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Over the past two decades, the number of charity organizations has increased rapidly especially charities focused on offering aid to needy people in poor countries. This trend has raised many issues because not all charities are honest and transparent regarding their operations (Drucker 54). Some of them conduct many activities that have hidden political, economic, and personal interests.
The situation has become worse because governments are not showing interest in vetting these charities. Many people use charities to get rich or avoid paying taxes by pretending that the money is for relief purposes in developing countries (Drucker 54). In developed countries, people give millions of dollars in donations. However, it is unclear where that money goes because poverty, ignorance, and diseases are still issues that are affecting the lives of people in developing countries.
Charity is a trillion-dollar industry that benefits form people’s willingness to help the disadvantaged especially in poor countries (Drucker 54). Even in harsh financial times, people still give their money away to charitable causes. Charity is a noble idea that is responsible for improving the lives of many people in developing countries by eradicating diseases, supporting infrastructure, promoting agriculture, fighting poverty, and lowering levels of ignorance. However, certain realities about charities discourage people from offering their help to needy countries. In that regard, it is important for people to scrutinize charities before giving their donations.
Examples of charities that have used their non-profit status to get tax breaks and enrich their executives and board members include American Association of State Troopers, Cancer Fund of America, Children’s Wish Foundation International, Breast Cancer Relief Foundation, Firefighter’s Charitable Foundation, and Children’s Cancer Fund of America (Hundley and Taggart par. 5).
Others include Project Cure in Brandenton, Florida, Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation, National Veterans Service Fund, and Kid’s Wish Network. Some of these organizations have embezzled millions of dollars that were meant to be used for financial aid. For example, The American Association of State Troopers has been fined five times and embezzled more than $41 million that they collected between 2004 and 2011 (Theodoros par.7).
Many charity organizations have adopted cancer awareness as their area of focus. However, some have used it as an avenue to create wealth for individuals (McWhirter par. 1). For example, the Cancer Fund of America collects millions of dollars to fight against cancer. However, it does not use the money to fund cancer research or pay for the treatment of cancer victims. One of the most corrupt charities is Kids Wish Network. It raises a lot of money every year to help needy children but only a small percentage of that money is spent toward that end. The largest portion is used to enrich the organization’s operators and certain companies that take part in their donation drives. For example, more than $110 million in donations has been embezzled through payments to companies affiliated with the charity.
Operators of these charity organizations use dubious means to get financial support from donors. For example, they lie about how they spend their money by manipulating their financial statements to reflect their claims (Drucker 64). Others take multiple salaries, pay themselves and their friends for consulting services, and channeled money back to their accounts by arranging fund-raising contracts with companies they are affiliated with. These charities are good at hiding the fact that only a little amount of donated money reaches the poor.
They collude with auditors and accountants to inflate the costs of products given to needy people. Many charities will continue to use their organizations for other purposes other than offering aid to the needy because people do not conduct investigations to determine whether their charities are trustworthy (Caldwell par. 5). Many Americans donate money because they are compassionate, kind, and generous. However, their compassion a generosity are tainted by charities that use the money to pursue selfish interests that do not involve helping needy people in developing countries.
Payment of taxes is mandatory in all countries because governments need money to improve the lives of its citizens by funding medical, educational, and environmental conservation programs. However, certain rich people avoid paying taxes by giving lots of money to charities in the form of donations. Instead of giving huge amounts of money to governments, they donate it to charities because they know they will get it back. Their donations are not acts of charity but mean to evade paying taxes. Charities are also used by many people and organizations for political gains.
The main reason why some people donate to charities is so that they can win the love and affection of certain communities. For example, alcohol firms have been accused of funding charities so that they can gain influence inside the government to push their agenda (Campbell par. 2). These firms usually fund charities that work with people addicted to alcohol. Several charities have taken money from drinks companies to fund their activities. Charities take the money even though their main objective is to address the problem of alcohol abuse and addiction (Campbell par. 2). Politicians have also been accused of donating money to charities so that they can gain the support of communities that they help. In such cases, donations are not for humanitarian aid but for personal gain. Charities take these donations unmindful of the real intentions of donors.
The numerous cases of embezzlement and corruption associated with charities have created a culture of distrust that stops many people from giving their donations. The majority of people who operate charities are not to be trusted because several studies have shown that they use their organizations to enrich themselves and their friends. This distrust in charities has affected many needy people in developing countries because they do not get adequate financial aid to improve the quality of their lives.
The use of charities for political, economic, and social issues is a common phenomenon in many countries. Countries and individuals are use charities to evade paying taxes and enrich themselves and their friends. For example, many American charities have been flagged for engaging in corrupt activities. In developing countries, people are suffering because the money donated to help them fight diseases, ignorance, and poverty is used by the proprietors of charities to enrich themselves.
The government should be responsible for all institutions and charities by ensuring that they engage in legal and ethical activities. In addition, the government should fine punish charities that embezzle money donated to help the needy. That way, all the money donated by good wishers will be used to offer financial aid to needy people in Africa, Asia, and other areas of the world where diseases, poverty, and ignorance are prevalent.
Caldwell, Lucy. Corrupt Charities. 2006.
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Campbell, Dennis. Alcohol Firms Funding Charities in Order to Gain Political Influence, Claims Study. 2014.
Drucker, Peter. Managing the Non-Profit Organization. New York, Routledge, 2012. Print.
Hundley, Kris, and Kendall Taggart. Above the law: America’s Worst Charities. 2013.
McWhirter, Cameron. Cancer Charities Called $187 Million “Sham.” 2015.
Theodoros, Samuel. 10 Non-Profit Organizations that are Secretly Corrupt. 2016.