Greed might work for Wall Street but it is not an attractive, nor appropriate, option for the third sector.
The Times newspaper has just published its first analysis of charity pay, said to average a modest £20,000 a year for most employees. However a few charity trustees are allowing their chief and senior executives to significantly line their pockets, with more than 1,000 of them trousering at least £100,000 a year, with some of those grabbing considerably more, and more than enough to bring the sector into the disrepute warned of by the Charity Commission.
Named are, in no particular order : Save the Children, St Andrews Healthcare, Cauldwell Children, Wellcome Trust, Royal Opera House, National Trust, Canal and River Trust, Ormiston Trust, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Thrombosis Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, WomanCare Global, Theatre Royal Bath, Royal Albert Hall, Marie Stopes and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation UK.
According to The Times charities in Britain enjoy tax reliefs calculated at £3.4 billion, and it seems an unhealthy proportion of this is being used to feed the greed which can only damage the sector. After all, why should anyone, whether public or government, financially help those who seem to be so good at helping themselves, aided by the weak accountability and the inadequate regulation the Times gives as reasons for the rot.
As ever it’s the many being let down by the few, but if the excesses of the few persuades donors not to donate, or governments to cut the taxpayers’ funding of charities, or tax authorities to start withdrawing tax concessions then everyone suffers.
And not least the people charities are committed to helping.