17th Apr 2012, 19:40
Yes sorry about that I hit the reply button and started off and then went into google to make sure I had those rather inflated salaries correct, and I then get side tracked a bit and so it goes on. :(

17th Apr 2012, 19:56
As has been said, once the feckers start inhabiting plush city centre offices and paying commercial salaries etc, then in my book they don't need to have money from any sane persons who believed that they were 'giving to the cause'. I prefer to volunteer or buy something directly for my chosen cause and have the satisfaction that I gave of myself, or not.

As to those lovely chuggers.......:ugh:


17th Apr 2012, 20:04
In my case, I simply don't give to any 'people' charities and I'm really picky about any animal ones.

My preference is the small and preferably local animal shelters where the people dedicate their lives and their property to helping abandoned and stray animals and birds (but not cats!).

Incidentally, the RSPCA, which I used to admire, seem to be rather keen on finding reasons to have some of these shelters closed down.

17th Apr 2012, 20:15
With a British registered charity I think it is correct to say that a general disclaimer to the effect that no member of staff is paid more than 60,000 will suffice to sign off the accounts.
Perhaps trustees can be staff if they so wish and of course many trustees on one charity may occupy a similar position on another.
One small but important point though is that in very general terms it can benefit a genuinely distributing charity to invest for income rather than capital growth, because of course income, usually taxed at a higher rate than capital gain, is tax free to a registered charity. For this reason, among others, do many charities hold real property within their portfolios which provide both tax free rental income and (usually) capital growth.

17th Apr 2012, 21:41
When I was in primary school it was a penny for the black babies (yes you could say it then) only thing that has changed is the amount and what it's collected for.
I have a direct debit to the RNLI and the occasional donation to a local charity.
I only wish that the RNLI would stop sending me letters thanking me and then stating do you realise that for an extra amount you can do such and such, this has the effect on me of wanting to cancel the DD.

18th Apr 2012, 12:18
I was badgered by a door-to-door chugger some time ago into giving a regular donation to the British Red Cross. Ever since then I regularly get phoned up by a company (presumably a commercial, profitmaking firm) that is paid by BRC to get people to increase their subscriptions. They try to get you to double your subscription, then when you refuse gradually decrease their demands only giving up when you decline to pay even 1 more. They then come out with their spiel about who they are and what they do and state that BRC have paid their company 70000 to pester you. That was the actual figure they told me last time they called. I wonder how many people actually cancel their subscriptions when they get hassled like this - it can't be enough or they wouldn't do it.