Posts by J Debreceny

  • Speaker: KidsCan comes back,

    Congrats to Rick for participating in the discussion. It's not often that someone takes the risk of joining in a debate like this.

    I suspect Kids Can works at a very different level from many community groups, and that its staff are probably better paid than many in the community sector.

    I don't necessarily see that as a problem. Should we condemn an organisation because its staff are paid a reasonable amount? Of course I'd hope that the staff costs are 'reasonable', but I don't have the assumption that charity staff should only work for the love of it.

    I'd rather that more community organisations could afford to pay more. That way we'd have less burn out, and more people staying in the sector.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where your money goes,

    I do think more transparency is needed in the sector, especially where there are 'competing' charities.

    But I think you have to be careful comparing 'admin' costs. If the charity provides a service then admin costs will be high. An example is a community law centre (disclosure: I used to work for one) where wages will make up the bulk of the costs.

    In that sense you need to consider like with like. You could look at how many clients a charity is providing services for per $. Then you need to consider quality. Advice for some clients might take weeks if not months, others might only need 5 minutes. And cut rate services may not be useful for clients.

    There is also a real danger in insisting in low admin costs. Many charities suffer from poor 'management' because of the reluctance to fund admin. Some charities may well need more admin not less.

    For e.g. charities end up creating new projects because you can get funding for those and then try to recover some costs to pay for admin. If they could get admin funding, they would spend less time working on new projects and more time on their core role.

    I also think government needs to be very careful in backing one group over another. Often people who have been working on an issue for years miss out to shiny new groups with a more 'positive' attitude.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 2 posts Report Reply