Saturday 18 November 2017

Charities should offer money-back guarantees after top-up scandal

Liam Fay

"Pay it forward" is an American slogan, encapsulating an admirable philosophy that encourages the beneficiaries of good fortune to become benefactors to people in need. The phrase cropped up recently as advocates for Irish charities attempted to assuage public anger over the use of donated money to provide salary top-ups for already overpaid executives.

So far, however, no charity spokesperson has yet recognised the obvious solution to this abuse of trust: a money-back guarantee. If, at any future point, a charity is found using donated funds for non-charitable purposes (like salary top-ups), the charity's administrators should be legally obliged to return all donations to the donors, with interest.

Conveniently, there's even a readymade slogan for this idea: "Pay it back."

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