However, I am fed to the back teeth with "charities" that are effectively government agencies—QUANGOS, if you will—which earn their thirty pieces of silver by parroting government policy and lobbying for proposed government legislation.
As such, I have today cancelled all of my standing orders and direct debits, and sent the following letter to the charities concerned.
I have been sending a small amount of money to your charity for some time now. However, I feel unable to continue with my support, and I would like to explain why.
Over the last few years, I have taken to looking up the accounts of nearly every charity that features in the news as supporting government policy: in every case, they have either received vast sums of money from the government or their accounts are so opaque—featuring subsidiary companies and other non-accountable organisations—that I am unable to tell where their funding comes from.
It has always been my policy to avoid giving money to any charity that receives money from the state, on the grounds that:
- I am already giving (involuntarily), and
any body which takes money from the government is beholden to the government and therefore bound to advance aims with which I do not agree.
These days, it is becoming more and more difficult to tell which charities are in receipt of government funds, and I have therefore ceased to give any money to any charity the funding of which I cannot accurately trace.
However, over the last decade, the government has racked up ever more its use of the Third Sector for advancing its own aims and I find this utterly unacceptable.
These effective QUANGOs are using charitable status both to dodge tax and, more importantly, to con the public into believing that they are impartially advancing good works when they are, in fact, bound to advance and support government policy.
Furthermore, charitable giving is supposed to be voluntary: when the government steals money from me by force and then hands it to "charities", there is no voluntary element there at all.
What is to be done?
I believe that it is only when genuine charities start to kick up a fuss about this perversion of charitable status that anything might get changed.
As such, I have made it my New Year's resolution to cease all charitable giving until this situation is resolved—and also to inform my friends and family, as well as the charities involved, why I have made said decision.
I hope that you carry on your good work but that, nonetheless, my message resonates with you.
So, that is my New Year's resolution: I shall cease giving to charity but shall, at every opportunity, give said charities due notice as to why I am taking this measure.
I am aware that there is a slight irony in my insisting that charities lobby the government in order to stop lobbying groups being charities, but that's just tough: if they want my cash, then this covert (and not so covert) perversion of the concept of "charity" needs to stop.