No faith nor hope in charities

Jun 27, 2019 by

by Ollie Wright, The Conservative Woman:

From Cancer Research to your local hospice or nature reserve, charities play a huge part in our public life. There are roughly 168,000 registered charities in England and Wales. With their army of volunteers, whose kindness and civic duty make them a national asset, charities are part of the social glue that holds the country together.

But much of the sector has outgrown its original purpose. We now have a bloc of powerful and bureaucratic organisations which provide a great deal of influence and material benefits to their upper ranks. With some, you could be forgiven for thinking their primary purpose is to be an employment and welfare scheme for their own management. Many have been co-opted to the service of the government – to help reach a range of policy targets not always in line with their original charitable remit – to the tune of many millions of taxpayers’ money, a significant proportion of which pays their executives’ not insignificant salaries. Others have slipped from charity to political activism.

No wonder public support for charities is declining dramatically. Baroness Tina Stowell, chair of the Charity Commission, has warned that the sector risks extinction unless it can halt the decline in public trust. 

Then there is the constant stream of bad news about charities. The Charity Commission’s recent report on Oxfam accuses it of failing to deal with serious allegations of sexual abuse by its own staff ‘in an attempt to protect the charity’s reputation and keep donations coming in’.

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