For 30 cents day you can help this poor hungry child live another dayâ€¦or so the commercial goes.
A statement by one of the countryâ€™s top Charities, Plan International. Â Doesnâ€™t it make you wonder why the overweight pitchman in the commercials with a dying hungry kid doesnâ€™t feed the kid himself?Â Or reach into his own pocket for some money? The CEO of Plan International makes about $350,000+ per year plus bonuses. What are the bonuses for, more schmucks like you and me donating to feed the hungry kid (in his house)?
The Globe and Mailâ€™s article http://bit.ly/b8T18A gave the Canada Revenue Serviceâ€™s stats for the 2009 tax year for the top Canadian Charities. Some of the biggest charities going are paying astronomical salaries to the men (and women) at the top in an effort as some say â€˜to keep the job viable and competitiveâ€™. Baloney, there are many major charities, SUCCESS (where I work) http://bit.ly/bsj17w being one of them where commitment to service trumps the big pay checks of the Heart and Stroke people, the big hospital foundations and yes even the Salvation Army. SUCCESS helps over 800,000 people per year on a $30M budget and I dare say the CEO is very underpaid if you compare him to that list.
I did a few tweets this morning about the high paying jobs at these Canadian charities and was amazed at the hundreds of tweets I received. Initially, 70% of the tweets to me were negative calling me sensationalist, National Enquirer -type journalism, biased reporting, you name it but it changed later in the day. People started to respond favorably to my tweets and the tide changed to 70% the other way.
People want the places they give their hard earned money to spend it judiciously, wisely and have a low administrative component.
Curiously, people pointed out that they â€œdidnâ€™t really want to hear that kind of information that CEOâ€™s were overpaidâ€ â€“ that came from a negative tweeter. Â Some people pointed out that there are reputable, hard working charities that work for low pay, do exceptional work and have great results. Of course there are.
No one has criticized the top charities for not doing exceptional work, running great campaigns and having good results (although whereâ€™s the cure for cancer?) but the thought of paying over $300,000 plus bonuses is abhorrent and wrong in my books. Those who criticize me say â€œwe need to pay for market value talentâ€. Another Tweeter, Shirley, said, â€œLike elected officials; we want SMART, but @ low pay. Being CEO of a charity is one of the hardest jobs; how do we attract the BEST?â€ My comment is with execs getting that kind of money, why find a cure to heart disease, cancer or poverty – theyâ€™ll go out of business!
This brings me to the Sea Shepherd Society; you know those guys who risk their life and limb to protect the environment and whales. Their mandate, â€œWe aim to put ourselves out of Businessâ€. Can anyone be more honest than that? (see www.seashepherd.org )
One of the things that is abundantly clear is that the top charities donâ€™t want it to get out that they are paying such huge monies to their CEOâ€™s (and donâ€™t forget the many other senior executives on the payroll). Thereâ€™s something immoral about asking donors for money to help the needy when the donors are unknowingly supporting expense account charging executives.
On the other hand one tweeter told me that if more â€œpeople knew about for profits like Acumen (The Acumen Fund) that enables growth in the third world with a low return, more would give to themâ€ http://bit.ly/9QGdMF
On the Acumen site it says â€œPoor people seek dignity, not dependence. Traditional charity often meets immediate needs but too often fails to enable people to solve their own problems over the long term. Market-based approaches have the potential to grow when charitable dollars run out, and they must be a part of the solution to the big problem of poverty.â€
There are thousands of charities who give people independence rather than create dependence on hand outs.
Anyway, this has given me an eye opener. Even the Haiti disaster left me upset that I couldnâ€™t trust anywhere to send my money. My wife has canceled her United Way contribution s from her payroll deductions. She wants her money to go somewhere that money is spent responsibly. She thinks big business is a little too close to United Way. Weâ€™ll be looking at our clothing going to other sources like the Downtown East Side (Vancouver) in the future so we know itâ€™s not being used to pump up salaries at the Salvation Army HQ. I think Iâ€™ll check out Sea Shepherd personally and maybe some human rights placesâ€¦or maybe the Bizzo Old Phartz Retirement Fund and Rest Home.