Author Topic: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."  (Read 4552 times)

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4918
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #15 on: 03 Oct 2013 10:14PM »
There's nothing to stop you giving your money elsewhere.  All charities have to submit audited accounts to the charity commission.  The Pdsa publishes its accounts and annual reports online.

But I'm going to put you on the spot - if you're so angry about the salary of the CEO of the PDSA, why are you accepting services from them?  You don't have to.  You could ask for help from a charity whose expenditure you approve of.

What I don't understand is why anyone thinks that charity staff shouldn't be paid the going rate for the sort of work they do.  It's easy to have a cosy notion of charities being all about volunteering and many charities do involve volunteering (and all involve unpaid trustees) but that doesn't mean that they can't have paid staff.  It is not of the essence of what a charity is that it doesn't pay its staff.  I go back to what I regard as an essential misunderstanding of the concept of charities.

Taking up another point made upthread about charities having no product to sell.  Many do.  Many provide a wide range of products and/or services that people pay for.  Being a charity does not obviate charging for your services.  The obvious example is schools - operating as a charity does not mean that a school cannot charge fees for educating pupils.  Since the Pdsa has been introduced as an example of a charity, their accounts show that a quarter of their income comes from revenue from goods and services.

There are charities that just make grants.  They are generally endowed by one or a few individuals.  They form the bulk of charities.  People quite happily take money from them without, I suspect, in most cases considering whether they would themselves endow such a trust if they were to be wealthy enough.

Some charities campaign.  They cannot be solely political campaign groups or they are not charities.  However, I think that sometimes they are expected to be.

Some charities provide services.  They may provide all sorts of services from vetinary care to nursery care, from public schools to urban renewal projects.  They may charge for many of their services.  They are not obliged to provide them for free any more than anyone is obliged to make use of their services for free or at all.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Mabelcat

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1603
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #16 on: 03 Oct 2013 11:30PM »
In Cornwall Rethink are commissioned to provide a service and that service is provided by paid staff.  They do a really good job and as taxpayers contribute to the public purse as well.

I know non workers pay tax as well incidentally.

Silverstar

  • Diamond member
  • ****
  • Posts: 207
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #17 on: 04 Oct 2013 08:09AM »
My cat has a chronic long term health issue and needs regular treatment. We have no other animal charity in my town that offers discounted vet treatment I do not have a car and the RSPCA,even if I could get 30 miles away I should imagine are worse as they are one of the richest and best supported uk charities. 

Do you think £190k pay is acceptable for an organisation "entirely dependant on public money" bla bla. People are often pressured into giving, the waiting room is full of adverts exhorting people to donate every time they visit. I do, my cat is seen every two months and I donate each time, I have also donated food and bedding and towels. I also pay a registration fee every 6 months.

When I was able to I also used to sell raffle tickets. I have done and continue to do my bit. But it is rich expecting low income people to carry on donating when a lot of it is going on one person's pay. If he/she took a pay cut there would be more money in the pot for treating pets, which is what people are donating for. Not to pay over-inflated salaries.

Many schools like Eton are registered charities but I put it to you that is less to do with any charitable inclinations and more to do with only paying certain taxes. The public schools have come under a lot of criticism in recent years as they appear to be charities in name only and are not fulfilling their obligations.

As it happens the PDSA us the only national charity I now support , I wish I could get my cat seen elsewhere. I have voted with my feet and will not donate to national charities anymore. I do however like to give generously to local ones, who do rely on volunteers. That way I know all of my money is being used as it should be.

oldtone27

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2866
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #18 on: 04 Oct 2013 09:37AM »
I volunteer for a local VI charity. It has 12 paid staff - some part time. I don't know what the CEO's salary is but I doubt it is very high. I do know he devotes a lot of his time outside working hours to the charity.

The charity provides a range of services including equipment to VI folk in the district. We have had lottery funding for some of this latter service but that does not continue indefinitely so we are faced with having to raise more money to cover that cost or cut back the service severely.

The people who organise these services have to be paid because they have specific expertise and it would be very difficult to guarantee adequate cover from purely voluntary help. I think most of the staff could earn more working elsewhere. I think it must be job satisfaction that keeps them on board.

I don't doubt the larger national charities pay huge salaries to their executives because they believe they are in competition for 'the best'. This seems to be an ethos that has infected most large organisations, but I see little evidence for its validity given the way many such organisations like banks, local authorities, the civil service and NHS are run. However that is the climate they operate in.

Please don't tar all charities with the same brush, some do effective work on a meager budget. I suggest you focus your support on those that do.

Silverstar

  • Diamond member
  • ****
  • Posts: 207
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #19 on: 04 Oct 2013 10:21AM »
I seemed to have touched a few nerves with my opinions.

