And officialdom just waffles. It's a warning about whom NOT to donate to, however. I mostly donate directly to individuals. That way I know that my money is not going to support parasites and con-men. If you want to donate to cancer research, give it directly to a university medical school. You will even get more thanks that way
LESS than one cent in every dollar raised by an Australian charity has gone to its intended cause in its first two financial years, documents show. The Adelaide-based National Cancer Research Foundation last year picked up $387,864 in donations but gave just $4900 away, according to its audited profit and loss statements. The year before, it raised almost $197,160, giving away only $935.
So far this financial year, one of the foundation's directors says the charity has passed on almost $30,000, but yesterday could not say how much had been raised.
Most of the money raised in the past two financial years went on commissions, management fees, travelling expenses and drivers. The foundation's director, Neil Menzies, blamed the start-up costs of a charity.
In heartfelt letters obtained by The Advertiser the foundation, which was launched in January 2008, outlines its fundraising aims, saying it needs hundreds of thousands of dollars for research. It says it urgently needs to raise $700,000 for ovarian cancer, $650,000 for children's cancers, $800,000 for breast cancer and $500,000 for prostate and colon cancer research. "The costs are staggering, but we will succeed again," its letters say.
Mr Menzies said the company was working hard to improve its margins, claiming it had already given away almost $30,000 this financial year to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Camp Quality, and the Canberra Hospital. "More will be passed on before the end of the next financial year," he said. "We're changing our structure. Where we relied a lot on telemarketing, which is labour (intensive), we'll be more into events, golf days, dinner dances, quiz nights." "Within two or three years if we're able to pass on . . . (money) in the vicinity of $100,000 per year, that would be terrific."
The Office of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner monitors charities, under the auspices of Gambling Minister Tom Koutsantonis, who said yesterday that governments were working hard to make them more accountable. "This is what we're looking into - we're making charities publish all their financial details . . . to make them more transparent and more accountable," he said. "While we believe the majority are doing the right thing, South Australians deserve to know where their hard-earned money ends up.
Philanthropy Australia chief executive officer Gina Anderson said it was difficult to pinpoint the proportion that should be passed on. She said the word "foundation", often used by charities, did not have any legal meaning, and she said Australia was finally going to accept standard accounting measures for charities.
The Productivity Commission is reviewing the not-for-profit sector. In its draft report, released in October this year, it found there was a need for wide-ranging reforms. It recommended a "one-stop shop" for regulation, to ensure community organisations and charities were transparent, and to simplify regulatory processes.
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