Welcome to Fake Charities

January 3rd, 2011 by admin 47 comments »

Welcome to Fake Charities, the site that tracks just how much of your money the government is giving to “charities”—and at this time of The Big Society, Fake Charities is more relevant than ever.

We define a Fake Charity as any organisation registered as a UK charity that derives more than 10% of its income—and/or more than £1 million—from the government, while also lobbying the government. That lobbying can take the form of calling for new policies, changes to the law or increases in (their own) funding.

Some of these organisations spend a large amount of their time lobbying the state to curtail our freedoms and not all charities are upfront about the amount of money they receive from the state.

When an ‘independent’ charity takes a political stand or attempts to sway public opinion on matters of policy, we think you have a right to know whether they are being funded by the generosity of the public or by the largesse of the state. We think you have the right to know whether you’re listening to a genuine grass-roots charity or are being fed PR from an astro-turfed lobby group. This site exists to help you make up your own mind about who these campaigners are really working for.

We are just assembling some data—we need to start afresh—and then we’ll start posting! You can use this form to submit a charity for inclusion

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St Dunstan’s

February 21st, 2011 by admin No comments »
St Dunstan’s

Website: http://www.st-dunstans.org.uk
Activity: To ensure that all blind or visually impaired ex-service men and women throughout the United Kingdom who meet St Dunstan’s criteria, are given the emotional and physical support required to enable them to lead independent lives in spite of their blindness or visual impairment.
To provide for the medical or surgical treatment, re-education, training in one or more trade or trades, settlement and permanent welfare of:-
Members or former members of the armed forces both men and women blinded from whatever cause whether or not connected in any way with service in the armed forces.
etc.
Income: £22 million
Accounts: 31 Mar 2010
Registrar: Charity Commission 216227

Context

St Dunstan’s Annual Report for 2009/10, its 95th anniversary year, shows no sign at all of state funding:

Key areas that saw development were community fundraising in the Brighton area and the establishment of Blind Heroes Week. The supporter base grew by a further 61,000 as direct marketing continued to attract new supporters. Legacy income…of £10.1 million was achieved.

Details

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No state funding.

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Oxfam

February 21st, 2011 by admin 15 comments »
Oxfam

Website: http://www.oxfam.org.uk
Alias: Oxfam GB (working name)
Activity: Oxfam’s objects are to prevent and relieve poverty and protect the vulnerable anywhere in the world. Oxfam furthers its objects through interlinked activities of humanitarian relief, development work and advocacy and campaigning. Oxfam is an affiliate member of Oxfam International. Details of Oxfam’s mission and ways of working can be found at www.oxfam.org.uk
Income: £318 million
Accounts: 31 Mar 2010
Registrar: Charity Commission 202918

Context

Oxfam’s Annual Report & Accounts for 2009/10 includes the word ‘lobby’ on its front page as one of the keywords in the graphic, and campaigning is one of the three areas in the ‘What we do’ section of the report. Although Oxfam lobbies private companies in addition to governments, a quarter of its income comes from government sources. In a summary of its five aims, it says it spends 8% of its income on:

The right to be heard…raising people’s awareness of their rights and helping them lobby their government and other decision-makers.

Details

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Oxfam’s latest accounts are for the 11 months to March 31, 2010. In the reported income from government they include income from other organisations, such as other members of Oxfam International, so the total here is less than the total in their accounts. The biggest identified government sources include the Department for International Development (DFID):

  • European Union: £42.5 million
  • United Nations: £13.4 million
  • Non-UK governments: £16 million
  • UK Government (mostly DFID): £11.9 million
  • Total: £83.8 (26% of all income)
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Big Issue Foundation

February 20th, 2011 by admin No comments »
The Big Issue Foundation

Website: http://www.bigissue.org.uk
Alias: None
Activity: Our work with the big issue vendors focuses on health, finance, aspirations and accommodation. the big issue gives vendors diginity, income and purpose, the big issue foundation plans to help every vendor use that new found dignity and purpose to continue their journey away from homelessness wherever there is a need for more help.
(i) the relief of poverty with particular reference to the needs of homeless persons. (ii) the advancement of education and the promotion of training for employment with particular reference to the needs of homeless persons. (iii) the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupations in the interests of social welfare in general. (iv) the promotion of any other charitable purpose for the benefit of the public
Income: £1 million
Accounts: 31 Mar 2010
Registrar: Charity Commission 1049077

Context

This is the charity partner of The Big Issue Company, the company that produces the The Big Issue magazine sold by homeless and vulnerably housed people. The charity supports the magazine vendors directly and through a huge range of partnerships with other organisations.

Details

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The 2009/10 accounts show that this charity is 99% funded by donations and legacies. It received a lottery grant of £13,000, a little over 1% of the charity’s total income.