KizzyKazaer

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8863
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #20 on: 04 Oct 2013 12:17PM »
It's good to have different viewpoints on a topic like this - all the posts have certainly given me some food for thought and I've learned some new things during this discussion.

The fact remains though, is that people who habitually dislike being accosted in the street will sledom respond favourably to chugging tactics, whether the charity worker is paid or voluntary.  If charities feel they must use chuggers, then at least train them to realise when a 'no means no'!

oldtone27

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2866
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #21 on: 04 Oct 2013 12:37PM »
I agree, I also dislike being accosted in the street by chuggers.

My charity doesn't use them. We do set up stalls in shopping centres from time to time, to invite the public to see what we do, in the hope they will donate.

My objection was the implication that charities should not have paid staff. I agree they need to be careful that if paying staff to raise funds they do achieve a decent margin.

I'm also not convinced that high executive salaries are cost effective and perhaps charities should be obliged to publish such statistics. Not sure if there is a reliable method of measurement though. Its a complex issue.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4918
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #22 on: 04 Oct 2013 01:47PM »
"Many schools like Eton are registered charities but I put it to you that is less to do with any charitable inclinations and more to do with only paying certain taxes. "

That's the whole point.  Being a charity is first and foremost a tax status.  The aims are relevant because only organisations engaging in certain types of activities can take advantage of the tax status, but the charities and the people running them don't have to be nice or generous or virtuous.  If it's an individual foundation, the benefactor may be doing it to feel important or self-satisfied or whatever.   They don't have to prove to the charities commission that they're doing it for the right reasons.  I set up a charity.  We had some good motives, but without a shadow of a doubt there were people on the board who were using us as a stepping stone in their careers.  But they were not cheating and they had skills to offer so who cares if we were just the next rung on their ladder. 

You can set up a not for profit organisation without its being a charity.  You can run it with volunteers and do nice things.  So long as you don't set it up as a company with shareholders (to whom you would have a duty to maximise profits) but rather as either a not-for profit, a partnership or a trust, you can just do it.  If you want a better deal tax-wise, you see if you fall within the requirements to register as a charity.

As for running the PDSA, it's a very large organisation with a lot of money co-ordinating a lot of personnel,  a lot of sites where care is provided, a lot of shops and the sale/provision of a lot of goods/services.  The CEO carries a lot of responsibility.  Whether his pay is at the right level I don't know but it certainly doesn't shock me.

It's like when people moan about what doctors earn and I think you take some of the brightest kids and make them slog their guts out through school, university and postgrad professional education and then people want them paid less than a middle grade manager.

I feel that way about charity CEOs. 

Yes, some earn a fortune and I'm sure some get paid too much, but like I say, if you don't like the way a charity operates, don't contribute to it, and if you think it's breaking any rules, report it.  But you have no right to expect that those who set up, run or work for a charity have any nice motives whatsoever.  It's nice if they do, but it's not obligatory.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

auntieCtheM

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5762
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #23 on: 04 Oct 2013 05:25PM »
I wish that we did not have to rely so much on what charities do.  They are papering over the gaps left by public services.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4918
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #24 on: 04 Oct 2013 05:54PM »
Here, here!
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Yvette

  • Guest
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #25 on: 04 Oct 2013 09:08PM »
I don't mind chuggers but wish they would not be so persistent.  If you say 'no' they should accept it.

Twice last week, despite having a *huge* notice on my front door, charity workers rang the bell and when I asked them why they rang my bell when the notice asks them not to, both lots said that they were 'allowed to' even when there were notices asking them not to.   >doh<

I was so fed up I swore at them. I know it was not polite to swear at them, but it is not polite of them to ring the doorbell when there is a huge notice on the door asking them not to.

The notice can't be much clearer:


*WARNING*

DO NOT RING OR KNOCK AT THIS DOOR!

UNLESS:

YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT

YOU ARE A POSTAL WORKER

YOU ARE A PARCEL COURIER

YOU HAVE A PERSONAL DELIVERY

YOU ARE FRIENDS/FAMILY

NO: COLD CALLERS, SALES PERSONS, CANVASSERS,  MARKET RESEARCHERS, SURVEYS, CHARITIES, RELIGIONS.

WE WON’T BUY FROM YOU.   WE DON’T NEED ADVICE OR FUNDING

DO NOT DISTURB US! 

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4918
Re: Charities criticise Birmingham’s byelaw on "Chuggers."
« Reply #26 on: 05 Oct 2013 08:03PM »
I'd love to be able to  ban everyone from knocking on doors without an invitation unless they fall into specific categories, e.g. neighbours, postmen, police etc.

I dislike chuggers.  I'm perfectly happy to have chugger free zones.  I just don't object to fundraisers being paid.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)