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How can a charity rebuild trust?

hello everyone, there is a big debate about how much money we all donate actually goes to the actual cause a charity is involved in. Now it is a clear fact a charity must spend a certain amount on activities in order to raise funds. However not many charities are transparent enough, it is like they do not want to be honest fully in the open. However many charities do state in their annual reports (right at the bottom of the dozens of pages) how much is spent under the heading "cost of generating funds". Now honestly how many people actually would take the time to go through an annual report, i assume not that many.

I've always wondered how cancer research in the UK has been so popular, now i have great respect for the amazing work they do, but they always have TV ads (which is pretty expensive), now i wonder where does that money come from? (surely from the donations we give?), yet many do not question how they are able to do this, or is there any outrage in terms of anyone saying the amount of money spent on tv ads could have been used for research into treatment instead.

however other charities which are smaller such as sight charities or charities dealing with disabilities struggle a lot in terms of building trust and improving the amount of donations they get yearly.

What kind of PR campaigns could these smaller charities do in order to rebuild trust and improve the level of donations given and how is it that bigger charities are able to spend thousands on ads yet no one questions the money spent on those ads.

my apologies for the explanation being so long, any answers would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance.

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    Feb 17 2013: If small charities were to participate in a clearing house, then they could all advertise that clearing house rating. Such an idea is charitynatigator.org.

    That's not fool proof,but it helps. AND I have to check it every year because charities may suddenly change their focus and MO.

    A couple of years ago, I was preparing to make a donation to a charity. I started looking at how it spent its money. It fed money to other charities in its network, who fed part of the money back to it and other charities who sent money in both directions to other charities - each step of the way giving some of the money away for their intended purposes. Each charity had a well-paid director as well as staff. There were also volunteers, but they seemed to be a cover for all the money flowing to "overhead". I was quite horrified. That's how I found charitynavigator.org.

    It's hard to find a charity that gives 95% or better of its dollars to the intended purpose (rent, electricity, water, computers, etc do have a cost attached), but if you ask around and keep looking, you can find one that supports what you believe in and, as the numbers show. It's my opinion that if charities don't meet this mark, then they're not a charity. They're an employment scheme.

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