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ECPAT (End Child Prostitution)

February 20th, 2011 by admin 1 comment »
End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT UK)

Website: http://www.ecpat.org.uk
Alias: ECPAT UK (working name)
Activity: We are a leading children’s rights organisation working against the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the UK and on its international aspects. in particular, we focus on the protection of trafficked children and children exploited in tourism and the prevention of such crimes.
The charity’s objects (“the objects”) are to relieve those children in need as the trustees determine from time to time and to advance education in particular but not exclusively by raising awareness on the international aspects of the commercial sexual exploitation of children, to thereby protect such individuals from harm and preventing their suffering.
Income: £664,575
Accounts: 31 Mar 2010
Registrar: Charity Commission 1104948

Context

ECPAT carries out research, provides training and advocacy, campaigns, lobbies the government, and is involved with government agencies and public bodies in a variety of ways.

About half its income in 2009/10 came from The Body Shop, and it reports an important partnership with ABTA (“The Travel Association”) without disclosing the financial details. It also acknowledges the support of several other grant-making charities, particularly for its parliamentary and campaigning work.

Details

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Although ECPAT’s accounts are not as clearly set out as they could be, although it does acknowledge the support of the former Department for Children, Schools and Families (now the Department for Education), and although future European Commission funding is mentioned as a possibility, there is no evidence of state funding in the accounts that are currently available.

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Butterfly Conservation

February 20th, 2011 by admin No comments »
Butterfly Conservation

Website: http://www.butterfly-conservation.org
Alias: The British Butterfly Conservation Society Limited (old name)
Activity: The conservation of butterflies, moths and our environment
Income: £3.3 million
Accounts: 31 Mar 2010
Registrar: Charity Commission 254937

Context

Butterfly Conservation’s accounts for 2009/10 estimate that:

…volunteers contributed work worth over £9 million…

If that figure were actually in the accounts as income, then the charity’s state funding would fall just below our 10% threshold (but still be above the £1 million threshold). As it is, the charity receives more than a third of its income from the state, income that it maintains by lobbying.

Recently it declared its support for one of its state donors, the Forestry Commission, which has been widely criticised for policies that harm wildlife. The money was apparently more important.

Details

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The charity’s accounts for 2009/10 list grant income from dozens of sources including several local councils. Here are some of the larger amounts:

  • DEFRA via Natural England: £384,000
  • Lottery: £309,000
  • Landfill Communities Fund via Grantscape & SITA: £210,000
  • Scottish Natural Heritage: £123,000
  • Countryside Council for Wales: £ 119,000
  • Forestry Commission: £36,000
  • N.I. Environment Agency: £55,000
  • Total: £1.2 million (38% of all income)
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Turning Point

February 13th, 2011 by admin No comments »
Turning Point

Website: http://www.turning-point.co.uk
Alias: Turning Point Limited (old name)
Activity: We provide individuals, families and communities with integrated services for people with complex needs: drug or alcohol problems, mental health issues, a learning disability or a combination of these. we support them to keep a stable home, find the right job, learn skills or rebuild family relationships. we aim to influence policy and the market to transform the quality and availability of care.
To promote or assist in promoting the protection of health of those at risk of mental disorder,alcohol,drug or other problems leading to dependency,and the treatment,care,rehabilitation,training and education of people suffering from mental disorder,alcohol,drug or other problems leading to dependency.
Income: £69.2 million
Accounts: 31 Mar 2010
Registrar: Charity Commission 234887

Context

Turning Point’s Strategic Plan for 2007 – 2012 has the title, Transforming health and social care. Turning Point provides health and social care services in areas like learning disability, young people, substance misuse, mental health and employment, under contracts and with grants from government and the NHS.

The Strategic Plan makes the extent of Turning Point’s ambitions clear:

Turning Point intends to be a major national influence in the health and social care sector.

and:

We will use our position as an influencer of local and national policy to ensure that services are delivered how and where they are needed most.

In December 2010, for example, it announced a project funded by the Department of Health:

The first of its kind in the UK, the Community Leadership Network aims to help local people develop the skills and confidence to bring about the change necessary to drive community-led services.

Details

[chart percent=77]

Turning Point’s accounts are difficult to analyse. The Charity Commission’s figure for the total group income in 2009/10 appears nowhere in the actual accounts, though the discrepancy is not large. However, the last available Annual Report, for 2008/9, conveniently provides these percentages:

  • Health authority grants/contracts 28.8% (£19.5 million)
  • Local authority grants/contracts 47.2% (£31.9 million)
  • Central Government 0.7% (£474,000)
  • Total: 76.7% (£51.9 million of £67,664,000 income)
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Islamic Relief

February 13th, 2011 by admin 1 comment »
Islamic Relief Worldwide

Website: http://www.islamic-relief.com
Alias: Islamic Relief (old name)
Activity: 1. responding to emergencies
2. caring for orphans and children in need
3. supporting education
4. providing access to health care and water
5. promoting sustainable livelihood
6. campaigning and advocacy on humanitrian issues
The relief of poverty in any part of the world.
Income: £58.1 million
Accounts: 31 Dec 2009
Registrar: Charity Commission 328158

Context

Islamic Relief works with vulnerable communities around the world, responding to emergencies and supporting development, inspired by Islamic humanitarian values. However it also campaigns and lobbies on issues such as debt and climate change. According to its 2009 Annual report:

We have increased our work with other international NGOs, speaking out against poverty and raising awareness about the issues facing those with whom we work. We do this by developing policies, awareness-raising, researching, lobbying and campaigning.

