Friday, 16 November 2007


Today in the UK is Children in Need. It takes over the TV for a whole evening asking viewers to donate money. Terry Wogan hosts the show and apparently gets paid £1300 an hour to do this. The Pudsey bear logo cost £50 000 to design and I dred to think of all the other admin costs.
Should we need charities like this? (Just asking, am not giving an opinion)
With out charities and people who do voluntary work, where would we be? I do a lot of charity work as does my mother (she campaigns for the rights of plants, as she says like C, they cant talk and need a voice!)

Do charities give out the right images?

As a parent I don’t want sympathy. Empathy- yes.

I think Amanda says it very well in Getting the Truth out.


Tera said...

That'sw hat bothers me about charities. I would love to give my money to certain causes, but I can't understand spending so much on the admin when so much more could go to the cause itself. I know there has to be a balance...but c'mon...1300/hour and 50000 for a logo. Why not free/hour supporting something you believe the true volunteers that really make the cause worthwhile by working their tails off...I just don't agree, and therefore, I don't support them monetarily in general.

Elissa said...

Gosh... her message really hits hard doesn't it?

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Oh, now I'm DEFINITELY going out tonight, I can't stand telethons. don't get me wrong, I like to raise money for charity, but not when it interferes with my TV!

Anonymous said...

First of all, Casdok, can I use your logo on the side bar "Think Differently about Autism" ???? Please!

With regards to charities I am quite scepticle about some. To think Mr Wogan is being paid such a large amount seems very wrong to me - does he need it? And £50k for a logo - it's almost as bad as the Olympics logo at £400k that was discovered to be a danger to epileptics such as me! Why do these people do it.

Crystal xx

Jen said...

Amanda is incredible...she's given me so much hope for my son. Her blog is at if you don't already read it...I find it very helpful to show to some of my son's workers and therapists, to help them see WHY I'll never give up hope.

Thanks for posting the site...I hadn't seen it before.

QUASAR9 said...

I always ask the same question too
Though all 'charity' is good
How much is it about doing something for charity to feel good

and how much of the charity goes to who really needs it. After all it is all a lottery ...
the lucky one might get a trip to Disney World, or whatever operation they need (at inflated cost).

Surely it would be better if the treatment was available to all, not just those who can pay or find a charity that will. And PS I wonder sometimes what it is we pay for, and whether it was worth it for the person receiving the treatment.

But I guess one ought not to be Cynical for Children in Need Day, at least people whatever they can in whatever way. And it is good that it has become an annual event and a national event.

I'll be keeping an eye out for whatshername's long legs in fishnets.

Wizzard said...

I agree that quite often there are a lot of admin costs for charities, but successful charities do have a lot of overheads. The cost of the good work does far outweighs these costs in many cases. You could say that the mail shots with free pens etc by some charities is a waste of money, but those people who do respond must make it worthwhile or else they would not continue.
In the papers today Terry has waived his fee - which he apparantly never asked for anyway and was apparantly paid for out of BBC funds NOT CIN. He was the only person who did get paid - apparantly.

Even the collecting boxes that you see have an overhead in administering them - nothing is free these days.


Elizabethd said...

I'm very surprised that anyone would take that sort of money to do a charity broadcast, it seems quite wrong.
There are so many people who help to raise money for charities, none of whom get paid.
It is sad that money has to be raised for children in need, but it seems a necessary thing now.

Nancy said...

Personally, I prefer to give directly to a family or person in need, cutting out the middle man with admin. costs.

I also give to missions via my church because I know where it goes ... no hidden fees =)

Amanda said...

large charities aren't necessarily charitable. without large charities people would still show charity to neighbor, perhaps more than they do now because it wouldn't be possible to chuck money at a charity org. they know nothing about just to assauge their guilt over not doing enough

Patti said...

One always has to wonder how much of the money raised by charities goes to helping those who truly need help.
I know they report the percentages and show pie charts of where the money goes, but I never know what to believe.

I understand how empathy, not sympathy, is what is important.

BBC said...

£50 000 to design a logo?
£1300 an hour to host a show?

Holly cow, someone is getting paid very well. I wouldn't call them very charitable.

I once planned, organized and put on a demolition derby for a civics club, invested a lot of hours in it and didn't charge them a penny.

I enlisted about 30 people to help that also didn't get paid. The ambulance and fire departments also provided their services for free.

The county fair board was very good to work will and just took a percentage of the gate.

