… and will never do so again.
There were a couple of reasons why I stopped donating. The first was because so many charities are effectively political activists these days. If I donate to a cause, I want the money to go to that cause, not to political advertising or activism. The second reason was the way charities blatantly try to shame people into donating – at shop checkouts, at restaurants, and at various places where you are just trying to get on with your life in peace. It was hard to say no the first few times, mainly because the size of the donation was usually small (Would you like to donate $1 to KidsCan?), but I managed it. Now I don’t even think about it.
But when it came to the Australian bushfires, I broke my own rule. It was hard watching people lose their homes, their businesses, and who could not shed a tear and a few dollars for all those animals either burnt to death or badly injured in the fires? I admit I did wonder about how the numbers went from half a billion to a billion almost overnight and then I realised that no one could have the vaguest idea of the real numbers, so the estimated billion dead animals was pure fiction. Still, there was no doubt the bushfires were a catastrophe, and anything to help our Australian neighbours was good enough for me.
But now I want my money back.
The director of the Red Cross has revealed that almost $11million of the money donated to the bushfire relief fund will go towards ‘administration costs’.
As if the bushfire victims have not been through enough. 11 million dollars. Nothing is ever going to justify that.
About $115million has been donated to the charity to support communities across Australia which have been ravaged by bushfires.
Charity director Noel Clements has been firing back at claims the charity has been stockpiling the money to dish out during future disasters.
However, he did admit they are stashing 10 per cent of every dollar raised which will to go towards ‘administration’.
Mr Clements has clearly never heard of economies of scale. It may be fair enough to put aside 10% of donations for administration costs under normal circumstances, but this is different. Most of the costs involved in running the Red Cross are already covered by normal donations, so it is reasonable to expect that, in a disaster like this where large amounts of money have been donated, virtually all of it will actually go to disaster relief. The Red Cross does not need to go out in the field in Australia as it does in Africa. All it would need to do is transfer funds to local community groups, local volunteer organisations or even local authorities for them to distribute. The only administrative costs involved would be bank transfer fees.
‘We have teams calling people to support them with those applications, it is that essential cost.’
He said they did not expect to spend anywhere near the $10million that has been allocated.
So why put it aside then? Why withhold it from people who really need it now, just in case they might need it later? They won’t of course. Australia is not a country like Haiti that has little or no competent administration. I would have thought that distribution costs in Australia would be much less than in most places where the Red Cross operates.
I remember having an argument with a British remainer, leftie (of course) about David Milliband’s extortionate salary as the chief executive of the International Rescue Committee. His argument was that using a person with a high profile will get more donations, and so he is worth the money. This completely ignores the point, which is that people donate to the cause, not to pay David Milliband. The Milliband family are notorious British lefties, of course, and my friend even argued that Labour would not have lost the 2015 election if it had chosen the right Milliband as the leader. This is typical leftist thinking, that people who don’t vote for their favoured parties have no idea what they are voting for. I took great pleasure in pointing out that, as Labour delegates choose their own leaders, what he is saying is that they don’t know what they are voting for either.
But I digress.
The Red Cross has been processing cash grants of $10,000 and $20,000 payments for those affected by the fires.
However, only 700 grants have been approved thus far.
The Red Cross released a statement saying its bushfire relief funds will be drip fed out to ravaged communities over the next three years through ‘tailored recovery programs’.
Bega MP Andrew Constance slammed the Red Cross for leaving the money to earn interest in their bank account instead of giving it to desperate victims immediately.
‘Australians have donated now so that people get help now, not in three years,’ Mr Constance said.
The Minister for Transport and Roads offered an invitation to show higher powers the destruction the fires had on communities in his electorate in the hope funding would be fast-tracked.Daily Mail.
Insurance, and no doubt the Australian government will eventually fund the rebuild programme, but for people who have lost everything, the rebuild is some way away. In the meantime, people like me donated to the disaster to assist those affected with immediate relief. The Red Cross is acting true to form. There was never a disaster that they couldn’t make a profit from. I will never make the mistake of donating to that bunch of thieves again.