Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Which charities are REALLY worth supporting?

(124 Posts)
mrsmopp Sat 07-Jan-17 17:24:23

Another thread was sidetracked into a discussion on donating to charities. It's believed that some keep a sizeable amount for expenses, advertising re-branding etc so people wonder how much of their donations actually are used for purpose.
I raised a serious amount (a three figure sum) for a well known charity last year. A few days later a letter came and I thought, how nice, it's a thank you letterp. No, it asked me to start making regular donations to them.
What's the answer? I know they are worthy causes, but when you think of the amount they pay to rent their premises and pay their top brass it makes you think twice.

jusnoneed Sat 07-Jan-17 17:35:06

We only give to the local air ambulance, the lifeboats and cancer/heart research.
I'm afraid I have no time for all these collecting for overseas, you never know where that's really going (or into who's pockets) or how much of it gets used for what it's supposed to be for. Look at how many millions have been given to various foreign appeals and now years later they are still in exactly the same state.

HildaW Sat 07-Jan-17 17:40:30

I'm a fan of small local charities....such as local Hospice or a small support group for young adults with learning difficulties......I am sure that less administration coupled with people I actually know doing the accounting means that whatever I give does actually make a difference. Same with donations to charity shops....the local animal rescue or hospice shop gets my stuff over the big ones!

bellsisabelle Sat 07-Jan-17 17:53:25

It's got to be for the poor kids in such dire straits in the Middle East. So, UNICEF and Save the Children.

bellsisabelle Sat 07-Jan-17 17:54:47

I always think, if you're giving only to charities that might benefit you or yours one day, then that isn't really giving at all. Just paying insurance.

grandma60 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:05:48

A relative of a friend of mine is an area manager for one of the big charities. I am horrified when I hear the reports of the seminars and business management courses she attends, usually in luxury London hotels with an overnight stay, all paid for by the charity. Sometimes her husband has been allowed to stay at the hotel as well free of charge.
I definitely make sure that I stick to donating to local charities.

merlotgran Sat 07-Jan-17 18:10:50

I've been donating to a fund raising group which is raising money to buy equipment/books etc., for schoolchildren in Aden who were victims of last year's bombing. The aim is to get the schools re-opened and bring some normality back into their lives.

We receive regular updates and thank you posts on facebook.

Mumsy Sat 07-Jan-17 18:18:56

My local hospice who have to rely on donations to survive.

Jayanna9040 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:30:34

As far as the bigger charities are concerned I've tried really hard to access information about where the money goes and what services are actually provided. One problem is that salaries are all lumped together under that heading so, for instance, it's hard to tell how much pays for nurses and how much for other staff.
I know from personal experience in volunteering that often staff in the hospice have hours cut when management are getting a pay rise on top of already substantial salaries.
They don't always do what you think they do. For instance Macmillan nurses don't actually do any nursing. Barbados when asked, said they dont actually work wth children, they signpost to other agencies! Marie Curie nurses are hands on where they're needed but their chief executive earns a fortune plus benefits.
Unfortunately smaller charities can also siphon off money or may just spend unwisely. I know one recently that spent £250 of hard earned fund-raising on a picture for the wall.
It's really hard🙁

merlotgran Sat 07-Jan-17 18:43:37

Macmillan nurses don't actually do any nursing.

That's not quite true, Jayanna. My niece is a Macmillan lymphoedema nurse practitioner. She visits patients in their homes in the same way a District Nurse would.

Jayanna9040 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:58:54

Paid for by the NHS I believe, under a contract.

annsixty Sat 07-Jan-17 19:08:46

I am really lost now.I used to donate to NSPCC but got so fed up with the calls... Will you increase your donation?
I do donate to Smile Train as my GD was born with a cleft and I know just how devastating that is. Water Aid because I hope I make make a difference and Salvation Army because I believe in their aims and I hope they are as sincere as I believe. I would not like to decrease what I give each month, just want it to go to where it will to the most good.

NanaandGrampy Sat 07-Jan-17 19:21:08

metro.co.uk/2015/12/13/worried-about-where-your-charity-donations-are-going-heres-what-you-need-to-know-5562425/

I've always been concerned since the 80's when I read a report that said in one leading charity only 1% of what you donated made it to the cause you intended to benefit.

Often overseas aid donations seem to be worse due to the distance and often corruption in the recipients local area.

I don't know the solution .

cornergran Sat 07-Jan-17 19:23:40

Small, local charities are easier to checkout I think. I volunteer at a Child Contact Centre. There is only one very part time (8 hours a week) paid worker, everyone else is a volunteer. There is some regular funding but not enough to meet demand, we could open more with increased donation levels. Perhaps look in your own area for a local charity with work close to your heart?

Anya Sat 07-Jan-17 19:36:12

Charities that mean something to you. Choose a charity dear to you heart.

Mildred Sat 07-Jan-17 19:37:58

ann I told the NSPC that if they rang or sent me any more mail I would cancel my direct debit and it worked, I did not hear from them again, it was the mail I found upsetting I know children are ill treated but I found the literature upsetting. They also rang around dinner time.

clementine Sat 07-Jan-17 19:41:29

What an eye-opener I hadn't realised Macmillan nurses dont actually do any nursing, thats very misleading on the part of the charity. Sight aid and water aid sound like ones I would be very interested in supporting now Ive cancelled my S.O on the big ones ! The Lifeboats is another I feel doesnt get the Kudo's it deserves.

grannypiper Sat 07-Jan-17 19:41:44

There was an article in Wednesdays Telegraph that reported 32 charity C.E.OS earn over £200,000 per year (one is on £850,000 !) and they think it is good value for money

annsixty Sat 07-Jan-17 19:43:08

Can you name them p!ease?

annsixty Sat 07-Jan-17 19:44:40

As people mostly living on pension income I think we need to be selective.

TriciaF Sat 07-Jan-17 19:45:04

cornergran - that's what we do. Plus "charity begins at home" - helping out our own families counts.

mumofmadboys Sat 07-Jan-17 19:54:43

Macmillan nurses often work on an advisory basis advising district nurses on palliative care and working with GPs. Also listening to and supporting relatives. Money well spent IMHO.

annodomini Sat 07-Jan-17 20:10:02

The charity I mainly support is Médecins Sans Frontieres (aka Doctors without Borders) who do remarkable work in trouble spots whether man-made wars or natural disasters. The doctors (mostly young) and local staff often put their lives on the line and deserve all the support they can get. I get a monthly bulletin which gives a taste of the work they do,

Charleygirl Sat 07-Jan-17 20:18:08

I support my local Cat Protection League. The workers there have full time jobs elsewhere so money received is spent wisely. I do not think that I would send money to the headquarters.

I also support the London Ambulance Service but feel that they should not be begging/asking for money. This service, like the ambulance service should come out of Government funding.

Lazigirl Sat 07-Jan-17 20:22:12

Me too annodomini. They're my favourite charity, non political, brave, international and always working in the worlds trouble spots. They don't just rush in inappropriately and without experience to disaster areas.