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Oxfam - tip of the iceberg?

(76 Posts)
Telly Tue 13-Feb-18 17:01:23

Reading an article today about the waste that is prevalent in Oxfam (The Times, 13 Feb), also reading about their more than generous pension scheme (they double contributions made by staff of up to 10% of salary, which is brilliant for the high earners), and have decided to stop my small monthly contribution. I am wondering what else is going to come out of the woodwork? I am going to stick to my usual method of trying to help by contributing to smaller charities. Not there is any guarantee......

Bridgeit Tue 13-Feb-18 21:19:20

Me too Telly, seems hard to trust any of the big organisations now. We Mr & Mrs Averages have been hoodwinked & the potential benificeries betrayed.very sad .

vampirequeen Wed 14-Feb-18 08:20:47

I give food to the local foodbank. That way I know my money has been spent on feeding people. My local Coop shop has a collection point and I simply go online to check what the local group is asking for and put my donation in the box.

Alexa Wed 14-Feb-18 08:29:00

No group is immune to the devil who infiltrates everywhere.

I agree with Vampirequeen about local groups because I think they are more likely to be scrutinised by the donors as I think Vampirequeen implies. The Charities Commission is supposed to have scrutinised charities on behalf of all of us.

I am feeling a connection between charity admin, on one hand,and Jeremy Corbyn's call for admin at local level for many public services, on the other hand.

Christinefrance Wed 14-Feb-18 08:44:27

That is misuse of donor's money Telly these people think they are above the law or even morality. It concerns me greatly that all this has been going on for so long and been covered up. Charities have become big business, their executives are paid large salaries on the back of the generosity of ordinary people.
Like others I will be looking at smaller, more open charities to help.

Oldwoman70 Wed 14-Feb-18 08:49:23

The problem is, I think, due to the generosity of people a lot of charities have become too big with a lot of money being spent on salaries and administration. We all want to help those less fortunate but many are now finding themselves unable to trust the charities they have always supported. Supporting local charities is fine (I do so myself) but which charity do you choose to support to help those in other countries? How much scrutiny is there on how the money is spent? We have been sending money to Africa for at least 50 years to help those without fresh water, billions of pounds must have been collected over the years yet we are still being told that many people do not have access to fresh water - what happened to all that money?

michellehargreaves Wed 14-Feb-18 09:58:21

I'm afraid I have been very cynical about charities for a long time -ever since a neighbour told me about the breathtakingly high salary (and i mean BREATHTAKING) her son earned working for a charity. Then the news about "chugging" - charity mugging - where attractive young folk stop you on the street to get you to sign up to direct debits to charities , and where it can often be 3 years before a single penny of that gets to charitable work. I just won't do it anymore.

Telly Wed 14-Feb-18 09:58:50

What really got to me was that there was no acknowledgement that a lot of their money is from fundraising, children etc. etc. I have worked in Local Government and we were well aware that every penny was public money and spent accordingly. They need a reality check. And as for the generous pensions - in essence it is possible to put away up to 30% of salary into a pension, with the employers only putting in 10%. Seems a very effective use of tax laws. Again this is money that is either public or donated 'the widows mite'.

Luckygirl Wed 14-Feb-18 10:04:21

I agree that large organisations can be out of control - too many people in too many places to keep a grip ojn what is going on.

The idea of of Oxfam staff being a part of the exploitation of women is shocking.

I wonder where the Charity Commission stands in all this - they must surely look at the books and know about the high salaries and pension scheme.

radicalnan Wed 14-Feb-18 10:04:43

I have blown the whistle 3 times in my working life, always lost my job and been proved right over the course of time. All local charities.

I loathe charities of all kinds, inclduing the blasted Hospice movement which sucks up so much money paying executives, retail managers and so on.

The RSPCA are vile to people.

When will we ever learn that people are in it for themselves? There really is no such thing an altruistic act, even genuine kindness brings pleasure of a sort

It is a bit of a myth that smaller, local charities are exempt, and animal charities are as full of animal abusers and the human ones are full of people abusers.

There area lot of well meaning do gooders out there enabling other people who do no good at all.

Kim19 Wed 14-Feb-18 10:09:50

That last sentence of radicalnan's is so sad but undoubtedly so often true. Dear me........

Hebdenali Wed 14-Feb-18 10:10:19

Although I am disgusted by the reported behaviour of some staff I am also rather curious as to why this scandals has emerged now so many years after the alleged events. I have some suspicion that this ghastly government wants an excuse to cut the funding of agencies who repeatedly produce well researched documents outlining the damage to British society that their disgusting policies create. I am thinking specifically of the research carried out by Oxfam regarding the obscene wealth of the 1% as opposed to the rest of the world population. Also the research regarding devastation of benefits to people who need this safety net in order do survive.

patriciageegee Wed 14-Feb-18 10:10:26

I remember my dear late Dad saying they were collecting for Africa when he was in school nearly 90 years ago!

