Can you criticize a charity without damaging it's ability to do good works?

Discussion in 'News and Current Affairs' started by Time Waster, 13 Feb 2018.

  1. Time Waster

    Time Waster Well-Known Member

    With this Oxfam complaint there has been an argument brought up about how negative stories about charities result in reduced donations. It's why Oxfam PR dept goes all out to suppress negative stories. The argument being don't say anything bad about us or babies will die!

    It's a stupid argument but does it have any merit?

    Personally any malfeasance in a charity should be rooted out and if serious then made public. MSF actually does this with regular reports made public on their performance and includes negative findings. They are apparently at the opposite end of the spectrum to the Oxfam approach.

    So any views on this aspect of a current news story?
  2. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    It's a trap and this idea is just the latest bit of bait and I'm disappointed to see you take it.

    The drip drip drip release of Oxfam scandal "news" is a calculated attempt to build support for cutting foreign aid which will increase migration pressure and enable spending the £7bn and then some hiring the ringmasters' friends at the likes of Serco or G4S to increase border protection.

    With most of the last couple of days stories, ask yourself why the newsmaker didn't say these things sooner... was it to drag it out and make the scandal seem bigger?
  3. Regulator

    Regulator Scourge of stale, pale, male snowflakes.

    Do you have any substantive evidence for this assertion? My experience is that Oxfam's approach is little different to that of other major charities - including MSF.
  4. gavroche

    gavroche Getting old but not past it

    North Wales
    When I see charities advertising with celebs, it puts me off, thinking that a big chunk of the money raised goes to TV companies and celeb's fees.
    Cycleops and classic33 like this.
  5. FishFright

    FishFright Über Member

    Many of which give their time freely because it's charity mate
  6. pawl

    pawl Veteran

    The only charity I subscribe to are Air Ambulance Life Boat service neither get any government funding and rely on public donations. When I visit The Lakes,Peak District or The Yorkshire Dales I usually put a bit o f cash in the collection tins
    gavroche and raleighnut like this.
  7. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Legendary Member

    It's the same in all walks of life. People only remember what's shoved in front of their faces, and if it's negative then it sticks. Everyone remembers Winterbourne as the bullying place from hell, despite the fact that the other units on the site didn't exhibit the same behaviours. Stories like this can destroy organisations, and more often than not they're organisations that we desperately need. And it's a difficult job in the face of the targeted reporting to respond with any kind of balance without being accused of brushing things under the carpet (as is happening on the other Oxfam thread).

    I mentioned a few days ago that the response to these issues on the part of the press and authorities is often wrong. We should be working alongside these organisations to put right any wrongs and bring them back to where we need them to be. And that includes the publicity aspect. The way in which some part of the press, and the government, are managing this is shameful.
    C R likes this.
  8. Regulator

    Regulator Scourge of stale, pale, male snowflakes.

    I hate to disillusion you but most air ambulances do receive government funding (through the NHS) and the RNLI does get some public funding (albeit only 2% of it's overall budget).
  9. Smeggers II

    Smeggers II Legendary Member

    Dont the government fund all the other lifeboat and search organisations not part of RNLI?
  10. Regulator

    Regulator Scourge of stale, pale, male snowflakes.

    Yep - Coastguard and RAF SAR function is public funded. The government funds some non-lifeboat RNLI activities - as do a number of local authorities (e.g. lifeguard services).
    Smeggers II likes this.
  11. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Editorially there is a media bias to novelty.

    The idea that MSF and Oxfam and others operating around the world have sophisticated PR machines is absurd in the sense that in disaster zones it is usually politicians that get the kudos whilst the charities have a binge of funding that soon dries up. When the media and top level politicians have forgotten charity workers carry on with the work.
    C R, Inertia and srw like this.
  12. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    You are absolutely right.

    Although I suspect that to many people the PR department of a major charity is as much a sophisticated machine and a tool of the elite as the words of a single individual with articulacy and not much else in the way of real power....
  13. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    On the bit about donations. Charities work on trust. I don't think it is a controversial point to suggest donations will go down. Also this may be hard to separate from the economic climate in 2018 and 2019 which I think will be pretty rough.

    The story being substituted is as old as humans though. Perfect charity does a lot of good. Grows to be enormous. Is corrupted and does horrible things, covers it up, is found out and falls from grace with an existential threat.

    We will have to see what the charity commission comes up with, although by then most people will have become bored and forgotten and donations will have already fallen.
  14. pawl

    pawl Veteran

    According to the NHS website they pay only for the medical staff not running costs
  15. Regulator

    Regulator Scourge of stale, pale, male snowflakes.

    Medical staffing is a substantial part of the running costs. For example, in 2016/7 the NHS funded staffing costs for the London Air Ambulance was £1.2 million. There was also £1.15 million in local grant support from the NHS.

    It is worth noting that the real value of/need for air ambulances is variable across the country, which is partly why additional funding is left to local discretion.
    Last edited: 13 Feb 2018
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