The Charity Sleuths

What the Intelligent Giving researchers are uncovering, and whose turn it is to make the tea

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Blind faith

After finishing reviewing the large charities dealing with cancer, I have moved on to the biggest religious charities and already have found a striking discrepancy: simply, the religious charities' reports are much worse!

This is not to say that the charities are worse, in the sort of work they do, how well they do it, how well they are organised etc - it would be impossible to compare these aspects directly as the charities are fundamentally different. However I am finding that the public documents - the annual reports and reviews - of the religious charities are far less professional and informative than those of the cancer charities.

"Religious charities may feel relatively secure in their income..."

Indeed, this is not just the case of charities of similar size. Already (I have only reviewed 20 or so religious charities) I am starting to anticipate a religious charity that spends £10,000,000 to have a report more lacking in essentials than a cancer charity spending £400,000.

Why is this? I cannot say for sure, but one possibility is that the religious charities, as they are in many cases funded by church congregations, may feel relatively secure in their income. Maybe, once they are 'on the books' of the churches, they do not have to try so hard.



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