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Faith and spirituality in a modern world


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[1] What charity should I donate to?

I wanted to give some money to a number of charities, but what charity should I donate to?
In my eyes it was a substantial amount and I want to give money to the poor and the needy and not lost in paying for massive CEO and other Executive charity salaries.

So I got to work and looked up the top 100 most popular charities [1].
I listed them and made note of all the employee salaries over £60,000 [2] (The list is further down the page and it does not include health/medical charities and animal charities).

A £5 note and two credit cards - What charity should I donate to?
Our hard earned money to give to charities but what charity should we donate to?

Unfortunately I found it very demoralising and unbelievable that the majority of those most popular charities paid their Executives salaries in excess of £100,000 per year.
What do you think?
Personally I could not sit in meetings to discuss the dire situations of people in severe poverty who were getting just a few pounds a year, while I was being paid a huge salary.

What charity should I donate to? They’ve been warned before:

In looking further into this I found that the charities have been warned on a number of occasions and still these high salaries are being paid:

The Guardian on Friday 20 January 2017 [3] stated:

Charity bosses have not learned from criticism around remuneration and risk distancing themselves further from their supporters.

Then earlier, the Guardian on Tuesday 6 August 2013 [4] stated:

Today the Telegraph reported that at Britain’s 14 leading foreign aid charities, the number of executives paid more than £100,000 has risen from 19 to 30.
William Shawcross, the chairman of the Charity Commission, said that “in these difficult times, when many charities are experiencing shortfalls, trustees should consider whether very high salaries are really appropriate, and fair to both the donors and the taxpayers who fund charities.” ”

“It says here in this letter you sent that £4 from me could help save a life. So how about your CEO takes £40,000 less salary next year and saves 10,000 lives?”
This was a message received from a monthly donor by one of the UK’s best-loved charities in August 2013, following sustained media coverage about the high pay of chief executives in the UK voluntary sector.”

And earlier still, the Guardian on Monday 9 November 2009 [5] stated:

An “insidious” and “excessive” City pay culture is creeping into some of Britain’s charities, with bosses earning more than the prime minister, it is claimed.
The Unite union is calling for a curb on remuneration packages as it attacks the salaries of executives at some leading charities and not-for-profit organisations.”

Charities are extremely important and I don’t want people to stop giving money.
But I am pointing out that we need to be careful when we ask ‘What charity should I donate to?’
We are called to be good stewards of our money.

So what follows is the negative answer to our question: ‘What charity should I donate to?’
In the next article is the positive answer to: ‘What charity should I donate to?’

Here is the list of excessive salaries at the worst charities that expect us to donate to:

(This does not include health/medical charities and animal charities).
Starting with the highest figures first, you decide how many of these charities salaries are acceptable:

The National Trust charity

The N.T. looks after places of historic interest or natural beauty permanently for the benefit of the nation.
Total income and donations: £634,339,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £8,790,000 to £10,040,000
The two highest getting between £150k to £200k each.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute

The RNLI saves lives, promotes safety and provides relief from disaster at sea and on inland and flood waters.
Total income and donations: £197,211,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £5,980,000 to £6,810,000
The highest getting between £150k to £200k.

The Oxfam charity

Oxfam aims to prevent and relieve poverty and protect the vulnerable anywhere in the world.
Total income and donations: £434,100,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £5,980,000 to £6,810,000
The two highest getting between £130k to £140k each.

The British Red Cross charity

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are.
Total income and donations: £244,900,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £5,650,000 to £6,460,000
The highest getting between £150k to £200k.

The Canal and River Trust charity

This charity is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales and maintains listed heritage structures, as well as museums, archives, and wildlife sites.
Total income and donations: £210,000,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £5,310,000 to £6,110,000
The two highest getting between £200k to £250k each.

The Barnardo’s charity

Barnardo’s helps to improve the lives of vulnerable children, young people and their families.
Total income and donations: £305,961,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £4,600,000 to £5,250,000
The highest getting between £150k to £200k.

The Prince’s Trust

The charity helps young people transform their lives by developing the confidence and skills to live, learn and earn.
Total income and donations: £67,407,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £4,470,000 to £5,130,000
The two highest getting between £150k to £200k each.

