i3t – Charity and the Professional Fund-raiser


We all know of and most of us support various charities.

They all do great work out there helping those in need. We here at BTS support several charities very close to our hearts including Help For Heroes and MacMillan along with local charities and of course our support of Sue Whitham and her story is now legendary.

The key to all charities is fund-raising. Help For Heroes, as a good example, is very very good at doing this in a variety of fun ways. Our friends at House of Pain have in fact put on wrestling shows with all money raised going straight to them. Other charities rely on donations of old clothing and the like.

And then there are the charities that have me writing this article today. Let me set the scene for you…You’re walking through your local town centre and some energetic person comes up towards you with a clipboard wanting you to donate to their charity. This is usually done by setting up a direct debit payment with the campaigner.

However what I’m betting most people do not know, for I know I didn’t until recently, is that these people are being paid £7.50 an hour, and often far more than this, and that they often get commission on top of that.

Yes we’ve entered an era where we now have the professional fund-raiser.

|Just run that around your head for a second.

These charities, who all plead the heart strings for your money, can afford to hire armies of volunteers and give them a large chunk of what you donate, in good faith, to the charity for the intended use to help people.

Since finding this out I’m now making it an active point of mine to not give to any charity who employs this technique for fund-raising. I feel that it is downright dishonest. I’ll also point out here that I have no issue here with charity shops, such as Oxfam, paying their store managers. Given the paperwork and responsibility needed to have your name on all the forms I think in that instance it’s only fair.

However… those charities who use these professional fund-raisers, often dubbed “Chuggers” derived from Charity Muggers, must obviously have a surplus of money.

Friends of the Earth, British Heart Foundation and Save The Children are just three of the many charities paying people to fund raise. I shall be keeping and regularly updating a list naming and hopefully shaming these charities.

The charities we support here on the site don’t do this. They rely on the old fashioned method people volunteering their time, going out after change with a bucket. No one gets paid but I’m going to wager a significantly larger percentage of the money raised goes directly to where it’s needed.

In these hard times we should definitely all give to charity if we can afford it and we should give as much as we can afford. But what we shouldn’t do is support a very misleading system.

So I’m going to say go out in your area and find those small local charities. Those who do good work and get on with it quietly. They don’t make a fuss but they provide life changing help for those that need it. Go and support those charities as I’ll wager that your donations will be infinitely better received and that an infinitely larger proportion of your donation will go towards where it is needed most.

A good example close to The Spaceman’s heart is the story of Sue Whitham. She’s released her single and album and all money she makes will be go towards her treatment. Any monies left over is going towards the local cancer charity who has provided Sue and her family, along with I’m sure untold hundreds more, much needed help and support.

Full details can be found here: http://www.suewhitham.co.uk/

In the end I guess all I’m asking is do you want to support huge charities who seem to big and have forgotten what they were all about or do you want to help people in need, which is the whole point of charity, by supporting those small charities who’ll gladly take your donations and put it directly towards where it’s needed most.

Have a think eh?

Especially when it comes to the following charities who all DO use Professional Fund-Raisers and are shall we say less than upfront about the practice: