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Does competition between same-issue charity organisations dilute the overall message?


alloverbartheshouting

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Listen to any radio station at this time of year and you will hear a plethora of ads extolling the reasons why donations should be made to a particular group that often strives towards the the same goals as another. Charity organisation branding and marketing seem to have become so important that the reason for existence can become secondary. For me, when I hear the word "homeless", I automatically think of the organisation I have done some work for. It is their name that I think of, not necessarily the issue. Please don't get me wrong, it's not that I give pre-eminence to the organisation over the relevant cause, but the whole point is branding is that one group must gain ground.

While there may be some obvious reasons as to why two or more groups exist to address the same cause (religious vs. secular, rural vs. urban, RC vs. non-Catholic, established vs. newer, etc.), is it not the cause far more important? For the purpose of this thread, I offer the example of homelessness here but there are so many: cancer supports, animal welfare, addiction counselling and aid for the developing world are but many others.

For example, IndexIreland: society_and_politics/charities lists many of the current charity organisations operating In Ireland presently, albeit in alphabetical order.

As individual donors, we can only support do many charities. Therefore, is there not a case for the amalgamation of certain charities? They have a limited pot to draw from, so surely the relevant cause deserves the donation and not the organisation.
 


tigerben

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Here in Midleton the Lion's club are on a food drive for the vunerable! StVdePaul are having having a food drive in schools for the vunerable, it would seem that the vunerable will be eaten better than most this Christmas! How they cannot combine and be one is beyond me, there is only so much food people can donate.
 

alloverbartheshouting

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Here in Midleton the Lion's club are on a food drive for the vunerable! StVdePaul are having having a food drive in schools for the vunerable, it would seem that the vunerable will be eaten better than most this Christmas! How they cannot combine and be one is beyond me, there is only so much food people can donate.
Thank you, tigerben.

My point is not (as you seem to know) one-up-man-ship in any form, but rather the fact that all charities, realistically, can only expect to receive so such from a limited pool of people.
 

alloverbartheshouting

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I obviously need to work on my thread titles.

A touch Bono-esque, maybe?
 

de knowledge economy

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Are we there yet , are we there yet...camel ..have we taken in enough to cover our huge advertising contract and admin costs
 

Cynicist

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Hell will freeze over before charities amalgamate or rationalise.
The overseas development aid charities are fiercely competitive and the fact that some are more competent in some sectors than others or more connected geographically than others has never lessened their claims or appeals for whatever is most likely to generate most funds.
Many of the overseas aid charities struggled to spend the largesse available for the great tsunami disaster and only one MSF called time on fundraising when they declared "enough already".
With little transparency and accountability in the spending on overseas aid, the sector charities have little need for change so long as the Irish public prefer to trust their well-meaning intent than ask the "value for money" questions necessary.
The government is no longer offering to regulate charities so the free-for-all is likely to continue with the organisations always more important than their raison d'etre.
 

Man or Mouse

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Hell will freeze over before charities amalgamate or rationalise.
The overseas development aid charities are fiercely competitive and the fact that some are more competent in some sectors than others or more connected geographically than others has never lessened their claims or appeals for whatever is most likely to generate most funds.
Many of the overseas aid charities struggled to spend the largesse available for the great tsunami disaster and only one MSF called time on fundraising when they declared "enough already".
With little transparency and accountability in the spending on overseas aid, the sector charities have little need for change so long as the Irish public prefer to trust their well-meaning intent than ask the "value for money" questions necessary.
The government is no longer offering to regulate charities so the free-for-all is likely to continue with the organisations always more important than their raison d'etre.
Couldn't agree more. Heard Shane Byrne on radio one day say there were 28 charities on the ground in Haiti when he was there. That means there are 28 different sets of overheads to be met before a red cent gets to the poor victims of hurricanes and earthquakes. Even the slow at math should be able to see that one for what it is.
 

