September 2018
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A little taste of my latest book “THE GREAT CHARITY SCANDAL”

A few months ago, I became concerned at how my increasingly frail 88-year-old mother, who likes to donate to a few charities, was being bombarded by requests for money by huge numbers of charities which she had never heard of. Clearly one of the charities to which she donated had sold her details so that now she was on a charities “suckers list” and would be pestered for the rest of her days.

So I did a little investigation and wrote my latest book THE GREAT CHARITY SCANDAL.

If anyone wants a little sample of the book, there was an article about it in the Mail On Sunday yesterday

Here’s an email I received by a reader of this website

“Thanks for writing The Great Charity Scandal. As a pensioner and wanting to give back to society I volunteered at The British Heart Foundation. I walked out two weeks ago as I no longer wanted my name associated with them. The straw that broke the camel’s back was being told that during my Sunday shift I had to sell an x amount of raffle tickets. I said I did not feel comfortable selling these tickets. So, the next Sunday they got a lady to come in to accost customers. It was really embarrassing. I walked out and told them I volunteered with the BHF and not Ladbrookes. I also cannot appreciate that during a recession they have tripled their prices. Some used articles are being sold for more than original cost. There is nothing charitable in their politicies. For example a gentleman on limited income wished to purchase a warm pullover, priced at £9.99  The said article was acrylic and would have cost that new, the man had £5. I asked if I could give it to him for that and was told no. Same applied to a lady who wanted baby clothing”

And here are a few of the 1,192 readers’ comments on the Mail on Sunday article:

“Yesterday I received 2 envelopes from the British Red Cross through my letterbox. In each one was 2 Christmas cards and their envelopes, 2 place mats, a page of sticky labels, a bookmark and a pen, along with a letter asking for £5. They claim that these kits cost 24 pence to produce and bring in a lot of revenue. In the block where I live, it would have cost them almost £30 alone to distribute these. Waste of money, they will not be getting anything from me until they manage their finances more wisely”

“I am so pleased this is finally coming out. After having a friend who did the accounts for a charity whose chief exec drove a flash car on the back of it. I have only ever given to the Salvation Army and the Lifeboats, who don’t seem to take off loads for those at the top”

“I researched the wages of some CEOs of major charities & decided to donate to smaller local charities who cannot afford thousands of pounds to advertise for money.Quite honestly none of us knows what goes where, especially with the largest cancer research charities, but I do know that we are no closer to a cure now than when I was 5 (56 years ago)”

“My friend works for one of these charities and he says most of the money goes on salaries and parties for the staff, they waste more 75% of the money you donate”

“I have for many years donated to WWF under covenant. I found that I was receiving at least 1 letter a month asking me to give another £20 for this and another £20 for that. I wrote objecting that MY donation was apparently being used to demand more money from me. The regular mailings stopped for a few years but have started again. WWF have also increased my covenant although I don’t remember being told about that. I also noted that WWF was clearly spending money campaigning about “man-made climate change”. I again objected and wrote to the CEO saying I would stop contributing if they carried on with that. The CEO wrote back saying “goodbye”

“It’s about time someone raised the lid on this. I had been donating £20 per month to Plan International for 12 years until I found out the CEO was getting a salary of £185,000. Then I stopped. I have decided now that if I donate to charity, whoever is the boss of that charity must be earning no more that £75,000”

“Another problem is with charity shops which now seem to think they are boutiques. I have volunteered in 2 different ones and became very frustrated at all the rules and petty restrictions. For example the manager wasn’t allowed to have a sale or reduce prices. All unsold stock was sold by the sack to dealers for around £1. whereas more could have been raised for the charity if they had been put on a sale rail. I felt that the purpose of the shops i.e. raising money for charity had been lost and it was all about image and employment for a large layer of managers etc”

“If you sign up for the TV ads for only £3 a month charities, you are then bombarded with telephone calls putting you on a guilt trip to increase the payment to £5 and when you comply it starts all over again”

“I did a DD to a charity and then started getting phone calls, all asking me to increase my donation, one smarmy little git suggested I stop buying books and send them the money, when I said ‘no’ he became very abusive so I told him to go away and then stopped the DD. More phone calls asking why I stopped and this time it was the tug on the heart string approach, I eventually had to block the number as I was getting three to four calls a week”

“Never give personal information to the chuggers, cold callers, idiots with red noses on, large one eyed yellow bears or junk mail. Once they’ve got you get ready to be pestered every day by them wanting more”

5 comments to A little taste of my latest book “THE GREAT CHARITY SCANDAL”

  • Keen Reader

    Well done on achieving some excellent well-deserved publicity via the Mail on Sunday; readers’ responses, almost all endorsing your views, currently stand around 1200, which can’t be bad.
    High Street charity shops are, as your correspondent stated, now charging more for someone else’s cast off jumble-sale tat than are market traders and the cheapie chain stores for similar new products. Browsing around my local market-town High Street last week, I made quick dashes into Oxfam, British Heart Foundation and Barnados and found tatty paperbacks on sale for £3 or more and sundry men’s and women’s sweaters all upwards of £8. And these “charities” all enjoy exemption from the Business Rates which cripple honest commercial enterprises.
    If you feel moved to give other than to your own family, choose a local charity where you can see where your money goes.

  • Bernard from Bucks

    Yesterday I too received an envelope from the British Red Cross asking for £5. Amongst all the ‘give-aways’ was a prepaid envelope in which to return the donation.
    I used this to send them a complaint about this –

  • Ha-ha-ha I love it. Hopefully the fightback has begun

  • Jeff

    Your book puts into words what i have thought for a long time

  • rosemary rimmer-clay

    I accidentally left a bag of my shopping in the BHF in the london road, brighton. They immediately sold the contents, without any delay. This is simply theft.

    I contacted their customer service and received a reply full of inaccuracies and refusing to refund my purchases, even though I had a receipt.

    Utterly irresponsible and dishonest.

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