Holy Cow: Milking Charity

CowA new way to be charitable and help those less fortunate: give them a cow.  Based on the same sustainable principles – you know teach someone to fish and they’ll be able to feed themselves. So you give people a cow and they… milk it? Or eat it? Ho. Ho. Moo.  [via Daily Candy]

On a slightly more serious note it is quite amazing how many charities
there are these days.  According to the Charities Commission in the UK
there were 161,243 "main" charities registered in the UK in 1998 with a total income of £19,749,690,739 [that’s £19 billion].  Now consider that over 70% of these charities accounted for only 2% of the total income and you have some *very* wealthy charities.  In 2003 [the last date on record] there were 162, 104 charities, up slightly from 1998 but the total income was £31,615,369,288 [£31.6 billion] which is a vast increase [62.5% if my flaky maths is correct].  So somewhat ironically the gap between the richest and poorest
charities had widened further, mirroring the income gap between and
within Nation States.  And, at current exchange rates the income of charities in the UK is greater than the GDP of Bangladesh, Ukraine, Morocco and Romania.  That’s bonkers isn’t it? 

I know these charities have to be accountable to the Charities Commission but what form does accountability take exactly?  Take a look.  It seems to me that it’s far more about effective housekeeping that necessarily effective and ethical spending and that’s when they can be bothered to actually disclose their acounts.   Can you get a refund if you think they’re doing a bum job?  I doubt it somehow. So next time you’re hassled by some clipboard-wealding charity salesperson wanting your account details ask them about their charity, ask what they earn and what they spend it on.