So many Charities – so many executives

Every time I look at television I am asked to save the world, tigers, whales, children, animals, forests and and and.

Why on earth are there according to the Government office of National Statistics 164,000 registered charities increasing by 250 every month? Who on earth permits this to happen and why?

One reason why I suspect is that ‘Charities’ pay people to run them and the highest pay goes to the executives. Take the RNLI which is apparently the most successful charity in the UK in terms of income.  Originally it was formed to rescue the crews of merchant ships when they got into difficulties. Today Merchant ships mainly use commercial or national organisations to assist as happens in most countries of the world. If you get into trouble then you call our commercial tugs, commercial rescue boats and commercial helicopters and pay for them!

Today the primary role of the RNLI is a sort of AA/RAC breakdown service for amateur sailors  backed up by the coastguard. Despite the fact that the RNLI has the same number of ‘offshore’ lifeboats as it did 20 years ago when the organisation was run with 1 executive and 3 managers it now has a staggering 32 people on salaries of £60,000 to £134,000 a year. If you take out the 16 on salaries of £60-69,999 that still leaves 16 ‘top’ management earning £70-134,000 a year. These 16 almost without exception are retired Admirals and Generals – Jobs for the Boys?

The only significant difference in work load from 1990 to today is the introduction of inshore RIBS. How can this need a further 16 retired Admirals and Generals to administer for salaries of between £70-134,000 PA?

The answer is that this very successful business for paying retired Admirals and Generals lots of dosh is the main function of the RNLI.  Why on earth shouldn’t people ‘boating’ pay a commercial organisation to ‘get them home’?

It is easy to lampoon the RNLI because it is so clearly a dodgy charity run to benefit the great and the good but what of the 164,000 other charities?  I have a lot of time for the Salvation Army, Battersea Dogs home, RSPCA but many of the others exist, I suspect, to pay good salaries to those that ‘run’ them. I would like to see every charity that begs for my money tell me what it’s executives earn and what proportion of it’s income actually goes to the front line – to people in trouble or need.