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Confused [userpic]

January 24th, 2009 (08:04 pm)

If you're anything like me, you've been following the Israeli invasion of Gaza over the past couple of months with a mixture of horror and frustration. Regardless of whether you consider the military action justified - and I'm biting my tongue to curb any inflammatory language which could be levelled at either party in this conflict - the bottom line is that innocent people died in their droves during fighting in one of the densest population centres in the world - and the suffering is ongoing. If you're anything like me at all, you'll have asked yourself "What can I do?" at some point over the last few weeks.

Really. Do this.

The BBC is refusing to air the appeal from the DEC on grounds of impartiality, so this is my attempt at an impartial, non-partisan appeal. It's probably not hard (even from this post alone) to tell what side I come down on, but please don't let that put you off. Innocent people are suffering. This is what you can do to help.

Finally, if you feel strongly that the BBC is wrong not to air this appeal - and I'm not as convinced of that as I am that donating is the right thing to do - please go here and make your views known.


Posted by: ocean_depths (ocean_depths)
Posted at: January 29th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)

Thanks Dave - how much of the online donation goes to the charity I wonder? Most sites taking online donations steal a %...

Posted by: Confused (confuseddave)
Posted at: January 29th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
Purple Gloves

At least 95% of it is passed on to the appropriate charities, of which a minimum of 93% must be used for relief work (as opposed to administration); so they effectively guarantee a minimum of 87.4% of your donation will go to the right place. Personally, I think that's a pretty good balance, and I'm happy to let that five-percent-or-less support the organisation.

Consider that when student charity groups (i.e. Rag) organise a "raid" on another city, at least at third of that will go on travel costs and organisation (although to be fair, they are more about publicity than raising money).

Posted by: ocean_depths (ocean_depths)
Posted at: January 29th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)

Aaaah, reading it again makes sense. 95% minimum to agencies, 7% of what's left on organisation. Got it. 5% is annoying. It would keep people alive for an extra day.

Posted by: Confused (confuseddave)
Posted at: January 30th, 2009 09:42 am (UTC)
Orange Bunny

5% is annoying. It would keep people alive for an extra day.

And getting rid of that 5% would mean no central advocacy group for UK charity appeals, which imho would probably lead to an overall drop in donations (or at least, a drop in the donations going to where the donor intended). I'm curious, what number do you think would be appropriate for appeals to take for organisation purposes, to support their staff and provide resources for campaigning and fundraising? Imagining that charities could run on zero monies (including advertising, rent for their headquarters, and administration to make sure that the donation is spent properly as well as salaries) is frankly laughable.

It'd be nice if 100% of your donation went straight to where it was necessary without all that tedious worrying about which charity was best placed to offer support in a given area, who had the best systems to make sure aid gets where it's going and isn't sequestered by the military/Hamas/al-qaeda/whoever, but frankly it's not going to happen.

If that 5% really bugs you that much, here's a list of the charities the money goes to support. Pick the one you think is most appropriate based on all the information you have and donate direct to them. I haven't checked whether they make assurances that less than 7% of your donation will go to running the charity (although they probably do), or whether a proportion might get subsumed into other projects - so it's possible that in doing that means even less of your money will get where you intend it to go.

Personally I think that 5% could well be money better spent strengthening the charities network than the money that gets through to provide immediate (but ultimately transient) support on the ground. Give a man a fish, etc.

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