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 14-Feb-18 10:15:02

I'm sure it's a fairly common thing for some charities to have a bad apple in the barrel which is why the late Jimmy Savile got away with his evil deeds for so long - all was hidden beneath the respectable cloak of 'charity.'
I may come across as hard-hearted but when I have to walk past 'chuggers' I scowl and say no. I give to a couple of charities which are relevant to my family, that's it.

nahsma Wed 14-Feb-18 10:21:39

I havea nasty suspicion that this has suddenly re-appeared (it's very old news) because Oxfam presented a major report at Davos pointing out that developed nations are doing very little to help advance less developed ones, and being very forceful about the unfairness. The likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is opposed to any kind of aid spending, have dug this up to smokescreen/muddy the waters. If it can be 'proved' that charities are bad, then Little Englanders have the perfect excuse for cutting off funds and turning their backs on the world's poor. And in other matters, I note that Windsor councils' latest foray into caring for the homeless is to fine them £100 for sleeping on the streets. Hmm, if you had £100 would you sleep in a shop doorway?

Hm999 Wed 14-Feb-18 10:24:00

But the vulnerable people - displaced through war or disaster, but through no fault of their own - still need supporting, even if only a percentage of the money given gets through.

Hm999 Wed 14-Feb-18 10:24:51

And I'm with you Nahsma

NemosMum Wed 14-Feb-18 10:33:55

Hebdenali - the very excellent More or Less programme on Radio 4 looked into Oxfam's assertion about the 1% of the wealthy and found it sadly lacking in evidence. Oxfam is the author of it's own misfortune. Surely you do not condone the behaviours and the failure to hand over information about potentially criminal behaviour. I emailed Oxfam and asked them to respond. They sent me links to the original 2011 press releases and they are PATHETIC and do not mention the nature of the behaviours now revealed. I have been a regular supporter of Oxfam, but no more!

eazybee Wed 14-Feb-18 10:38:08

I think the trouble started when Oxfam was one of the first to pay its Chief Executive an enormous salary; when it was questioned, we were told very sharply that if we wanted the best people we had to attract them with large salaries. Just like bankers and company executives. Then these top jobs were taken by failed politicians, 'because they have the right connections.' I think of all the volunteers working cheerfully for nothing in the charity shops.
Well, obviously Jacob Rees-Mogg would be responsible for the information about aid workers. Old news clearly doesn't matter, like child abuse.

Oldwoman70 Wed 14-Feb-18 10:39:31

Putting aside the claim that this has all been brought up because of political reasons does not excuse the fact this happened. If it was reported at the time I was unaware of it. I too am concerned that those in need will now receive less help but the public have to be reassured that the money they donate is going to help those people and not line the pockets of executives and corrupt politicians abroad.

Bridgeit Wed 14-Feb-18 10:50:39

Eamon ,is giving Tim Hunter a tough grilling on This Morning , brilliant interviewing Eamon.

Ramblingrose22 Wed 14-Feb-18 11:02:49

I had a well paid Head of Division in the civil service who left to go and work for Oxfam.

She made out that she had always wanted to work for a charity, but after hearing about the ridiculous salaries paid to higher ranking Oxfam staff I now know why she left.

I have never donated to Oxfam and now I never will.

Kids Company is another example of a charity that hoovered up ridiculous amounts of public money claiming all sorts of good works and paid for teenagers to have expensive massages.

The Charity Commission is probably not resourced to investigate complaints made but the whole sector needs more transparency and accountability.

Jayh Wed 14-Feb-18 11:13:24

I stopped donating to big charities, like Oxfam, years ago after reading a book called War Games written by someone with insider knowledge of the high levels of corruption and mismanagement of the money. The world of NGOs needs to be seriously scrutinised by someone with authority to weed out the dross.

Amma54 Wed 14-Feb-18 11:37:32

'War Games' was by a Dutch journalist Linda Poison. I did some 'humanitarian' work in Africa a few years back and was unimpressed. My NGO was the poor relation amongst NGOs but there was an awful lot of people in it for their own gain. Our very presence increased the rental values, food prices etc. When there were assaults, the NGO wasn't interested.

Biggirlsdontcry Wed 14-Feb-18 11:40:57

How ironic Oxfam became so "politicised" drawing attention to poverty and poor people in the u.k.,
Their shops charging excessive amounts which would actually exclude poor people. Meanwhile the Oxfam elite living high on the hog, with some actually harming those they are supposed to help.