It’s not hard to pick up a paper these days and find a negative news story about charities. Here’s another one:
To quote from the Manchester Evening News:
Hospital bosses splashed more than £16,000 of charitable cash donated by patients and relatives on a lavish staff awards ceremony.
Pennine Acute and its sister charity agreed to foot half the bill for the 2015 awards due to a shortfall in sponsorship.
Figures obtained by the M.E.N. reveal more than £33,000 in total was spent on the bash in November – including a £5,500 fee for compere BBC Breakfast’s Bill Turnbull.
The cost of the staff awards is usually covered solely by external sponsors, and not taxpayers’ money.
But a shortfall in sponsorship left event organisers with a £16,615 gap in their budget.
It was then agreed by the board of the Pennine Acute Hospitals charity to use cash from charitable donations to settle the remainder of the bill.
The event, held at the Sheridan Suite in Miles Platting, cost £33,515 in total with £16,900 covered by sponsors.
A breakdown of costs show organisers spent £11,340 on a dinner for 420 members of staff, £1,575 on a drinks reception and £504 on 84 bottles of wine.
Of course, especially at this time, charities are working harder than ever to avoid giving anyone an excuse to keep kicking them, but we wonder whether the narrative for charities needs more work?
Charities are not magic boxes into which scarce resource is channelled which miraculously provides (in this case) care for those in hospital without any core costs, and where the charity can spend every penny of every pound on the service provided.
The drones and robots are on their way but, in the meantime, sick people are treated by caring professionals and we bet that once in a while those professionals, especially the nurses and hospital staff working unsociable hours for low pay, value being appreciated by those who employ them and that continuing to motivate and support those staff is a key element in ensuring that care provided to people in hospital is maintained.
We’re no accountants (lawyers like words, not numbers, although we are gradually waking up the need to be numerate) but we reckon that the extravagant cost highlighted in the article works out at a whopping £30 per head for each member of staff who attended the dinner.
Of course it’s a question of degree and there is always balance to be struck, between a focus on what a charity is there to achieve and valuing those who are needed to achieve the charity’s objectives
The article does say, if you look hard enough, that:
Trust chiefs say the awards are important way of boosting staff morale and recognising their hard work.
Maybe there should have been more context: how many readers of the article would begrudge a staff nurse earning £18,000 a year being treated on one night in the year in thanks for the work she or he does on the other 365 days and nights ?(yes, you read that right, it’s a leap year).
Our strap line is “answers, not options” but just for once, these are the options: you give us the answer!
What do YOU think?…