Sunday, 21 December 2008


I went for a job interview thing the other day, sailed straight through to the one day trial thing, but then walked out half-way through, it wasn't for me.

The guy explained it clearly, when your charity books a TV advert, its indirect marketing, it costs half a million, you can't be sure what the return on investment is, and they reckon for every pound they put in, they get 80p out. But with direct marketing, be it event or mailshots or door to door, you get about £1.50 out for every £1 in, you can see more clearly if its working or not.

So with this credit crunch / recession thing, you're going too see more direct marketing.

I myself used to have a direct debit thing with Oxfam, I thought they were a valid choice for my charitable tendencies, but after reading blogs and newspapers I changed my mind and cancelled my subscription.

There was a post on uncle Dev's site the other day
The extraordinary support for the Department of Health (DOH)'s recommendations can only be explained by looking at the "stakeholders" who got involved. Of the 96,000 responses, only a handful came from private individuals. The rest came from block-voting by state-funded pressure groups and charities. And, as my gracious host has recently pointed out:

...whenever a so-called charity supports a government initiative, you can almost always find that they rely on substantial state funding.

Sure enough, SmokeFree NorthWest - with 49,507 votes - is entirely funded by the DoH. Direct Movement by the Youth Smokefree Team - with 10,757 votes - is entirely funded by SmokeFree Liverpool who are entirely funded by the DoH). SmokeFree NorthEast - with 8,128 votes - is entirely funded by...yes, the DoH.
mokeFree Action is headed up by the biggest fake charity of all: Action of Smoking and Health (ASH). ASH, like all the rest of the "stakeholders", were created by the government but try their best to pretend to be a grass-roots organisation. Since they are registered with the charities commission it makes it that bit easier to inspect their accounts:

Year ended 31st March 2007

Department of Health: £210,400

Wales Assembly Government: £110,000

Supporting charities: £185,228

Donations & legacies received: £11,143

Incidentally, take another look at that last figure. That is the full amount that was voluntarily given to this 'charity' in a whole year. To give you a frame of reference, the Cat's Protection League received over £30 million in private donations in the same year. The fucking Donkey Sanctuary was given over £20 million.

So, some of these organisations aren't so much charities in the usual sense of the word, but some auto-fellating organisation, funded by the government to lobby the government.

I'm not quite sure what I'm getting at, but I'll muddle through. I'm a big fan of voluntary charitable donations. You see a homeless guy in the street and you give them money, or sick donkeys make you sad so you send money their way, disaster in far off lands on the telly, time to get out the chequebook. All voluntary. If I don't give a crap about donkeys, I don't send them my money.

But when charities rely heavily on the UK government or the EU or by some bloke coming to the door and talking me into signing up a direct debit, I get very uncomfortable. Its not quite charity, its business or government.

Say anti-smokers murdered my family, how can I stop my taxes going to fund their lobbying? Why don't I get a choice?

Actually, back on the economics and politics front, if the UK government and EU government, cut all charity funding and passed these on as tax cuts to the population, on condition that individuals gave the same amount of money to charity, wouldn't that be more democratic, more representative, and better for the economy?

Bah, I'm rambling.

So, this door to door charity signing up thing I was on, they have a success rate of between 3% and 5%, for every hundred houses you get an answer at, if you're lucky you get 5 people to sign up. For the morning I spent following the more experienced chap, after fifty houses we got on success, one person signing up their direct debit, a pensioner who couldn't remember her own post code or phone number.

That's charity in the 21st century.

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