Details

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The charity’s annual report for 2009 lists grant income from the following government sources. It has income from many other sources, some of which might also have an element of government funding.

  • Department for International Development: £1.6 million
  • European Commission: £2.6 million
  • Scottish Government: £75,000
  • United Nations: £2.5 million
  • Total: £6.8 million (12% of all income)
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CAFOD

February 11th, 2011 by admin 1 comment »
Catholic Agency for Overseas Development

Website: http://www.cafod.org.uk
Alias: Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (old name)
CAFOD (working name)
Activity: CAFOD works in partnership with communities in the global south to reduce poverty and bring about sustainable change through development and humanitarian programmes; in England & Wales, it works in formal & informal eductation to increase understanding of the causes of poverty; it also campaigns for social justice & an end to global poverty.
(1) the relief of poverty throughout the world. (2) the advancement of education throughout the world. (3) the advancement of Christian religion throughout the world. (4) the relief and prevention of sickness disease and physical or mental disability throughout the world. (5) such other charitable purposes anywhere in the world as are for the benefit of the united kingdom community.
Income: £49.1 million
Accounts: 31 Mar 2010
Registrar: Charity Commission 285776

Context

In addition to its work with the world’s poor, CAFOD is a campaigning organisation with substantial state funding, whose 2010 Annual Report boasts:

A core part of our mission is to challenge those with power to adopt policies and behaviour…

The targets that it set itself to achieve by 2011 included:

  • …20,000 campaign actions to have been taken…
  • …a network of 500 CAFOD campaign supporters who are regularly lobbying MPs in over half the constituencies in England and Wales…
  • …a lead agency with Stop Climate Chaos in delivering the largest lobby of parliament [sic] in history.

Details

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In 2009/10, although CAFOD received £4.2 million (less than 9% of its income) from various Catholic agencies, it received more than twice that amount from governments, the largest state contributor being the Department for International Development (DFID).

  • DFID: £7.4 million
  • European Union: £1.6 million
  • Isle of Man & Jersey governments: £212,000
  • United Nations: £198,000
  • Lottery: £154,000
  • Total: £9.5 million state funding (19% of all income)
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Royal National Lifeboat Institution

February 8th, 2011 by admin 6 comments »
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Website: http://www.rnli.org.uk
Alias: Royal National Life-boat Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck (old name)
Royal National Lifeboat Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck (old name)
Lifeboats (working name)
RNLI (working name)
Activity: The objects of the institution shall be, first, to save lives, promote safety and provide relief from disaster at sea and, secondly, to save lives, promote safety and provide relief from disaster on inland waters (“the objects”).
Without prejudice to the generality of the objects, the work of the institution shall be primarily carried out in and around the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland.
Income: £167.9 million
Accounts: 31 Dec 2009
Registrar: Charity Commission 209603 and Scottish Charity Regulator SC037736

Context

This huge charity relies on voluntary donations, and you won’t find campaigning or lobbying in the “What we do” section of its website:

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. We provide a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the coasts of the UK and RoI, as well as a seasonal lifeguard service on many of the busiest beaches in England and Wales. The RNLI also works to promote sea and beach safety.

Details

[chart percent=0]

RNLI’s accounts for 2008/9 include its three subsidiaries. Just over half of the group’s income (56%) came from legacies, nearly a third (31%) from fundraising, and the rest from trading and investments.

  • Total state funding: zero.
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Global Action Plan U K

February 7th, 2011 by admin 3 comments »
Global Action Plan U K

Website: http://www.globalactionplan.org.uk
Alias: Global Action Plan
Activity: Global Action Plan delivers tangible environmental, social and financial improvements by working practically and creatively with hundreds of thousands of people from all sections of society. in homes, the workplace, schools and the wider community we help to make the small changes that have a big impact on the things that matter.
To promote the protection and improvement of the natural environment by increasing public knowledge and understanding of human behaviour which is not harmful to man and other living species and to planetary ecology
Income: £3,308,060
Accounts: 31 Mar 2010
Registrar: Charity Commission 1026148

Context

According to Global Action Plan’s website, its Chief Executive, Trewin Restorick is:

…one of just 150 people in the UK & 2,500 worldwide to have been trained by Al Gore to act as one of his climate Ambassadors.

He makes regular political pronouncements, announcing them on his blog. Some examples:

Trewin discusses how the government should support a transition from high fossil fuel dependency…

Trewin discusses his Radio 4 interview, the reality of Big Society…

Trewin on the critical state of the world’s population…

Details

[chart percent=34.3]

A large amount of this charity’s activity is funded by the state. Its 2009/10 accounts include:

  • DEFRA: £481,852
  • Local Government: £222,558
  • London Development Agency: £189,224
  • London Councils: £114,214
  • Lottery (some via NESTA): £72,496
  • British Council: £ 55,562
  • Total: £1,135,906 (34.3% of income)
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