Interesting discussion in the pages of Time/Money regarding the ways and byways of some Charity organisations, with heavy emphasis on the American Red Cross, and their approach to disasters in the present, as well as the past.
One slightly tongue-in-cheek statement says that the donor is quite justified in tieing donations to specific activities, or earmarking your funds for specific causes (i.e. disaster relief) so you know they won’t go to the charity director’s half-million-dollar salary.
The piece also takes aim at the shambles which was the Red Cross response to Katrina, or in Haiti, where donations to the Red Cross totalled $500 million, but at least a third of this cash raised went toward administrative costs, “program costs incurred in managing” other charities in Haiti, and the other charities’ own administrative costs; and where the charity claimed it had built enough homes to provide shelter for 130,000 people—but it had actually only built six.
I accept that disasters occur, and charitable relief works are always welcome; but my big problem is that most of the ‘household name’ charities are, themselves, ‘big business’ with salaries, pension funds and ‘we have to pay the going rate for personnel’ attitude to justify the telephone number salaries.