Yes, you read the headline right: Stop giving your hard earned money to charity. Giving and generosity are hugely important virtues in our societies, and God knows there are people and caused that desperately need some help. We all know this, but so do the scam artists who’re out to take your money and profit from it themselves. Here we’re not talking about the small illicit operations touting old clothes collections for the poor in Africa. Don’t give your money to them either, but we’re talking about the well-known and well-established registered charities industry. Don’t give them your money.

In Ireland and in the United Kingdom we have a long list of reputable causes that have become household names for the “amazing work they do.” Of course they do amazing work with some of the cash, and they make sure the cameras are there for the covers of their expensive glossies and their tear jerking national television campaigns, but have you ever stopped to consider just how much of your small change and direct debit donations are required before anything gets to the people who actually need the money? It’s time we all started to think about this.

Tom Arnold, the chief executive of Concern, took home €130,000 worth of donations in 2011 collected from people like you and me thinking we were caring for starving children in the global south. Your monthly €5 donation would need to run for over two thousand years to cover his annual salary. How much do you earn in a year? Then there is the CEO of Enable Ireland, claiming to be looking after the disabled, Fionnuala O’Donovan, who tops the list in Ireland with an annual take home of €156,340 plus expenses, and John McCormack of the Irish Cancer Society on €145,000 with a company car and expenses. All of these donations are brought in by volunteers on the street and in stores, and many of these are the family and friends of the people the funds are meant to be benefitting.

Present the likes of Arnold, O’Donovan, and McCormack with this rather reasonable complaint and you’ll get the same tired old story: If you want the best you have to pay the most. Don’t buy it! Their jobs aren’t that difficult, and they’re certainly not worth these astronomical amounts. Volunteers get nothing but the satisfaction that what they’re doing they are doing for “a good cause,” and the nurses and care workers who actually do the real work are forever in the labour relations court seeking a living wage. Do yourself a favour and stop giving them your money. By all means give. Find an alternative, but don’t be fooled by these nasty, dirty scams.

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2 thoughts on “Stop Giving Your Money to Charity

  1. The current CEO of Concern (Dominic MacSorley) earns €99,000 and not €130,000 stated in your blog. 91.1% of all money donated to Concern goes to charitable work (see recent report in the Irish Times: All our accounts are fully transparent and online. The 2014 annual report can be viewed here: We are very proud of the fact that for the sixth successive year, we won a Published Accounts Award for charities in Ireland. We have now won this award 21 times since 1988.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for exercising your right of reply Concern Worldwide, even if that was with the “passive aggressive expertise of a PR company paid to control a shit storm.” As stated in the original post, the figures quoted came from an independent review carried out in 2011 and all names and figures were correct to that date. Thank you nonetheless for bringing this litany of woe up to date. The fact that the public scandal of that review has played a part in reducing these atrocious salaries at least on your part is to be commended. Well done.

      Having said this, however, and we are confident that most people reading this will agree, a salary of €99,000 plus expenses and other benefits remains bloated and unjust. A cut of almost 10% in donations made to volunteers on the understanding that it will be “healing the world” is immoral. People on the street, who for the most part do not check your award winning online transparency, would think twice if they were made aware at the time of giving of this one tenth skimming. When made aware of the vast sums involved – including all salaries and overheads (of a “charity”) – we can all be sure that most reasonable people will find other ways of giving. Still, we are delighted that you are proud of this.

      Liked by 1 person

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