I have worked in the voluntary sector for the last 10 years and I still love it just as much as I ever did. But there are certainly some myths about charities and giving and I thought I would write a post to tackle a couple of them.
Myth Number 1: The Voluntary Sector is NOT just made up on volunteers
I first came across this myth when I started working at GMCVO back in 2007. GMCVO stands for “Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations” and so when I used to tell people where I worked, they asked me if I was actually a volunteer? The obvious answer was NOOOOOOOO!!!!!
There are certainly a LOT of volunteers that give their time every single day to help people and organisations, but this is only a proportion of the entire sector. The voluntary sector is actually made up of several types of non-profit organisations, including, but not exclusively Charities, Social Enterprises, Community Interest Companies (CIC) and Community Groups..
If you think Cancer Research UK, they are a national charity that raises millions of pounds each year. But Cancer Research is run every day by hundreds of paid staff, which is further supported by volunteers. If you are ever needed proof you just need to visit the CRUK job site: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/charity-jobs
Myth Number 2: “All money donated goes to Comic Relief”
So this is a tricky one to some extent as the above statement is TOTALLY true. But the reason I’ve labelled it a myth is because I think that most people think that after they watch one of heartbreaking films that Comic Relief produce and donate their hard-earned money, the £££ goes straight to into a pot for the helping the needy. It might do, but then again it might not.
The phrase “All money goes to Comic Relief” actually means that none of the money goes to the BBC, which host Comic Relief’s give-a-thon. However, Comic Relief will, as a charity, have bills to pay, like any other organisation on non-profit. They will have staff to pay, ad campaigns to pay for, resources to buy and office space to rent. Some of the donated money will almost certainly go towards all the things that keeps the charity going, as well as a huge chunk of it going to fulfil the charity’s aim, i.e. finding a cure for cancer or supporting disadvantaged young people.
I know I am picking on Comic Relief, but the above is true of ALL charitable giving.
Myth 3: JustGiving donations go straight to the charity.
This myth follows on from myth 2. JustGiving is an enormous online platform in which millions of pounds are donated every single week. People I think believe that if they give £10 to a charity that the whole £10 makes a direct leap from their bank account to their chosen benefactor. It does, but not all of it. JustGiving deduct 5% of all donations made via their site, which is broken down by them as:
and further explained >>HERE<<
5% isn’t a massive fee though and I know that SO many charities get online donations quickly and easily via the Just Giving website that it’s more than worth it.
But bearing all this in mind, I would never discourage ANYONE from giving to charity as having worked in this sector, I know what good can be done with donations. If you don’t believe me, you can visit the Charity Commision website which is where ALL charities have to publish their accounts. And in case you were wondering how Comic Relief money was spent:
Still worth a fiver for them I think!!
Anyway, just a few poignant bits of information that I hope you found interesting. I would love to hear any snippet of information you may have too!