The only money spent was for some advertising (but I also got some free along with a big write up about me in the paper) and trophy's.

Almost all the money made off of it went to the civics club for their work. That's charity work, people doing things without expecting a reward or payment.


I have always worried about where donated money goes so we mostly raise money for Beauty's school as I know the money goes directly to where it is needed and the money is not spent on other things so I am happy.
Your mother will be glad to hear that a lot of money I have raised has gone on PLANTS and TREES for the school forest garden!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Hi Casdok . . . .difficult one. I used to work for a Wildlife Charity - they looked into the whole mail shot idea - which was run by a company who specialised in mail shots for charity . . .can't remember the exact figures - bu the mail shot expected to keep about 80% of the money raised to cover their admin costs . . . but of course the mail shot was likely to raise far more money than the charity ever could even with only 20%. Then again there are all the charities that get exposed for stealing funds . . .the Salvation Army was one.

So yes I have mixed feelings about charities. I have put up a fund raiser on Purplecoo for Children in Need . . . They do actually seem to do a lot of good . . . and there will always be costs . . .

Preseli Mags said...

I listened to Wogan's breakfast show today. It was on the news that he has waived his fee and he kept saying that every penny of the £33 million raised last year goes to children not admin. I thought that was the whole point of Children in Need; everybody gives their services for free. I'm surprised to read otherwise.

Maddy said...

We [I] bought red money boxes with the emblem, although it's a bit tricky out here. It only occurred to me later that somebody must have overcome their bear phobia, which gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling.

I used to volunteer out here before I got my green card, then the green card came at about the same time as the children started arriving!

Cathy said...

Both my sons are largely reliant on charities for services. I can honestly say that a project funded by Comic Relief has been very instrumental in saving my older one's life this year.

Whilst I would rather see more equality in the availability of services, I think that these big fundraising charities often do a marvellous job in filling the service gaps by funding projects run at ground level by small local charities.

There are also strict rules for charity accounting...but of course there will always have to be admin costs in anything. It's a fact of life.


Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

I spent most of the morning reading through Getting The Truth Out. I am floored. I am moved and my brain feels like it is ready to explode now. That is one of the most powerful things I have read in ages.

I can relate to so much of it and my daughter, who is autistic and has an extra chromosome is considered very high functioning on many levels. I think for a parent like me I feel very nervous discussing, complaining or debating these issues because of the wide range of skills between autistic people. Almost, a guilty feeling. Does that make any sense? By having these guilty feelings I think that makes it likely that I am still not getting something? I don't know how to articulate it.

When I read this I totally feel like we have been through so much of what is described with professionals and it was not until we fired most of them (after trying much of their hideous advice) that we have been able to see our daughter in an entire new light. I am not saying we are anti medical or ant counsel, etc. We still see lots of professionals but I am also very very cautious of advice given.

When we began focusing on everything Maizie can do and seeing life from her perspective instead of making her fit in to meet our expectations, well...she just relaxed and is more happy and so are we. When it said on the site,
"I certainly didn't need my parents absorbing more of that garbage. If they'd have seen genuine options for me, I'd have had them. They're decent people."

Well...that brings tears to my eyes. There are no real options. We home school because there are no good options here for our daughter except home schooling. If we did not homeschool I am certain our daughter would still be doing more aggressive behaviors, not sleeping more, having more seizures and refusing to communicate in her way. When I look back I can totally see that much of these behaviors that many tried to train out of her, including us... were ways she was trying to communicate. I am glad we always understood that and eventually followed our intuition and acted on it.

As for charity. I have some issues with it. I know here we see no results from it. We have never qualified for any respite care, schooling or anything. So, when I see it going on here I always wonder who is getting the funding for summer camps and such.

Christy said...

Charities definitely can tug at your heart strings. But sometimes situations have to be depicted as forlorn to receive the proper attention. It is ashame life is that way.

Odat said...

There's good and bad everywhere...I see some charities that are worth their weight in gold while others just take your money with little going out.

Jill said...

That is a lot of momey that could go back into the charity! He would be paid more than what I do in a month doing an hour of charity!!
I've seen the work of some charities when my niece what diagnostic with cystic fribrosis...
But then, your post make me wonder how much of the money we gave are truly for the people that are help by the societies of charity!

Casdok said...

Because of all the fuss made by the media on how much he earns, i have heard that Terry Wogan is doing the evening for free this year.

mommy~dearest said...

