By Jonathan Garton in The Conversation.
Charitable giving is big business, with many organisations handling millions in revenue. But big charities have come under fire for issues from bad accounting to actually doing more harm than good. In the first of our short series on The Problem with Big Charity, Jonathan Garton looks at the importance of trust.
Many of us regularly donate to charity in order to do good. From rare diseases to abused animals and cancer research, each year we donate around £10 billion to a diverse range of causes such as homelessness, cancer research and animal abuse. In the US, donations are as high as US$358 billion.
But trust in big charity is falling, rocked by stories from aggressive fundraising practices – blamed for the death of a 92-year-old woman – and allegations of mismanagement, to reports of huge cash surpluses and sizeable funds spent on administration. Indeed, research published by the Charities Aid Foundation in September 2015 suggested that public trust in charities had fallen significantly in the past year.
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