The Royal Shakespeare Company

This charity aims to conserve, advance and disseminate the dramatic heritage of Shakespeare in the UK and throughout the world.
Total income and donations: £86,439,384
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £4,340,000 to £4,980,000
The highest getting between £200k to £250k.

Age UK charity

Age UK aims to create a world where older people can live their lives free from poverty, isolation and neglect.
Total income and donations: £127,790,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £3,980,000 to £4,550,000
The three highest getting between £150k to £200k each.

The Royal British Legion

This charity safeguards the welfare, interests and memory of those who are serving or who have served in the Armed Forces. (The Poppy Lottery is run as a separate charity).
Total income and donations: £175,883,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £3,240,000 to £3,670,000
The highest getting between £140k to £150k.

WaterAid charity

WaterAid aims to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone.
Total income and donations: £91,393,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £3,150,000 to £3,580,000
The highest getting between £130k to £140k.

Sightsavers charity (Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind)

This charity works with partners in developing countries to eliminate avoidable blindness.
Total income and donations: £340,877,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £2,990,000 to £3,390,000
The three highest getting between £130k to £140k each.

Voluntary Services Overseas

VSO has programmes in over 20 developing countries delivering sustainable change.
Total income and donations: £63,027,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £2,630,000 to £2,950,000
The two highest getting between £130k to £140k each.

The Salvation Army charity

This charity provides Christian Worship in buildings and the open air. It has centres, lunch clubs, parent and toddler groups, debt advice, youth clubs, after school clubs & emergency food parcels. (The Salvation Army Social Work is run as a separate charity)
Total income and donations: £237,728,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £2,108,000 to £3,830,000
The highest getting between £150k to £200k.

Charity Projects

Charity Projects is the principal activities of Comic Relief.
Total income and donations: £85,988,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £2,100,000 to £2,450,000
The highest getting between £200k to £250k.

The Shelter charity

Shelter helps people struggling with bad housing and homelessness through advice, support and legal services.
Total income and donations: £71,661,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £2,090,000 to £2,370,000
The highest getting between £130k to £140k.

Christian Aid charity

Christian Aid works with the worlds poorest people to tackle the causes and consequences of poverty.
Total income and donations: £120,400,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £2,000,000 to £2,280,000
The highest getting between £130k to £140k.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

The charity provides guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services to people who are blind and partially sighted.
Total income and donations: £122,200,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £1,910,000 to £2,210,000
The highest getting between £150k to £200k.

UNICEF UK charity

This charity raises funds for emergency and development work around the world and advocates for lasting change for children worldwide.
Total income and donations: £101,390,518
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £1,810,000 to £2,070,000
The highest getting between £150k to £200k.

Help for Heroes charity

Help for Heroes works closely with the Armed Forces, other Service Charities and organisations to provide support for the wounded, injured and sick.
Total income and donations: £26,854,028
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £1,520,000 to £1,720,000
The highest getting between £120k to £130k.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provides activities that develops the whole person in an environment of social interaction and team working.
Total income and donations: £18,332,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £1,370,000 to £1,550,000
The three highest getting between £100k to £110k each.

The Church of England Children’s Society

The Children’s Society focuses on 10-18 year olds who live with significant disadvantage, poverty, neglect and who have complex needs and face multiple risks.
Total income and donations: £49,046,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £1,330,000 to £1,510,000
The three highest getting between £100k to £110k each.

ActionAid charity

ActionAid provides support and humanitarian assistance to people living in poverty and on the margins of survival.
Total income and donations: £49,105,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £1,230,000 to £1,410,000
The highest getting between £110k to £120k.

The Salvation Army Social Work

The charity provides supported accommodation for homeless people, older peoples housing and support Work to help unemployed people back into work, Anti-Human Trafficking work, etc.
Total income and donations: £155,071,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £1,220,000 to £1,370,000
The highest getting between £130k to £140k.

Samaritans charity

The Samaritans coordinates the 201 Samaritans branches located across the UK and Ireland. They provide a safe place for people to talk, round the clock, every single day of the year.
Total income and donations: £20,321,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £1,020,000 to £1,150,000
The highest getting between £130k to £140k.

London’s Air Ambulance charity

The charity in particular provides the provision of a helicopter ambulance service or other emergency transport.
Total income and donations: £11,786,303
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £1,020,000 to £1,140,000
The highest getting between £130k to £140k.

