Sunday, 18 February 2018

Give to charity, but don't buy from an OXFAM shop

I am very grateful to commenters on here who have described how to donate efficiently and get aid to the people that need it. Just to prove their point I've been through the accounts filed for 2017 by OXFAM to find possibly the least efficient way yet devised of giving aid - buying those cute 3rd world sofa throws, gourds or greetings cards from an OXFAM shop or OXFAM online. Here's what happens to every £1 you spend:-

You Spend £1.00





Less 20% VAT*
£0.17
Sub total
£0.83




Less cost of trading
£0.66
Less OXFAM admin costs
£0.05
Sub total
£0.12




Less 5% political campaigning
£0.01




NET TO AID
£0.11




*VAT charged on gifts, cards, commissioned goods but not on donated items


Source: 2017 accounts submitted to Charity Commission



First point is that VAT is chargeable on all those commissioned gift items - but not on donated goods. So if you're buying an old frock rather than a new greetings card, the net will be bigger. Oxfam shops are really just PR - a subtle way of pretending that the charity gets most of its money from public gifts and donations rather than from central government aid. Once you take off the costs of running the shops and the website, and the costs of HQ staff and executives, you're left with just 12p of that £1.00. And then OXFAM skims off a further 5% for its domestic lobbying and anti-poverty campaigning - leaving just 11p to go on aid and development.

For anyone paying £3 a month by direct debit, your yield is a bit better. But be aware that OXFAM has 11 executives earning over £100k pa. Assuming they're all at the midpoint of the first £100k+ band, it takes 37,000 x £3 direct debits just to meet their salary bill each month. News that 1,000 folk have cancelled their DDs as a result of the sex scandal will hardly dent them - unless another 36,000 join them.

Looking at the figures really does bring the waste into sharp contrast. The lesson is, if you want your money to reach the people in need, follow the suggestions in the comments, and please, please, look at the accounts before you spend.

49 comments:

Edward Spalton said...

Some years ago, a friendly city Councillor arranged for the showing of two films in the Local Council House
The Great Global,Warmng Swndle and
Not Evil, Just Wrong .
Both blew the whistle on the fhighly questionable official presentations of the theory of man-made global warming.

We were surprised to receive an aggrieved response from OXFAM officials.

Not far away, a big demonstration was going on against refurbishment of a local power station. We were surprised to learn that OXFAM was sending paid staff to suppor and organise it. Because of fears of disruption, we managed to organise a police presence n the door of our film show. That was sufficient discouragement to potential trouble makers.

In exchange for its propagandising of global Warmng/climate change OXFAM also receives EU funding

Sackerson said...

But you are also helping employment in your area with 66p in that £, and when the workers spend their money there will be a wealth multiplier. Charity begins at home?

Ed P said...

Study a charity's accounts - freely available to the public - before donating, and avoid the businesses/fakes.

The generally-accepted definition of a fake charity is one which received 10% or more of its income from the taxpayer. Also, a real & effective charity will ensure 90% or more of donations actually reach its target, certainly not paying exorbitant directors' salaries.

Consider the 11% to 12% Oxfam shop yield example shown above...

Anonymous said...

@Sackerson

Oxfam shop staff are *paid* ?

Sackerson said...

@Anon: yes.

https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salary/Oxfam-Shop-Manager-Salaries-E35565_D_KO6,18.htm

jack ketch said...

Surely it is time (or maybe after BrexSShite?) to scrap the very idea of charities? Or at least scrap the whole notion of 'charitable status'. Charities seem to be either lobby groups, pseudo police forces (RSPCA), fronts for sex offenders or 'alibis' for government malice/incompetence (I'm thinking of groups like 'friends of xyz Primary School' or 'Help For Heroes').

If there is , say, an earthquake in some god forsaken foreign shit hole , such as Manchester, surely it is for yUK.gove to send money to feed the little starving brown cheeldrens?

Smoking Scot said...