McTell

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No

alloverbartheshouting

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Are we there yet , are we there yet...camel ..have we taken in enough to cover our huge advertising contract and admin costs
Great point. All you have to do is be accosted by a chugger to question how much of each individual donation is directed to the actual issue.
 

alloverbartheshouting

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Hell will freeze over before charities amalgamate or rationalise.
The overseas development aid charities are fiercely competitive and the fact that some are more competent in some sectors than others or more connected geographically than others has never lessened their claims or appeals for whatever is most likely to generate most funds.
Many of the overseas aid charities struggled to spend the largesse available for the great tsunami disaster and only one MSF called time on fundraising when they declared "enough already".
With little transparency and accountability in the spending on overseas aid, the sector charities have little need for change so long as the Irish public prefer to trust their well-meaning intent than ask the "value for money" questions necessary.
The government is no longer offering to regulate charities so the free-for-all is likely to continue with the organisations always more important than their raison d'etre.
There certainly does seem to be a culture of presence/action superseding effectiveness.
 

alloverbartheshouting

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asset test

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Not bumping my own thread here... just apologising for lack of interaction with those of you who responded.

For som reason, my quotifications didn't work for this thread, so I as I am used this great function at this stage, I just assumed that no-one other than tigerben responded.So, again, sorry to others who did respond and who I seem to have blanked - personally, it annoys me when someone starts a thread and then seems to disappear.

I genuinely feel strongly about this thread's topic. So much so that I contacted four agencies who address the same issues and in each case I could not get a straight answer. I'm not naive and I get that there is always an element of competition between charities. It's just that I do question the reasons for splitting donors' 'affections' based on organisation affiliation lines, rather than focusing on the cause itself.

Re the four agencies you contacted.. If they were to merge, what would the three CEOs who would be redundant think of that, not to mention all the ancillary staff and contracts etc.

I'm sorry to say that I have little faith n the charity game. That is probably wrong of me, but my gut feeling says otherwise.

In any event, through my taxes I am contributing part of the 650m or so in aid given by us. My conscience is clear.

Family and friends are at the pin of their collar. But they have to pay for the foreign aid, aswell ad listen to pleas from a multitude of charities all year round, but specially at this time.
 

alloverbartheshouting

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Re the four agencies you contacted.. If they were to merge, what would the three CEOs who would be redundant think of that, not to mention all the ancillary staff and contracts etc.

I'm sorry to say that I have little faith n the charity game. That is probably wrong of me, but my gut feeling says otherwise.

In any event, through my taxes I am contributing part of the 650m or so in aid given by us. My conscience is clear.

Family and friends are at the pin of their collar. But they have to pay for the foreign aid, aswell ad listen to pleas from a multitude of charities all year round, but specially at this time.
I have to say I do like your description of the 'charity game'. It's like trying to buy toothpaste - so many brands to choose from, but you can will only ever buy one, as the money in your pocket cannot buy everything on the shelf, so matter how how good each product claims to be.

I am aware that the question I posed is a bit of a no-brainer - it is obvious that there is a charity industry, and industry implies competition. As I stated earlier, I just wish that the competition element was removed and that the issue in question was dealt with.

But, yes, the potentially-redundant CEOs and admin staff do weigh heavy on my mind... :)
 

Tea Party Patriot

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Different charities have different ethos, for this reason I will support some and not others.

I have a particular aversion to supporting charities that exceed their remit and become involved in the sphere of extra curricular political lobbying. So I guess that even if at times there is overlap on the cause they are supporting, person A might donate to one while person B might donate to the other.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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But, yes, the potentially-redundant CEOs and admin staff do weigh heavy on my mind... :)
Yes some have very high administrative salaries, but then when a charity becomes very large it does need a professional approach to managing its projects and finances. Many of those who criticised high salaries for CEO's, accountants etc. would also be quite vocal if projects or finances were mismanaged. That said there are some charities that do border on what these days could be described as the "charity industry" as opposed to what most people would define as charity.
 

alloverbartheshouting

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Yes some have very high administrative salaries, but then when a charity becomes very large it does need a professional approach to managing its projects and finances. Many of those who criticised high salaries for CEO's, accountants etc. would also be quite vocal if projects or finances were mismanaged. That said there are some charities that do border on what these days could be described as the "charity industry" as opposed to what most people would define as charity.
Fair enough. I would definitely be amongst the first to criticise any organisation which did not follow correct financial management processes.

