Charity Matters Dec 2015/Jan 2016 ISSUE 64. Thank you for your continued support, you can find more articles on

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Greed might work for Wall Street but it is not an attractive, nor appropriate, option for the third sector.

The Times newspaper has just published its first analysis of charity pay, said to average a modest £20,000 a year for most employees. However a few charity trustees are allowing their chief and senior executives to significantly line their pockets, with more than 1,000 of them trousering at least £100,000 a year, with some of those grabbing considerably more, and more than enough to bring the sector into the disrepute warned of by the Charity Commission.

Named are, in no particular order : Save the Children, St Andrews Healthcare, Cauldwell Children, Wellcome Trust, Royal Opera House, National Trust, Canal and River Trust, Ormiston Trust, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Thrombosis Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, WomanCare Global, Theatre Royal Bath, Royal Albert Hall, Marie Stopes and Children's Investment Fund Foundation UK.

According to The Times charities in Britain enjoy tax reliefs calculated at £3.4 billion, and it seems an unhealthy proportion of this is being used to feed the greed which can only damage the sector. After all, why should anyone, whether public or government, financially help those who seem to be so good at helping themselves, aided by the weak accountability and the inadequate regulation the Times gives as reasons for the rot.

As ever it's the many being let down by the few, but if the excesses of the few persuades donors not to donate, or governments to cut the taxpayers' funding of charities, or tax authorities to start withdrawing tax concessions then everyone suffers.

And not least the people charities are committed to helping.


A former employee of fundraising firm Wesser has alleged that the company deliberately targets elderly and vulnerable people living alone for donations, and pockets 45 pence for every pound collected from donors in their first two years of donations.

Following the allegations published in The Sun newspaper St John Ambulance, Wesser's largest client, has suspended its dealings with them while it carries out its own investigation.

The whistle-blower claims that in a training session a Wesser executive read out the company's "official" policy, that vulnerable people would not be targeted and then contradicted it, saying: "People who live on their own, and are old are easier to get to sign up".

According to The Sun the boss of the Letchworth-based firm, Martin Wesser, enjoys a "champagne lifestyle" and owns a £1 million penthouse in Madrid. He has told the newspaper that all his trainers know that targeting the elderly is "completely inappropriate" and has promised to take action "to ensure this activity is eradicated".


The chairman of the trustees of the collapsed Kids Company charity, Alan Yentob has resigned his £183.000 job as creative director of the BBC, saying that the furore in the wake of the August collapse was proving a "serious distraction".

Yentob was widely blamed for his part, as trustee's chairman, in the financial failure of the charity, which had received £46 million in public funding. He was also hit by media allegations that he misused his power at the BBC, asking Newsnight to delay a critical report into the charity.

Founder and figurehead of Kids Company, Camila Batmanghelidjh has also had a kicking, with underwhelmed MPs on the public administration select committee, who grilled her and Yentob over the use of all the money finding her less persuasively colourful and charismatic than a "mesmerised" David Cameron reportedly did. "A non-stop spiel of psychobabble" and "a torrent of verbal ectoplasm" were some descriptions of her performance.


The RSPCA has said it will stop bringing private prosecutions for cruelty against huntsmen, on the advice of a former employee of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Instead it will pass any evidence it collects to the police, trading standards or CPS.

A study found that four out of five attempts to prosecute hunts failed.


A prosecution of a hunt brought by the League Against Cruel Sports has collapsed after the court heard of the close links between the League's expert witness, Professor Stephen Harris of Bristol University and his friend at the League, Paul Tillsly, the head of investigations.

The court heard that an academic paper by Harris was sponsored by the League, that Harris had appeared at their campaign events and that a book written by Harris had been published by the League.

The revelations call into question the seven previous convictions of huntsmen where Harris was an expert witness.


Three senior huntsmen at a Northumberland-based hunt have been found guilty of illegal fox-hunting after being chased around the Lowick area by investigators with cameras from the League Against Cruel Sports.

Joint Master Timothy Wyndham Basil Smalley was fined £2075, Huntsman Ian McKie was fined £1150 and Kennel Huntsman Alan Proe was fined £480. All three men are in their 50's and all three had additional victim surcharges and court costs added to their fines.

After the case McKie claimed that there was "no intention whatever to chase a fox" and added "What do we do? Put all the hounds down and go away? People's livelihoods are at stake. And people do enjoy seeing us in the countryside. It's a tradition and it would be very sad to see it end".


Male suicide in Britain is being under-reported due to fears that widows could lose out on life insurance payments.

This is the concern of male suicide charity CALM - Campaign Against Living Miserably - which is compiling a report for a group of mental illness and counselling charities. It notes the sharp rise in male suicide, particularly among middle-aged men, and is calling for a re-think on how suicide is categorised at inquests.


Some retailers selling charity Christmas cards are donating less than 10% of their sale price to the charity, according to a recent survey by consumer organisation Which?

Reportedly Asda donates just 20pence from its sale of £3 charity cards, or 6.7%, the same percentage donated by the Co-op on its £1.50 cards. WH Smith and Waitrose both donate 10%, but John Lewis, which owns Waitrose donates 25%.

Charitable types wanting as much of their money as possible to reach their charity are advised to purchase cards directly from the charity, rather than through a retailer.


One good New Year resolution most can make is to stop leaving electrical gadgets in standby mode and making the power companies richer.

According to charity the Energy Saving Trust this will save the average household £30.


CHASE 2016, the charities and associations event takes place Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 February 2016 at the Business Design Centre, Islington.

Admission is free, as is a programme of more than fifty short seminars on aspects of marketing, fundraising, governance, membership, leadership, finance, legalities and technology.




1. From Louis Deliss
Subject: parachute jumps for charity

Parachute jumps have another problem. When they were being done on a regular basis near the hospital where I was an orthopaedic & trauma surgeon we saw this clearly. Every week-end at least one jumper suffered a significant ankle fracture and every month saw a spinal fracture. The subsequent cost to the NHS was huge plus the loss to employers.

Louis Deliss



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Charity Matters is a free eZine, published every two months, which we think you will find a useful and informative resource. It is distributed monthly to approximately 27,000 selected charities based throughout the UK and is designed to help keep you abreast of issues of potential interest.

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