One reason why charity shops have multiplied is because they only pay 20% business rates in England and a zero in Scotland.

That lays a greater burden on legitimate business and as charities market new products, they also compete head on with other businesses.

More on this, before she converted to the dark side.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/12183741/Curb-the-number-of-inefficient-charity-shops-that-clog-up-our-high-streets-say-charity-campaigners.html

Malcolm Stevas said...

I do wonder why a bright, well informed, robust character such as Raedwald permits the continuing noisome presence of "Jack Ketch": his contrarian opinions are neither here nor there, but his offensively excremental references to Brexit and those many of us who voted for it suggest he's rather a turd himself. Surely just a puerile troublemaker?

Raedwald said...

Malcolm - serious answer is that it's unhealthy for a political blog to be no more than an echo chamber with like-minded old buffers talking to eachother. Dissenting opinion, challenging opinion is welcome.

Plus Jack no longer wipes his nose with his feet and we're hoping to start on the scatalogical training soon ...

jack ketch said...

but his offensively excremental references to Brexit and those many of us who voted for it

Took me a minute to work through that sentence but I'm guessing it means BrexSShiteurs have brown trousers to go with their brown shirts?

jack ketch said...


Plus Jack no longer wipes his nose with his feet and we're hoping to start on the scatalogical training soon ...
-Raedwald

Actually half my DNA is from Norfolk so the webbing between my fingers and toes means never having to buy kleenex...there is an upside to every genetic mutation.

Dave_G said...


Ed P said:

Study a charity's accounts - freely available to the public - before donating, and avoid the businesses/fakes.

Why should we HAVE to? It should be a trading requirement for their premises to display, clearly and prominently, the percentage that gets to the needy.

In my eyes/mind they are trading under false pretences by not making such details readily available.

Only by these methods will we get them to change their ways, adopt more 'efficient' practises and give us the right impression of what they are SUPPOSED to stand for. Collecting for the needy, not the greedy (bosses).

As for the Ketschitter trolling I find Radders approach to be thoroughly cutting.... nice one.

Cull The Badgers said...

Just don't have anything to do with OXFAM and similar. Don't give them anything, don't buy anything from them. You are not obliged to support them and you should not feel any guilt or responsibility for not doing so.

Bill Quango MP said...

The managers salaries are at the very low end of retail managers salaries.
All the way up to Area Manager charities pay below market rate.And that includes their admin teams too.
But they are nice places to work. Very easy. Not demanding like real retail.
That's not to say they are easy places. But their pressure is low. Its only the constant arrival of stock and the constant booking out of stock that is a pressure for them.

Its only at the regional, senior, level where they pay the same, or more, than market.

John Brown said...

All that charities such as OXFAM have achieved in the last 30 years is to increase the population suffering famine and conflict fourfold (25m to over 100m in the case of Ethiopia) whilst building up the accounts of the Swiss banks.

Now they’re calling for mass migration to Europe to solve the problem they have made worse.

DeeDee99 said...

Alternatively, don't buy from them and don't give them money either.

anon 2 said...

Everybody I knew was aware of this way back in the 60s-'70s . . . how come they've just decided to make a fuss about it?

APL said...

Dave G: "It should be a trading requirement for their premises to display, clearly and prominently, the percentage that gets to the needy."

Why after two hundred years of 'helping the needy' breed in Africa, do we have any obligation to assist them further.

Zimbabwe turned an economy with sufficient food for the domestic population and surplus to exporting into domestic shortages and malnutrition in twenty years.

That is Black rule.

South Africa is now going the same route, terrorising white farmers ( including instruments of Rape and murder ) and driving them off their land. Pretoria will shortly have water shortages, and not long after food shortages.

That is Black rule.

If there should be any immigration at all to the United Kingdom, we should give shelter to those South Africans who are being persecuted by the Racist South African regime.

