Letters: Charities scandal will make us think before we donate

Sir, Last Sunday's newspapers made even more interesting reading than usual. There, in black and white, the funding for various charities were listed: What they get from the H.S.E. and various collections, what the executives are paid, what the other salaries total and what money goes to the charity work of the organisations. As usual of course the devil is in the detail of the funding and I doubt if there is fully accountable reckoning of some of the money.

The costs in collecting funds from the public would seem to be enormous with as little as one tenth of the funds collected finally getting to the intended beneficiaries in some instances. It sure must make local voluntary collectors sick to be included with some those who are paid for collecting.

Voluntary collectors have also been out there year after year in all weathers collecting and handing over their buckets of cash with no idea what some of the money was being used for. Oh sure they can hope that those who need to be helped will have the money spent on them. But is seems that hope has been severely dented as news spreads of the number of those at the top benefiting from these funds through top-ups to their salaries and pensions.

Huge amounts of taxpayers money is given to run many charity organisations. There must be financial records of where the money is going. Firms of accountants are employed to show where the costs are so it should be very clear that the funds are spent only where it is right to do so. The employment of all of the staff and their salaries and expenses must be on record and must be in accordance with government guidelines. If this is not the case then it should be investigated.

Executives are appointed to run these organisations because of their proven ability to do so. Their salaries, expenses and pensions should be there for all to see; after all it is taxpayers' money that is being used. Their experience should enable them to use the resources they have been given to its maximum potential for those who need it. Indeed independent overseers from the Government must be able to inspect the running costs of these charities and if things do not seem right then they must be held accountable.

So before you put your hand in your pocket check that the collector is genuine. If possible give to collectors that you know do not receive payment for collecting and make sure that the most deserving charities do not suffer.


Michael O'Meara ,