February 2023
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Psssst! Wanna get filthy rich? Then start a charity!

Today, I’d like to bring you an almost heartwarming story from Britain’s much admired (by whom? ed) charity industry.

Here, from Scotia Aid’s website is how the charity explains its mission:

Scotia Aid – Sierra Leone was launched in May 2010 by a small team of businessmen with the mission of creating maximum impact upon the numbers of children, whose lives are controlled by the streets. We work directly with children in their own environment towards reunification with their families, reintroduction to education and the creation of a sustainable home-life for their on-going upbringing”.

The three heroes who set up this supposed ‘charity’ managed to raise £790,899 in 2012/13 and a more impressive £1,020,365 in 2013/14.

Ok, this not a huge amount. But a million pounds can do a lot of good in a country like Sierra Leone where the GDP per capita is $340 (£220) a year and 72% of the population live on less than $1 a day, which is the commonly-used definition of ‘extreme poverty’.

At least, the money raised could have done a lot of good had much of it ever reached Sierra Leone. Sadly (for those the charity was meant to help) a mere £137,819 – just over 13p in every £1 raised – seems to have gone on what most of us might call ‘good causes’. So where did the rest go?

Well, the three selfless saints who set up this charity paid themselves £312,958, up from £197,227 the previous year. So the three founders of this ‘charity’ pocketed for themselves more than twice as much as they used for charitable purposes. The top earner at this £1m ‘charity’ got £116,931. To put this into context, the head of the 5,000+ employee £368m-a-year Oxfam got a mere £109,000. The second best paid took £103,927 and the third of this lucky trio had £92,100 pushed into his bank account making him better-paid than the head of the £59m-a-year Action Aid.

Scotia Aid

But these three didn’t pay this money to themselves as salaries. Otherwise they might have been subject to income tax of up to 50%. Ouch. Nope. Instead they paid this money to “shell” companies as consultancy fees so the maximum tax would be corporation tax at just 20%. All the so-called “shell” firms have reportedly been registered to the address of the charity’s accountant.

Where else did the money go. Well there were £43,751 in expenses plus another £105,720 in ‘logistics and travel expenses’. There was also £113,975 in ‘telemarketing’ costs, possibly paid to a company owned by one of the charity’s founders. And we mustn’t forget the £12,387 in motor expenses and the £2,105 entertainment costs

One former employee said said: “I left the charity when I became concerned about the way Dan was running it. It was all nights out, huge restaurant bills and big cars”.

Another commented: “The public need to know what is being done under the auspices of charity. They spend their money on a fancy lifestyle and fast cars. Helping people is the last thing on their minds”.

So, if you wanna get loads of money, travel in style to exotic countries and party at someone else’s expense – (here it was at the expense of impoverished children in Sierra Leone) – then set up a charity.

Plus, in addition to trousering a fortune for yourself, you might even get a gong or a knighthood or some other honour for your charitable work.

You can’t lose. Set up a charity! You know it makes sense!

6 comments to Psssst! Wanna get filthy rich? Then start a charity!

  • Mike Roberts

    “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

    “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

    Winston Churchill

  • Mike Roberts

    Partition of India.

    In the riots which preceded the partition in the Punjab region, between 200,000 and 500,000 people were killed in the retributive genocide between the religions.[2][3] UNHCR estimates 14 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were displaced during the partition; it was the largest mass migration in human history.

  • Great quote. Though it will be more relevant to tomorrow’s blog, as you will see.

  • Kensington Chubb

    Have a look at their website, who is the rather well-fed white chap with the local school pupils? If he’s one of the greedy three, he would certainly appear to be enjoying his expense and entertainment budget to the full.

    A disgrace of a “charity” that should have had its status revoked by the ever-useless Charity Commission a long time ago. But with the news today about the scamming of yet another elderly man whose details were obtained and then sold on hundreds of times to headline charities who then preyed upon him, I believe the CC are just as bad as the three who run this charity you’ve exposed so well.

  • Mike Roberts

    Weimar Republic parallels with today.

    There is no doubt that – over a period of time – liberal societies build up bigger and bigger opposition from an ever-present right-wing. As long as there is prosperity, however, with good food on the table and a good and abundant living for all the family, the anger against the moral weakness always inherent within liberalism can be deferred but when economic disaster strikes, weak leadership is always blamed and liberal societies always appear to be weak in leadership.

  • Having watched TV channels during a normal week that advertise and basically beg for cash over a 6 month period’ I took it upon myself to calculate the yearly expense I would incur by subscribing to all of them – the figure is somewhat surprising: £4,744 pounds!!!!
    No wonder the three musketeers from Scotia aid are laughing and it would appear so are all the rest.

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