Let's send Peter Hain back to South Africa to mediate with the ANC. Not a holiday but permanently.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

All good points and true (with the obvious exceptions) but please don't forget that there are some real charities out there - the RNLI being the shining example.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

At the risk of feeding the troll, can someone explain to me what yUK is supposed to mean?

jack ketch said...


At the risk of feeding the troll, can someone explain to me what yUK is supposed to mean?


"Why UK" or "yUcK" (which is how I use it mostly)...yer pays yer money...

and the RLNI is but an alibi, and a fairly fascist one at that it seems, for government.

Edward Spalton said...

jack ketch
RNLI
Pulling people out of the sea seems a fairly laudable sort of activity.

Getting people to do it on a voluntary basis and providing them with first class
equipment and training seems not too bad an idea.

If it were done by government, it would be civil-service unionised and much less efficient,
always demanding more "resources" from the tax payer and being multiculturally wedded to
"diversity"with LGBT flags flying, just like the MoD.

The RNLI went up in my estimation when the Lottery people refused it funding because it was
insufficiently multi-culti - yachting being an elitist overwhelmingly white activity and
the insufficient proportion of aliens/minority amongst those saved.

Edward Spalton said...

APL

One charity which I heartily support is ZANE
Zimbabwe A National Emergency

They tick all the boxes on low admin costs and are looking after
people whom the "progressive" world completely ignores.

You can also opt for which part of their programmes you want your money to go to.

Worth having a look.

jack ketch said...

RNLI
Pulling people out of the sea seems a fairly laudable sort of activity.


I couldn't agree more (I grew up in a town with 2 lifeboats and the 'maroons' firing daily, my school chums are probably still crewing the main boat). Given that any sane person thinks a lifeboat service is a GOOD idea and it is defacto an emergency service, can there be any moral imperative for it NOT being 100% government funded?

How would we feel about the ambulance service needing lottery funding? Should the Fire brigade be funded by the widow's mite? Of course not. Should the Friends Of St.Snotbert's Primary need to purchase toilet roll so the little dears don't have to use their own expensive rizla?

APL said...

jack Kvetch: "can there be any moral imperative for it NOT being 100% government funded? "

Yes, we want it to work.

APL said...

Edward Spalton: "One charity which I heartily support is ZANE, Zimbabwe A National Emergency "

I'd consider it Edward, but the term 'pissing into the wind' comes to mind.

I'm sorry for the folk in Zimbabwe who would like to live in a first world country, with functioning services. For a time Rhodesia was, but it isn't now, and while the Blacks run it, it never will be.

So, why prop it up?

Anonymous said...

"Zimbabwe turned an economy with sufficient food for the domestic population and surplus to exporting into domestic shortages and malnutrition in twenty years.

That is Black rule."

More exactly, Marxist black rule. Botswana, next door to Zimbabwe, is quite different.

APL said...

Rather than helping Africans migrate to Europe, I'd urge people to consider contributing to this cause:

https://suidlanders.org/who-we-are/

Edward Spalton said...

APL

Do go and have a look at the website

It is not "propping up Zimbabwe" but looking after pensioners, many of whom are
ex British forces or their widows and who who are completely destitute.

They have other projects too and you can choose which your money goes to.

APL said...

"Do go and have a look at the website"

I did. But all I saw was happy African kids, who next year will be attempting to cross the Sahara without any water, then, those who survive and get to Tripoli, will be at the mercy of the Islamic slavers installed by Clinton and Cameron. But should they get across the Med, with the help of George Soros they'll make straight for Calais, were we'll hear no end of whinging from post menopausal former hippies about the poor people of the jungle.

"but looking after pensioners, many of whom are ex British forces or their widows and who who are completely destitute."

Ok, that's different. I'll have another look.

jack ketch said...

Yes, we want it to work.-APL

I'm talking about funding, not administration. Does the Fire Brigade not work? Would the other Emergency Services work better if they weren't financed from the public purse? There is no reason why the RNLI shouldn't receive all its funding from government -that would be the 'middle way' , true toryism.

APL said...

jack Kvetch: "I'm talking about funding, not administration."

