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This is a question The Dirty Secrets of Your Trade

So, Television is a hot bed of lies, deceit and made up competitions. We can't say that we are that surprised... every job is full of this stuff. It's not like the newspapers currently kicking TV whilst it is down are all that innocent.

We'd like you to even things out a bit. Spill the beans on your own trade. Tell us the dirty secrets that the public need to know.

(, Thu 27 Sep 2007, 10:31)
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Now some charities are run well by committed and efficient staff but most are run by total muppets who'd never survive in a real job. It's always worth checking the annual accounts of any charity that you feel like giving money to so that you can check whether they are actually spending money on what they say they are.

I'm not saying that it is outright corruption but I have been in the sector for a number of years and have seen some shocking examples of feathering one's own nest at the expense of the donors and the beneficiaries. It's a bit like the council - they're not really accountable for the money they produce and they keep a lot of dead wood in their organisations rather than sacking them cos they're worried about getting sued or that they are 'nice people' and don't do that sort of thing.

For example, I am aware of a kids' charity that spent next to nothing of its multi-million pound income on the cause but rather a lot on it's CEO's trips to the US. Another has over £150million in real assets but declares that they were a fraction of this on their balance sheet. This is because they were properties on the accounts at purchase price rather than curent market value. Given that most of the properties were purchased in the 1930s there's a fair disparity. And they were spending absolutely fuck all on their supposed beneficiaries but still raising oodles of cash.

Don't believe any charity that says it spends nothing on it's administration. That is a total lie and down to creative accounting. For example, they may use a single large domnation to pay for the admin costs and then not declare it in their accounts. As there is no industry standard for declaring costs it means that all sorts of creative accounting is performed to make their income vs admin expenditure look better.

And organisations that work in the third world waste your money by buying lovely air-conditioned offices, driving round in brand new 4x4s and delivering sod all to the people out there. For example they tend to employ sub contractors to drill for water and pay them whether they find it or not. So, the sub contractor goes off, drills a hole too shallow to find water and then presents their bill. Nice work if you can get it.

So, don't give your money to people in the pub flogging roses (they keep all the money anyway). If you want to help others, do your research, choose the right organisation and give a regualr donation tax effectively.

Length? About 1000 words I think
(, Wed 3 Oct 2007, 16:31, Reply)

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