Doing the evening for free this year? Well now, isn't that charitable of him? Ugh.

I'm split on charities as well. I agree that the bigger ones tend to use less of their raised funds for the direct cause. I prefer to donate directly myself.

Personal story- I was trying to get Jaysen a service dog, but had to come up with lots of money ($10,000 to be exact). I held some fundraisers, did some fliers and such. The guy I was working with didn't report all of the donations that came in for Jaysen. Although we were able to come up with a little money, I never really knew how much was actually sent in. He never got his dog, and I told people to stop donating to the organization- if they wanted to donate, they could donate it to me, and I would write a check (because I could track it myself). Nobody did. I guess you can't write it off on your taxes unless it's TO an organization.

It sucks that most people helped when they benefitted themselves, but not just for the purpose of helping. I have people right now that are willing to give money for Jaysen, but won't because they can't write it off.

Pixie said...

Charity shouldn't be paying the likes of Terry Wogan even if thi year he's doing to for free, what about all the other years? The man's advertising cars on commercial radio too, maybe he's short of a bob or two!!

I prefer to give my money quietly and without fuss to a charity that I know wil use as much as possible for the cause it's for.

dawn said...

I am always wary of charity's, I do alot of volunteer work and have tried to teach my children to give back also. Have a great weekend!!

Holly said...

Powerful stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Big Dutch said...

Almost every charity has to much overhead. I'm only fond of one in the states, Habitats for Humanity. I believe in their mission.

Casdok, your Mom, houseplants, landscaping, crops, or all?

Have a unit on me this weekend! (What the hell is a unit?)

cher said...

i think if you give to a charity it's because you care about that issue. if you give to a charity, you are risking them using that money for whatever they want.

but i do want you to stop by my blog and enter my contest!!

Shari said...

I do understand what you mean about empathy. :)

I am fond of Foundation Fighting Blindess. Someday I hope to be more of an advocate.

DJ Kirkby said...

We watched for a while last night and seemed to have tuned in during 'Autism hour' every appeal was for Autistic 'friendly' charities. Good timing on our part I say...

Lady in red said...

when I was doing my shopping yesterday they kept announcing that a local school had been busy makig badges for children in need and we should all go and see them at the front of the shop and make our donations. I felt really bad as I walked past and a young boy held out a badge for me to buy as I shook my head to say I'm really sorry but I can't.

Why couldn't I buy one of their badges, I am sure they were not very expensive and all our children need help one way or another. My reason for walking past is that my own children need me to keep as much of the pittance I have to pay for food, gas and electricity and fuel. I would love to be able to afford to give these children money for their badges but that would have meant depriving my children of heat to keep us warm on these cold nights. Charity begins at home.
I have chosen charities that I support when I can. Macmillan nurses because they were great when I needed them. MS society as my mum has MS, Lifeboats as that was one my dad supported and a few others but they are all charities that mean something to me

Withy Brook said...

First, I have to admit that I have not read all the comments, so may repeat what has already been said.
I think that these great efforts do very well. They raise large sums for good causes and I believe that CiN do use it all on the charities. BUT there are an enormous number of small charities that do not qualify for CiN money. These great appeals take huge sums out of the donation giving, as well as one off stuff. And it worries me.

landsker said...

Televised charity appeals have almost become become formatted entertainment, where we are shown the pain and the suffering, and then so as to ease our guilt, asked to "cough up cash" which sort of demeans those in need, but having said that, without the charity, the needy might go without.
Unless of course our taxes were redirected and managed so as to fund those whose needs are greatest.

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Mummy's jus dun a pawtrayte ov me. They cud hav had that for £50 for the logo an it wud hav been BEAR COLOURED too!

I don't think chairtys always giv the rite image.
Mummy has asthma. She dident get it till she waz 23, an a few weeks ago she had it so badly she cud hardly get up the stairs. BUT the asthma charitys always yews photo's ov children, so peepol think grown-ups don't get it!

This issent onnist, is it? I think they exployte images sumtimes. Tayke that Bear. He's obviously got jaundice an all they do is put a hankie rownd his eye.


Phil Plasma said...

The tricky part of course is whether or not the charity you give to takes an exorbitant amount of money for administrating the charity.

Right or wrong we end up giving to Unicef, the church we go to, and the occasional pledge to whatever charity for coworkers or friends who do walk-a-thons or whatever equivalent.

My wife and I have both talked about trying to volunteer our time, but so far it seems raising a young family and working full time eats up all of our time.