Do you think for a second that when the government funds a thing it doesn't impose conditions?

jack Kvetch: "Does the Fire Brigade not work?"

Does the fire brigade have equal opportunities policies? Anti discrimination policies for 110 lb girls who want to play fire woman?

jack Kvetch: "There is no reason why the RNLI shouldn't receive all its funding from government "

Except, it's doing very well with out the government. Does it need money? Yea. So send them a tenner.

Edward Spalton said...

www.zane.uk.com

is the website.

There are different sections for different activities.
And, as I say, you can decide which one your money goes to.

Having had a look at the books etc and the accounts of their activities,
I am as satisfied as I am able to be that it is a good show.

jack ketch said...

https://suidlanders.org/who-we-are/-APL

Now THAT was interesting. Been a long time since I heard the name "van Rensburg".

jack ketch said...

Except, it's doing very well with out the government. Does it need money? Yes so send them a tenner -APL

and there we have it.

APL said...

Edward Spalton: " I am as satisfied as I am able to be that it is a good show."

Just dropped £30 I'll consider doing the same next month.

Although not altogether happy with the description "ZANE Pensioners, Veterans, Clubfoot & Community Development Work". But it is what it is.


Jack Kvetch: "and there we have it. "

There you have what?

Name one operation in the public sector that isn't demanding more funding?

(Other than the Civil servants pension fund.)

Doug Shoulders said...

What charities and popstar gobshites always fail to see is an African farmer can’t compete with charity grain handed out for free so why bother.
Oxfam and the like is what a charity with honorable intentions warps into when the boots have been on the ground long enough to know that throwing money at a problem solves nothing.

Edward Spalton said...

Doug Shoulders,

It has been on a very much larger and more damaging scale than that. The EEC/EU Common Agricultural Policy, as originally applied, took no account of the rapidly rising productivity of modern farming methods. This produced the grain, beef and butter mountains. Some was actually recycled ("denatured") in animal food to produce more food but most was simply dumped on the world markets at prices way below the cost of production - a very good way of putting Commonwealth and other Third World farmers out of business medium to long term. . The Americans did much the same, stockpiling a great deal of food and periodically releasing it at subsidised prices.

It was only because of the "green revolution" in plant breeding and other intensification of farming that the rising world population did not cause the global famine, so often predicted by castrophists. There are schools of thought which oppose intervention with outside charitable food supplies (just as there were during the Irish potato famine). There are also perverse incentives on holders of grain stocks to try to drive prices even higher.Some people think that purchasing power in the hands of the people would be better than shipping food. But you can imagine the speculation that might cause.

In 1973 there was even a brief moment when it looked as if catastrophic climate change would permanently impair global food production - but global cooling rather than warming. There was very little snow cover in the Soviet Union during the winter of 1972/3 and it was extremely cold which killed all the Autumn-sown wheat crop. The Soviets managed a very nifty buying raid on Chicago and the world woke up very short of wheat. Our wheat price which had risen from around
£40-45 per ton to £60 -70 per ton because of joining the EEC shot up massively by stages, reaching £200 (i f my memory serves me right).

Until the last century, most of the world was only one bad harvest away from severe malnutrition and two away from starvation. We came rather close to it in two submarine blockades but large adverse currency fluctuations, as well as sudden weather events could have the same effect. Transport and communication have altered that enormously. Whilst most of our imported food now comes from Europe, it's just as true as when Kipling wrote it in "The Big Steamers" "If anyone hinders our coming, you starve".

My own belief is that a modern system of secure land tenure, giving Third World farmers the incentive to improve their holdings, is a key to the matter. Then it is worth their while to invest long term in improvements of all sorts.

Sackerson said...

@Edward Spalton: your last comment very thought-provoking. Shame you don't seem to have your own blog. Would you consider writing something for ours (Broad Oak Magazine)?

Edward Spalton said...

