Charity is the act of giving to other person who is in need. People want to extend support to other people in distress through charity no matter in which part of the world is the effected group of people live. Charities are medium for us to do something to alleviate the suffering of people who are struggling in life.
There are numerous charities that advertise extensively to inspire us to give, to part with some of our hard earned money for greater good and many of us do willingly. But there have been cases where people are duped of their earning and also faith by some cheats. Every now and then RCMP releases a document warning people to verify before donating and also the threat of terrorists exploiting the charities to get funds for their activities is always there. Charities themselves have put in methods in place to safeguard their own reputation and make sure that scammers are not impersonating the reputed charities and duping general public, but there still room for improvement.
Usually after every major natural catastrophe hundreds of charities appear claiming to be the carriers of good hope but only few are real. Many charities have branches all across the global and it is hard for the donor to trace to what is actually happening to the donated dollar but most difficult to trace are the charities that operate in conflict zones and ask for monetary help from people living in countries like ours, far from the dispute and with no idea of the ground realities. Often these charities take cash donations or ask money to be wire transferred. What a donor doesn’t know for sure is whether this charity is registered and real because terrorist organizations using charities for money laundering is also a modern day scenario. CRA often warns public about charity fraud and asks them to contact them to verify if the charity is real one when in doubt.
Many years ago Angus Ried did a survey about what people think of giving in Charity, 53 % Canadians were worried they might get cheated and so avoided to give to charities, this is bad situation for the genuine organizations who are working to improve life conditions of thousands of humans living in dismal conditions.
In 2007, The Star investigated the issue of fraud under the garb of charity and reported that the federal government has consistently failed to protect the public from fraudulent and misleading charities. In its investigative report Star showed how bogus charities that prey on donors’ heartstrings are frequently licensed and allowed to carry on fundraising for many years before they are shut down, if they are shut down at all. They organize campaigns that promise they are raising money for such causes as missing, dying and abused children; local poverty; conquering AIDS in Africa; medical conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and asthma; helping the lives of animals; or saving human souls. For example, the Wish Kids Foundation said it was giving dying children their final wish, but its operators were really just trying to buy themselves an airplane. Canadians Against Child Abuse said it was trying to stop abuse, but its executive director was paying for his house, entertainment and vacations.
- Canada’s nonprofit and voluntary sector is the 2nd largest in the world; the Netherlands is the largest; the United States is the 5th
- there are an estimated 170,000 nonprofits and charities in Canada
- half of these (54%) are run entirely by volunteers
- 2 million people are employed by these organizations representing 11.1% of the economically active population
- the sector represents $106 billion or 8.1% of the GDP (larger than the automotive or manufacturing industries)
- smaller provinces have a higher number of organizations relative to their populations
- the top 1% of organizations command 60% of all revenues
data source: Imaginecanada.ca
Hence, if you are a donor then get as much information as you can before donating. End of the year is the peak season when bogus charities come to life to rip off unsuspecting donors by using name, logos and identities of reputed charities; the charity scams spike during the Tax season too. So watches out, donate but be vigilant all the times.