BBC Children in Need charity

The BBC Children in Need relieves need, hardship, sickness, handicap and distress amongst children and young persons.
Total income and donations: £64,906,370
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £970,000 to £1,090,000
The highest getting between £130k to £140k.

Amnesty International UK Section Charitable Trust

Amnesty promotes Human Rights, by way of education, research and related activities.
Total income and donations: £20,004,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £900,000 to £1,020,000
The four highest getting between £100k to £110k each.

Combat Stress charity

The charity provides welfare support and clinical treatment for Veterans of the services who suffer from mental health problems.
Total income and donations: £16,375,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £830,000 to £770,000
The two highest getting between £140k to £150k each.

The Woodland Trust

The charity aims to conserve, restore and re-establish trees, plants and all forms of wildlife.
Total income and donations: £56,082,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £670,000 to £760,000
The highest getting between £90k to £100k.

National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations

The YMCA supports YMCA groups all over England and Wales, helping them transform communities so that all young people truly belong, contribute and thrive.
Total income and donations: £15,653,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £660,000 to £740,000
The two highest getting between £110k to £120k each.

Medecins Sans Frontieres charity

This charity relieves sickness and provides medical aid to the injured and provides medical supplies, personnel and procedures to overcome disease, injury or malnutrition in any part of the world.
Total income and donations: £64,645,331
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £600,000 to £690,000
The highest getting between £90k to £100k.

The Climate Change Organisation

Climate Change’s mission is to accelerate climate action to achieve a world of no more than 1.5 degrees C of global warming and greater prosperity for all.
Total income and donations: £8,074,994
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £560,000 to £630,000
The highest getting between £100k to £110k.

The British and foreign Bible Society

The Bible Society works to make the Bible available and accessible worldwide and build people’s confidence in it.
Total income and donations: £18,771,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £540,000 to £610,000
The highest getting between £110k to £120k.

The Fire Fighters Charity

The Fire Fighters Charity provides services that enhance quality of life for serving and retired fire fighters, fire personnel and their families.
Total income and donations: £9,950,988
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £370,000 to £410,000
The highest getting between £110k to £120k.

Friends of the Earth charity

Friends of the Earth is committed to the conservation, protection and improvement of the environment.
Total income and donations: £11,180,640
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £370,000 to £420,000
The highest getting between £100k to £110k.

The Fairtrade Foundation

Fairtrade seeks to provide an independent certification of the trade supply chain, it facilitates the market so that producers can sell to traders and retailers and raises awareness among consumers.
Total income and donations: £11,978,000
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £330,000 to £370,000
The highest getting between £100k to £110k.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity

Hearing Dogs provides animal assisted intervention in the relief of human deafness, disability, sickness, suffering or distress.
Total income and donations: £9,433,266
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £210,000 to £230,000
The highest getting between £130k to £140k.

Keep Britain Tidy charity

This charity inspires the people of Britain to eliminate litter and end waste for now and future generations.
Total income and donations: £4,855,212
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: Between £160,000 to £180,000
The highest getting between £90k to £100k.

The Royal British Legion Poppy Lottery Ltd

The charity has been established as a subsidiary charity of The Royal British Legion to raise funds in support of the charitable objects of the legion.
Total income and donations: £6,175,624
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: None

Show Racism The Red Card charity

This is an anti-racist educational charity.
Total income and donations: £992,183
Total paid out to employees getting more than £60k: None


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Do you think that these salaries are acceptable or even morally correct?
What do you think about the charities that pay such huge salaries?

The next article is on what charities can I donate to

Reference:

[1] Taken from: The most popular charities & organisations in the UK (opens in a new window)
[2] Register of Charities (opens in a new window)
[3] The Guardian 2017 (opens in a new window)
[4] The Guardian 2013 (opens in a new window)
[5] The Guardian 2009 (opens in a new window)

Peter Reason

November 2020

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2 Comments

  • Hi Peter I have always been aware of the dispassionate Charity organisations and never support them for the very reason you indicate.. Just how a Director can rob the beneficiaries of the Charity’s ‘reason d’etre’ beats me.. and is wholly un – Christ like !! Well done for raising this again !! Linda & Brian

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