Hello Sackerson,
I don't have my own blog but I am Chairman of the Campaign for an Independent Britain

short address for our blog is www.eurosceptic.org.uk

You are welcome to borrow articles from there with attribution. . Some are mine, most other people's. All, I think, are pretty good and they cover a range of pro independence views.

I have just done a letter which is going to most national and some regional newspapers on the shocking mortality rate in Greece which has pretty well doubled from the results of austerity. So much so that the government has stopped publishing the usual monthly figures for births and deaths. My informant is a distinguished Greek ambassador, now retired.

Sackerson said...

@Edward Spalton - Thank you. Do please let us know when your letter is published. Shall go to your website now; meanwhile, have you seen the new Briefings For Brexit site?

https://briefingsforbrexit.com/

APL said...

Edward Spalton: "because of joining the EEC shot up massively by stages,"

Not to overlook the EU CFP and its policy of buying of African territorial fishing rights, from African despots, forcing the indigenous population out of the sector.

Indirectly contributing to the migration out of Africa into Europe.

Edward Spalton said...

Sacked son.
I believe the letter is now up on the site.
I think Briefings for Brexit are good stuff. I,have not yet been able to check,on their understanding of " Third Country" status and its effects on movement of goods. Many otherwise clued-up folk have a blind spot about that.

APL
We have produced two really super booklets on the CFP in cooperation with Fishing for Leave - in my opinion the most clued up,fishermen's group. If you go to,publications and then to,pamphlets,they are in PDF.

I hope we may keep in touch. You can just click to receive weekly updates from the website. No charge. Of course, we'd prefer it if you joined as a member ( £20) but you don't have to.

Sackerson said...

@ES: have joined the mailing list. And read your letter - alas for Greece!

jack ketch said...

The depth and clarity of thought (for want of a better term) of an Ed Spalton piece made such an impression on me I copy pasta'd it in its entirety on MW's blog. It should be required reading for not just Remainers but Brexiteers alike...and most especially for those whimsical darlings in Westminster:

https://markwadsworth.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/readers-letter-of-day.html

(go on its only short-and MW's blog is well worth following if one wants to get down and dirty with economics and not just those of Brexit either ).

Anonymous said...

Edward Spalton, always a thinking man.

Courteous and knowledgeable, your posts are a delight to read, even if I don't always agree, the ideas and perspective give me pause and I deem a man given to truthfulness and with a very stout heart.

RNLI, read about the unbelieveable courage of the lads who put out of Mousehole on one terrible night. Then you'll know.

meltemian said...

Anon 9:26
As the wife of a retired volunteer lifeboatman thank you for your kind commen t. Grass-roots crews don't always agree with Head Office decisions (beach lifeguards for one) but are in full agreement with them having the best of intentions in seeking to save lives.
As volunteers there isn't a crew member who thinks of themselves as 'Heroes', the 'Death or Glory' boys don't last long.

wiggiatlarge said...

As with all charities you have to read the small print to find the truth on funding etc, even the RNLI as an example is hardly short of cash, half a billion in fixed assets and a further quarter billion in floating assets.
And whilst it is funded by the good public and the volunteers work for nothing , the top end looks familiar.

file:///C:/Users/User/AppData/Local/Temp/annual-report-and-accounts-2016.pdf

Anonymous said...

It's not just about Haiti, Oxfam's priorities are warped. Their staff have been waving Oxfam banners at demonstrations advocating the import of people from agrarian economies into the UK, with the vast welfare costs that entails. It's always at other people's expense too; these staff would never dream of putting their own money towards this. Meanwhile, in the sub-Saharan African country that I know best, good luck getting a sickle cell diagnosis for a child, let alone any screening for prospective parents to reduce the incidence of this horrible disease. Mass screening could be done at a cost of the order of £1 per head but it's just not happening any time soon, because the likes of Oxfam UK care far more about "equality" and throwing sand into the wheels of capitalism in their home countries than they care about the poor. If you care about the poor, support some smaller charities - don't give to Oxfam.