They should show where money goes
Thursday 10th January 2013, 3:30PM GMT.
PUBLICATION of the annual accounts of the Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals indicated that it made a loss in 2011 of around £45,000 and that its biggest single item of expenditure was on wages and States insurance.
In some respects, that is hardly surprising. The society cannot provide a 24/7 service without staff and it is precisely because it provides quality care that islanders spent nearly £300,000 the same year boarding their animals and others made voluntary donations of £231,428.
Since the society has assets totalling more than £2m., one year’s loss is of little concern as long as steps are taken to prevent it happening again.
The wider point, however, is that the society has published a financial statement so that supporters and others can see where the money is going and what use is being made of it. The GSPCA sets a benchmark in transparency and one that all other charities should adopt.
Islanders give millions of pounds a year to good causes and readily available annual financial statements ought to be the norm for any charity taking public funds and, indeed, the constitution of the Association of Guernsey Charities sets out such duties for its own treasurer to follow.
This is more than unnecessary bureaucracy. Many of the charities locally are single issue or niche and can be closely associated with individuals devoted to the causes they support.
That’s perfectly acceptable and, being Guernsey, those making donations will be familiar with the individual and what they represent.
However, some have benefactors who separately cover expenses and other costs so every £ raised goes to the cause while others are not so fortunate.
Knowing what – if any – part of a donation goes on administration is a vital piece of information and some charities in the UK have been criticised for using aggressive collectors who take the bulk of whatever is given and pass on only a percentage of any donation.
Guernsey is a generous community and the GSPCA has shown how any charitable supporter should be entitled to an annual update on what their money has been used for.
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