Over 190, 000 UK charities employ nearly a million people and raise funds of around £10 billion annually. The charity sector includes non-governmental organizations, small and medium enterprises, and big aid organizations. Thousands of these institutions focus on poverty alleviation, children’s welfare, cancer cure, animal rights, and battling alcoholism.
Some of the current issues affecting the charity sector include significant decrease in giving brought about by the recent economic recession. This prompted increased activity in fundraising. According to a publication entitled the Great Charity Scandal, UK charities employ more than a million staff, which is more than the number of workers in the automobile and chemical industry. These charities generate around 13 billion every year or £200 from each Briton. And, instead of allotting generated donations to intended recipients, greater portion is being utilized on administrative expenses. The author, David Craig, says that the book exposes how some charities put their interests ahead of their organisation’s objectives.
In 2013, the Charity Commission for Wales and England conducted a parliamentary inquiry on the charity sector, as the regulatory body found it difficult to monitor if donations are being sent to the intended beneficiaries. The number of charities in UK has increased by three folds since the past two decades. The Commission states that 80% of the donations is being spent on ‘charitable activities’.
The charity sector is faced with more sensitive issues such as the increased amount of salary being paid to top executives and staff (around 30 to 40% average increases). Other controversies include:
- The involvement of charity organizations in political lobbying
- Unnecessary and increased expenditure on administrative expenses rather than on charitable activities
- Around 27,000 UK charities rely on government funding, which sustains around 70% of its operational costs.
- Raising funds through ‘charity mugging’ better called as chugging