TheOpinionSite.org can reveal that so far this year, 235 grants from the National Lottery have been made to charities dealing with public protection and sexual abuse to a total value of £21,307,631. Individual grants range from as little as £3,000 to several million, the larger grants sometimes being split between different sections of the same organisation, thus hiding the total amount awarded.
Although many are small organisations, others such as Childline, Kidscape and other well know charities are expensively housed in London and have corporate management structures which cost a fortune and drain public contributions to pay for staff with relatively little being left for the children that they purport to protect.
The NSPCC alone has received nearly £4 million from lottery funds despite the fact that is already receives government grants, bequests, celebrity donations and millions given to it by an unsuspecting public that thinks that all the money goes to children whereas in reality, the majority goes to pay for inflated salaries and the lavish expenditure of the organisation.
The total amount given from the National Lottery Good Causes fund has been split between different organisations that are part of or affiliated to the NSPCC. This way, the total amount is hidden from public view unless someone takes the trouble to go through all the available data.
This is all very worrying and there are further anomalies. Furthermore, one has to ask why it is that the NSPCC admits to having Statutory Duties which effectively make it part of the government yet, contrary to any other branch of government, it is entitled to tout for donations from the public and has charitable status.
One should not concentrate solely on one organisation however as there are many others who are part of what is seen by many to be a “gravy train”.
TheOpinionSite.org had considerable difficulty trying to find the information database which tables the lottery grants given to organisations. We asked the National Lottery for a list of charities connected with child protection and sexual abuse and for the amount given to them. They told us it was nothing to do with them.
We were then passed to the offices of the National Lottery Good Causes who also told us that the grants were nothing to do with them.
It was very clear that no one really wanted to answer our question but in the end – and only after we suggested that we would have to publish the fact that nobody wanted to release the figures – we ended up at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, having been given the run-around by everyone else.
No wonder others have given up trying to find out where the money really goes.
The UK National lottery only gives 50% of players’ money in prizes, the lowest in Europe. 12% goes to the government, ticket sellers get 6%, 4% goes on running costs and a massive 28% goes to good causes.
TheOpinionSite.org org is not concerned with the fact that so much goes to good causes; it is the individual amounts that concern us and the fact that massive charitable status organisations like the NSPCC have become a bottomless pit into which millions of lottery players unknowingly throw millions of pounds every year.
We are therefore happy to publish the obscure link for the database and readers can check the grants for themselves by going to: http://www.lottery.culture.gov.uk/AdvancedSearch.aspx but before they do so, readers should also consider some important points:
The child protection industry in the UK is huge and the largest in the world relative to population with some 2,000,000 people being involved in some way or another. There are also hundreds of other, small organisations dealing with what are termed “survivors” of sexual abuse.
Whilst most of the smaller organisations were started by individuals following up on their own experiences or those of their families and with perfectly respectable ideals, many have grown and now employ people at some considerable cost and must therefore make a profit.
The result is that much of the money donated goes towards paying for the charity itself and only ever-diminishing amounts go towards those who most need help. Some organisations such as the NSPCC, Childline, Barnados, Kidscape and others, have become huge money machines with chief executives being paid as much as £200,000 per year and have a whole corporate management structure that costs a fortune to maintain.
As a result, very little is left for those that the public believes will be the recipients of their donations.
For example, take a look at the NSPCC Annual Report for 2011 and you will see pictures of happy children and accounts of success. Look past that facade though and go into the guts of the report and you will see where the money goes in the figures that are displayed. (The report is available at: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-we-do/about-the-nspcc/annual-report/annual-report-2011/annual-review-2010_wdf84903.pdf)
Don’t be fooled either by words like “Education” which can also include such activities as research carried out on behalf of the governments, inquiries into cases, treatment of sex offenders and so on.
TheOpinionSite.org is not for one moment suggesting that charities dealing with emotive issues should not receive lottery grants; nor are we suggesting that valuable organisations that do a good job should not be supported.
What we are suggesting however is that much greater scrutiny should be exercised over how much is given to which charity or group, particularly when it comes to those that operate in fields which cause the public and politicians to be afraid to question or argue with the amounts being given.
Nobody in the UK will ever argue against anything to do with dealing with child protection, rape, abuse of women or sexual abuse. Whilst this is perfectly understandable, the reasons sometime include a measure of fear; fear of criticism for daring to speak out.
As a result, some child abuse and rape charities have become little more than a licence to print money for those that run them and work within them. Whilst MPs make political capital from the suffering of others, those in the protection industry and in the charitable organisations that support them are making capital of a different kind – money.
To be fair, it is not the National Lottery that allocates the grants; that is done by the government (DCMS) and money is now going to the NHS, community projects and other causes that really should be paid for out of the public purse but which could be justified as being worthy of a lottery grant.
Successive governments have hidden behind lottery grants for years and have avoided increasing taxes by taking money from the good causes fund to pay for facilities that should be paid for by government.
What one has to remember though is that everyone in the chain gets paid, whether they work for the government, the charities or the public protection authorities – and they are all interlinked.
The scope for fraud or dishonesty is very broad indeed and any wrong doing would be immediately hidden from public view.
TheOpinionSite.org believes that organisations such as the NSPCC should not have Statutory Duties, should not work on behalf of government and should not receive massive grants from the National Lottery.
We believe that charitable organisations working on behalf of children, working with those who have been abused or working on behalf of people who are vulnerable need to be seen as beyond reproach, lean and efficient.
We do not believe that charities should have a top-heavy, corporate management structure and expensive offices; nor should they use public guilt to support a leech-like mentality when it comes to sucking money out of the pockets of hard-working taxpayers.
Some years ago, OXFAM was heavily criticised for the way it operated but eventually put its house in order. The result was that giving by the public went up.
We suggest that all charities working in the field of public protection, children, sexual abuse and the protection of vulnerable individuals should also be purged.
Purged of those who see their organisation as a way of making a very comfortable living; purged of those who feed their own egos and place themselves above others and purged of those who would create empires and fiefdoms by using guilt to extract money from a gullible public and then, in some cases, using that money to do work that should rightly be done by government.
(Discuss this further in our Forum)