Should NFPs Accept Anyone's Money? - UK View
27 October 2003 at 12:10 pm
The debate about whether welfare organisations or other charities should take donations from corporations that obtain their profits from gambling or alcohol industries created heat in the media recently.
The Salvation Army has gone on record as saying it had knocked back five million dollars from Tattersalls. The argument being that the money is tainted having come from gambling which is the cause of the misery of many of the salvos needy clients.
Other organisations claim they don’t have the luxury of saying no to a donor that wants to help their cause! It’s not a new debate but perhaps there’s a new perspective.
Visiting Philanthropy commentator, David Carrington says in the UK its Charity Commission has regulations that guide charities large and small on what is an acceptable donation.
Carrington says trustees of any charity in the UK are obliged to make decisions in the interest of that charity’s beneficiaries. So health based charities for example won’t take money from the tobacco industry.
He says many will make their decision on the negative reputation result that may deter other donors. In the UK the beneficiaries are involved in the decision making not just the trustees.
Another interesting development in the UK is charities making an investment in a company that has a poor record on social justice issues or many other sustainability area where the organisation believes it can use its substantial holdings to influence the direction of a company in the future.
David Carrington is recognised as the leading authority on charities and
Not for Profit organisations in the UK today. David has a wealth of knowledge on the most recent ideas and developments in philanthropy and
David is an experienced grant-maker who has led some of the largest
philanthropic trusts in the UK and is an advisor to the UK government on
Now a consultant, he works mainly with voluntary, statutory and private
organisations, principally in the files of funding and governance.
He has 25 years experience of senior management positions in charities and
is a board member of over a dozen organisations, including a University,
the Media Trust, Allavida, the National Foundation for Youth Music and the New Opportunities Fund.
Carrington says he strives to help organisations strengthen themselves by
diversifying the ways they use financial and other resources and by
enhancing their standards of governance and management practice.
He is visiting Australia as a guest of Swinburne University’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment as the Heloise Waislitz Fellow for 2003.
He leaves us with some interesting statistics from the UK. The Charity Commission is responsible for 190,000 separate Not for Profit organisations of which two-thirds have budgets of less than 10-thousand-pounds! Just 7% of all charities control 90% of charity income in that country. The Charity Commission has a dual role of both regulatory and guidance (to help the smaller charities). Its role is set to be redefined and strengthened in the next session of the British parliament!