We have reviewed 500 charities and have decided to stop - for the time being - to check that our financial figures are correct. We have taken the diligent but difficult next step of asking each of the 500 charities to check we've got them right.
We are having many positive responses but one contentious issue keeps raising its head: the Chief Exec's salary.
For charities whose CEOs earn over £50,000 there have been no issues since those salaries are disclosed in the Annual Report in bands (e.g. £50,000 to £60,000). But for CEOs who earn less, we are getting a few indignant responses. This is because the majority of Annual Reports simply state, "No employee earns more than £50,000". Without an exact figure, all we can do is state that the CEO salary is below £50,000. But we are requesting the actual figure. And this is ruffling feathers.
Donors would doubtless like to know what the CEOs' salaries are, especially as they are paying towards them. But we've had several alarmed responses from the charities, saying that this is private information and... how dare we?
In phone conversations it quickly becomes clear that many of these charities don't realise that their accounts are already in the public domain on Guidestar
and the Charity Commission Register
. We are just presenting them in a way that is more accessible to the public.
As for the CEO salaries, we, as donors, want to know them and we can't easily understand why a handful of charities won't disclose them. Do they have something to hide?For the record the CEO of Intelligent Giving gets £33,000 and he doesn't care who knows (he says).