It is fair to say I am as much a fan of ‘big charity’ as I am of ‘big business’. Both take money from those with little and both skim so much off the top as to make their services or products of far less import and quality than they should be.
The premise seems to follow; “If you have a television/radio/computer, you have enough money that you should be donating to charity. Whether you do or not, we have every right to highlight misery in the world as if we are the only people who work to resolve it and if you don’t give us money, YOU are responsible for this suffering.”, “Who cares we use the same techniques as those mentally abusing people?”, “Who cares that we misrepresent our actual worth to defraud people out of more money?”
It doesn’t matter to a charity that those viewing an advert for a charity may have experienced extreme hardships personally and that viewing images of suffering DOES have a negative impact on their wellbeing. It doesn’t matter to a charity that children are given a disproportionate representation of the world and what suffering exists, let alone why. It doesn’t matter to a charity that the people supporting these charities are often actors whose sole purpose is to represent something fake as real and thus are merely acting their part of a sympathetic caring person to improve their image and public visibility. What matters is that the people in charge of a big charity require their salaries to be paid and for them to ensure a very comfortable life for them and their families.
After all, as the smug, self-aggrandising through feigned self-deprecation, multi-millionaire ‘just an ordinary boy-next-door’ Ewan McGregor says, in between topping his nest egg up with paltry adverts for BT and Debenhams, “I can’t imagine my children suffering like this”. Similarly, Liam Neeson acting his way through a charity advert as hammily as in his tough guy ‘action’ roles, yet not publishing how much of his tens of millions net worth has been donated to charity. Olivia Colman does the best job though, no make-up, bedraggled from the shock of what she has witnessed, with a heartfelt plea to take money from those with little to give to those with even less. To be so shocked at such scenes when having already lived for so long, decries a person who has ignored the suffering of others until that time. After all, these are people just like the management of charitable organisations, who believe they deserve adulation equivalent to their own distorted sense of self-importance.
Governments are fully complicit in allowing the immoral growth of charities. After all, those many and big salaries attract tax, the charities will always need retired government employees to chair them and run their management boards and don’t forget, the richest charities do throw the absolute best of dinners for government ministers and civil servants to gorge and drink themselves silly at, after all.
There are obvious exceptions, most of these fit the model of working in the country that the charity is gathering money in, work directly and demonstrably to continually impact positively for their cause and generally do no more than show their work in fundraising advertising. This is exactly what charity should be, not something that becomes reprehensible due to being managed as a business with the justification that extra expenditure equals extra REVENUE, not donations, revenue for the bloated management structures. Investing millions for the future of a charity means that there is no expectation of solving the issues the charity was set up to counter.
The pinnacle as of today, a cat charity in the UK can is now holding a lottery, so, hang on, let us think this through. Someone donates £3 per month for a year (£36). The charity lottery jackpot is £50,000. That means that to give the jackpot to one participant, the equivalent of 1,389 people would have to donate to the charity for a year to pay the prize. The charity will counter that the extra revenue gained by selling tickets will offset the prizes, extra payments for advertising on national television, administrative staff salaries, technical staff salaries and other resources dedicated to adding a percentage onto annual revenue (sorry, donations). Is it really worth it though? To spend several hundred thousand pounds to return an extra twenty or thirty and for maybe an extra £100 to reach the target of the charity?
Such charities are easily identified by stating that donations are not enough to maintain their existence (even though deemed enough to give a few hundred people a nice living). Thus, judged by their own branding, are no longer actually representing charity but are organisations purposed to taking more money each year from the public (or any business or state) just like any profit hungry business. Gathering money is the core, serving your proclaimed purpose, a far second.
Some might consider that large charities are operating so far beyond their remit as to be deemed more reprehensible than the greatest of tax dodging multi-national corporations and based on their advertising are terrorist organisations by spreading fear and discord. At least the corporations are honest in their pursuit of money for the sake of greater glory by merit of having more than their competitors and peers.
It doesn’t matter how you get your money if you are a charity after all. They are deemed sacrosanct because they are ‘doing good’… supposedly. There’s even enough money sloshing about to support a regulator now, so they must be playing with the big boys such as utility companies and local government and can thus afford to pay for the protection from investigation or proper regulation. A bit like how Jimmy Saville paid the right people to keep his little secrets. When an industry grows so big as to be able to afford to fund an ‘independent’ body to say how well they work and how good they are to those with valid complaints, the average person knows they’re going to be screwed.
There is an alternative though. Don’t send your three pounds per month to a charity misleadingly portrayed as saving unknown and untraceable lives (possibly, if prevailing geo-political, natural disasters or just a bit of light rain doesn’t impede them) after being guilt-tripped into sending money to fund a new Bentley for their CEO. Pay your TV provider the same amount to stop adverts being shown on your screen. That way you can still spend your money on something useless but at least not be pushed into depression by the scum who manage such charities, as they are busy feasting on the revenue gained to ever do anything as mundane as the dull people watching television.
Of course charities will be first in the queue with their begging bowls for a cut of the revenue from people paying to avoid being abused by modern advertising, so nobody loses. Except of course for the poor mugs paying £3 per month to each advert ridden media organisation to suppress their adverts.
No change then, you can be free and happy, so long as you have enough money to pay to ignore the misery of the majority.