Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Where your money goes

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  • Hilary Stace,

    Good idea, but how do you quantify and put a monetary value on, for example, being a chairperson of a committee, a board member, helping with a holiday programme, answering phone calls, giving talks to schools or community groups, driving people to events, attending meetings, filling out fundraising application forms, selling raffle tickets, or holding a collecting bucket? All of which could take from a few minutes to several days, and be regular or one offs.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    but how do you quantify

    Even if it's a few minutes or several days, record it accordingly. Time sheets, (popular in the 70's) Time is valuable and should be recognised especially with charitable work imo.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    That above was a reply to Sofie.

    Steve, unfortunately, in the real world businesses have to make money to survive and charities need to buy their services eg rent for properties, accounting and IT expertise, hotels for conferences. That is part of the professionalisation of charities - they need staff who can negotiate with business to get the best deals.

    But there are also great pro bono, discounting, sponsorship and other deals going on all over the place too. Mutually beneficial.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Hillary, isn't that what I said?... sort of...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Jeremy Eade, your response to my 'None of your business' comment is passionate but mistaken. I am personally concerned and involved over human-induced global warming but it is not the business of any stranger whether I care about this or not. Paticularly as aforesaid stranger (the first one) wanted personal details and suggested making a contribution, after I had said "Why?" in answer to their question.

    I spent some interesting time on the net learning quite a bit about this method of fundraising...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Steve, I wasn't disagreeing with you.
    Thanks for suggestion about time-sheets Sofie, and I'll pass it on. But I have a feeling that a suggestion about more paper work will not be taken up with enthusiasm.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Those satellite accounts I linked to earlier are based on estimating voluntary contributions. I don't know any detail about how they did that, but I understand it's internationally standardised somehow.

    Maybe similar categories could be applied to individual organisations so they can be comparable?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    There are plenty of other monetary avenues business can follow without slotting themselves into the finance stream of reputable charities.

    I take your point about ethics being central - and fortunately most who deal with charities do behave, well, charitably.

    However, some businesses specialise in areas more likely to be relevant to charities - like fundraising or TXT gateway services. Should they all have to be charitable too? A for-profit business may be better placed to support specialisation, innovation and similar risky behaviours that might not sit comfortably with a charitable ethos.

    I'm a big fan of organisations working together from their strengths, and collaborating accordingly rather than just adopting traditional purchaser-supplier or donator-receiver relationships. Sponsorship is only one form, and philanthropic funders are moving towards smarter and more engaged models too.

    Negotiating partnerships does take effort. I asked Rick earlier whether that might be one reason for KidsCan's overhead proportions being high so far. Maybe it's the way they have chosen to tackle things, or how fast they have tried to grow? May not be the best use of money, despite intentions.

    I don't know enough to answer that for myself - which is the bigger point about disclosure and reporting that has been raised. Doesn't make some of the particular aspects we know already look less dubious though, particularly the related party transactions. Sunlight will help. I look forward to reading more when Rick comes back to us.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    From the HOS article:

    Helson blamed tall poppy syndrome for the controversy.

    Which reminds me of the idea that "tall poppy syndrome" is claimed by people who think they should be immune to any criticism after achieving a certain amount of success.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Good, now the Dancing with the Stars money is being challenged. I've long thought there must be some middle people there taking very large cuts from the txt votes.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Destiny Church followers have been fond of quoting scripture when justifying the worldly rewards claimed by "Bishop" Brian - they don't muzzle the ox that treads the grain. We''ll no doubt be hearing some weaselly-worded variations on this theme from vested charity-associated interests over the next week or three.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Following on from Russel's thoughts about the Howlett Foundation...

    If I run a charity and it qualifies for full tax-exempt status, and my charity makes a loss because my running costs are higher than the money I raised, does my charity get a tax refund to offset the loss?

    I had a look at the Charities Commission website and the IRD website (here and here, but it doesn't say. Anyone else know?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Ooops sorry that should read Russell

    *blush*

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Nicholas,

    The IRD should be taking a keen interest in the books of not only KidsCan and their related charities, but the entire fund raising sector.

    Government will move with glacial speed on regulating this can of worms, but one would hope that if charitable trust status is being abused, the tax man will swoop very quickly.

    Since Nov 2006 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Good, now the Dancing with the Stars money is being challenged. I've long thought there must be some middle people there taking very large cuts from the txt votes.

    Yup. The transparency issue there is really simple. Just tell the public the sum that will actually go to the charity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Absolutely agree, Dave.

    Because as the law currently stands, if your charity has been granted tax exempt status, you don't even have to file an income tax return unless IRD requests one (and they'll only do that if they're auditing you).

    Craaaazy. The more I find out about the laws governing (or rather, not governing) charities in NZ, the more I feel sure that there is enormous potential for bogus "charities" to screw the system.

    As one of the Herald articles linked to earlier said:

    Based on annual reports, the Charities Commission estimates the sector to have a combined income of $16.7 billion a year, drawing on donations of $1.4b.

    Which is a shit-load of pretty much unregulated moolah floating around.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The most immediate payoff would come from unravelling the relationships between gaming machine trusts and the horse-racing "industry". No surprise who was their Minister for the last few years..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "between gaming machine trusts and the horse-racing 'industry"

    o my, yes!

    But that is one gigantic vermiferous entanglement, with a huge number of interested/involved parties...and, I deeply suspect, a complete lack of willingness to even start any kind of enquiry-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Ah Winston, how we miss thee. Not.

    So Sacha, can you elaborate a wee bit? (Assuming you can do so without opening Russell up to strongly-worded letters from libel lawyers). I'm not really up on the details of those relationships. What do we know that makes people think they're a bit dodgy?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Not an expert, sorry. I think it came up here a while back, so a search might be fruitful.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Here is one prepared to dance for his food. Donations accepted. This is in appreciation of the charities that do do good. Thank you. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Hell, I'd donate to that cockatoo anytime! The energy! The verve!

    (You can also catch him at Discovery's "Being Animal" - a site I love, and thoroughly reccommend.)

    (Still working on the embedding...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Arrrgh!
    *Discovery News. Born Animal*
    Worth a visit despite your frustration with an idiot-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Paticularly as aforesaid stranger (the first one) wanted personal details and suggested making a contribution, after I had said "Why?" in answer to their question

    but yeh, free speech isn't always fun.

    If he wanted your help on global warming its because we are now entering a desperation faze.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    The person (not a he) didnt want my help on global warming -they wanted my personal & credit card details.

    'faze' is kind of accurate for what they were doing -

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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