A lot of people give to charity at around this time of year, so I just thought I'd make a post saying DON'T. (it started as a snarky reply to a snarky comment, but I figure I'm better than that...)
Personally I'd be wary of giving to any charity. A lot of them are downright frauds and the whole sector is riddled with dodgy practices such as workfare
, exploitation of volunteers, chugging
and driving out high street competitors
(Oxfam in particular is notorious for this
and many independent retailers have been driven to the wall by unscrupulous "charity" shops).
Also, it turns out that some of these guys get more than half their money from the government
and are often paid to soften us up for their policy ideas, in other words lobbying the public for the government and not the other way around.
One charity in particular - Alcohol Concern
- really is little more than a lobbying arm of the Department of Health. Calling itsself "the national agency on alcohol misuse", it at one point got about 58% of its income from the DoH, though apparently this had finally been cut as of 2011.
Don't get me wrong, there probably should be a government subdepartment that deals with the alcohol problem, but it's a bit dishonest to claim it is an independant organisation when it's so heavily state funded. According to this Graun article
the voluntary sector gets about 37% of its income from the State.
And then of course there's all the rather nasty little outfits that exploit the poor, little more than modern day workhouses
that get paid through the nose for making serfs out of the unemployed, who have better things to do than be dragooned into working in a charity shop or doing hard labour in the countryside
(like look for work
, for instance).
The facts are in - charity doesn't help cut poverty
, it helps people feel good about giving to charity. Don't waste your time on it. If you want to help the poor, give cash to street people or work on a soup run (the government hates soup runs because they make 'em look bad and hand out food to the homeless gratis) or get involved in politics and make sure this shower of Big Society scumbags never get elected to any post above the level of dog-catcher, ever again.