I do not know what a charity CEO makes. However, for the sake of argument, let's assume €100k plus expenses. As I stated earlier, I contact four separate charities who deal with the same issue. So, again, for the sake of argument that is €400k of donations not reaching the actual issue. Would it not be preferable that an extra €300k be spent where donors originally contributed? I know that this is a utopian vision, but it is one that I cannot help but wish for, especially at this time of year when most charities are looking to gain the public's attention.
 

asset test

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Fair enough. I would definitely be amongst the first to criticise any organisation which did not follow correct financial management processes.

I do not know what a charity CEO makes. However, for the sake of argument, let's assume €100k plus expenses. As I stated earlier, I contact four separate charities who deal with the same issue. So, again, for the sake of argument that is €400k of donations not reaching the actual issue. Would it not be preferable that an extra €300k be spent where donors originally contributed? I know that this is a utopian vision, but it is one that I cannot help but wish for, especially at this time of year when most charities are looking to gain the public's attention.
I think you are quite right to question this.

Is it egotism..ie, my charity is bigger, better, more focused, etc. than yours?

I dunno.

But your example sure raises questions. Particularly if say, all four charities supported the same projects/ideals. Religion or ethos is irrelevant to someone who genuinely needs help. The recipients are not going to ask the background, now are they?

I'm sorry to say this, but it is an industry, a game, call it what you will.

Until Shatter properly regulates it, sure I could call myself a charity in the morning, just so long as I have articles and memoranda etc, and the charity is based here.

Is that right?
 

storybud1

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As well as competing you'll find amounts going back and forth between 3rd world charities and paid for by "Irish Aid".

http://www.irishaid.gov.ie/uploads/2011 Irish Aid Annual Report.pdf

You'll have to go to page 70 to find the cost, €657m borrowed in 2011 so a bankrupt country could pretend to be a "player" in the aid game.
Don't forget the billion or two we hand out every year to the bogus asylum shoppers that are already here, isn't it simply amazing that no economic profit and loss type report has been ever undertaken by our lefty media into the benefits and problems caused by Bertie's insane immigration policy. (The housing bubble was the most obvious disaster followed by the insane amount of immigration from third world immigrants with no work visas who just happened to be pregnant??? DUH ? )

For every hard working immigrant there is an immigrant scrounger living the life on social welfare which undoes all the work of the former. Our pensions and social welfare payments need approximately 5 workers to pay for one scrounger.

Charity is a commodity these days, recently I refused to give to a dodgy chugger who did not speak a word of English recently and he laughed at me, if I see him again I will take his picture and bring it to the Gardai and see how much he is laughing then.

Giving what little money you have left to go to the richest Continent (in natural resources) on this planet is sheer madness,sending administrators, planners, scientists,economists would be a far better use of money. Altruism has been turned into a money making commodity with similarities to Jarndyce and Jarndyce,
 

alloverbartheshouting

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I think you are quite right to question this.

Is it egotism..ie, my charity is bigger, better, more focused, etc. than yours?

I dunno.

But your example sure raises questions. Particularly if say, all four charities supported the same projects/ideals. Religion or ethos is irrelevant to someone who genuinely needs help. The recipients are not going to ask the background, now are they?

I'm sorry to say this, but it is an industry, a game, call it what you will.

Until Shatter properly regulates it, sure I could call myself a charity in the morning, just so long as I have articles and memoranda etc, and the charity is based here.

Is that right?
No, it isn't. We're on the same page here.
 

asset test

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No, it isn't. We're on the same page here.
OK, but I'm not too sure about the rules and regs re setting up a charity.

I've no doubt there are some regulations, but are they robust?

Not asking you to answer... Just I am dubious about some obscure entities out there.
 

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