Hi. I’m Molly, I’m 24 and I’m a zero giver.
According to a new report from the Charities Aid Foundation a minority of just nine per cent of people are responsible for the vast majority of time and money donated to charities. More shockingly, they say, one in four give little or no contribution. That would be me.
I realise this will make me as popular as Jeremy Clarkson at a UNISON meeting. Most readers will have written me off as a tight-fisted, selfish git and already have the tip of their index finger poised on the corner of the page, ready to turn.
First, hear me out. It’s not the concept of charity I have trouble with, it’s just the word seems to have lost a lot of its meaning.
These days it is big business. In the UK alone there are thousands of charities and not-for-profit organisations, all of which compete for our copper in a capitalist market.
And more and more of these seem to be picking up the slack for public services which are failing in their core functions.
Take the NSPCC, for example. Why should a national charity exist to protect children? I pay tax, which contributeS to social services, the education system and police – authorities whose job it is to do this. If they don’t, I want the well-paid people at the top of them to find out why, rectify it and for those responsible to be held to account.
Ray from Rochdale shouldn’t have to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End so kids in this country have half a chance of an abuse-free upbringing.
Still not convinced I’m not a heartless she-devil? Consider this. For higher pay and better hours in a job which matched my skillset, press officer for the likes of Cancer Research UK or British Heart Foundation would be the first port of call.
Charities will always say that such roles are justifiable because the amount they generate exceeds their salary. Is that true of the executive directors who are paid six-figure sums for turning up to board meetings four times a year?
And folk seem to be able to get away with anything in the name of ‘charidee’. You can wield an axe in Sainsbury’s but it’s alright if you once did a 5k fun run for a hospice.
Perhaps we’d have been a bit more suspicious of that weird old man in a shellsuit who hung around kids’ hospitals and care homes – Sir Jim, I think they called him – if we didn’t take a rose-tinted view of anyone who has ever raised a bit of money for a cause.
Just Giving? Just give in, I say.