The main appeal launched by Premier Anna Bligh does not inform the public countries, States and corporates who have so far donated in excess of $30million, what those donations will be spent on. Remarkably, several governments and corporates have weighed in with hefty donations on the basis of trust . I have not ever witnessed so successful a leveraging of a disaster on a “Trust Me” basis. I cannot say that Premier Bligh will do the wrong thing, and neither can donors because she has NOT said what the funds will be used for. Research and development of a flood prevention strategy,using Labor Party hack consultants? Probably not, but if she chose to ,it would have to be acceptable. How many donors to the Victorian BushFires Appeal were a little miffed to find Funds subverted to cover the cost of an investigation?
It seems from Premier Bligh’s website that the funds will be managed by Australian Red Cross. What percentage will they retain in “management or other fees?” The donating public deserve to know. We know that Red Cross run their own “Poverty Relief Appeal” yet know of no meaningful work they do in that area. In fact, their Australian operations are increasingly a business.
In general, Give in kind, not in cash.
Exception: Rural Fire Services , State Emergency Services , St Johns Ambulance , Small local charities (not subsidiaries of larger organisations) which you know personally.
In kind donations allow you to give with a reasonable assurance that your well meaning gift will not be subverted to suit some manager or politicians ulterior agenda. If you are a business, consider what your business might do to support the people affected by this disaster.
We know Aussies and many others will be overwhelmed by gestures of goodwill directed at the victims, and there will be many, of the Queensland and NSW Floods. We ask that before donating especially to Government and mainstream Charity Appeals PLEASE CONSIDER WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE CASE OF SIMILAR APPEALS.
In the Haiti Earthquake Appeal just 12 months ago a generous worldwide public donated a whopping $US12 Billion to Appeals which they thought would support the unfortnuate people displaced by that disaster. Reports soon began surfacing of a United States Military orchestrated subversion of that Aid, under the control of its CIA front US Aid ,to suit the military industrial and political expedience of the USA. The people today live in dangerous squalid camps or crudely constructed housing which certainly will not survive a further earthquake should those unfortunate residents of Port au Prince ever experience another earthquake.
In Australia The Victorian bushfires Appeal raised $391 million. The Fund, administered by the Victorian Government’s department of Human Services has been used to fund government programs – including the Bushfire Inquiry and future bushfire mitigation strategies- Not what Public donors had in mind at all .and doled out so slowly and mean spiritedly that many whom the fund was donated to provide relief for were forced to live in totally inappropriate accommodation like leaky second hand caravans-at commercial rental rates- for extended periods. The major application of these funds by government has in place of the services which the public expect in return for the high rates of tax Australians are forced to pay. The Salvation Army. originally asked to use its existing accounts for that appeal, are said to have demanded between 25% and 30% of the gross amount as a “service fee.” Quite outrageous.
Countless organisations ,most of which maintain but a tenuous link if at all to homelessness never-the-less see fit to raise funds for themselves using the name of homeless people -very little-as little as 5% of the funds reaches the homeless communities or people in a form we asked for, or identify as useful. Meanwhile the organisations collecting funds blossom and boom.Sydney Homeless don’t know of a single fundraising Charity or NFP organisation which genuinely works to end homelessness. Most use our people as stepping stones to elevate themselves in the eyes of the media.
Fading memories of the Asian Tsunami Disaster are clouded by the same issues surrounding inappropriate use of the publics generously donated funds by many relief agencies active there.
We ask that you check in advance precisely how the funds will be spent before donating to any appeals. Broad expansive and vague lines like “It all gets spent directly on the people” are as credible and believable as Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott at election time. In this age where political doublespeak is the currency of successful election campaigns duplicitious Fundraising by Charities Parasitic NGOs and Governments are a winner for their greedy calculating directors. Be careful