Posts Tagged ‘Crediblity’

Fact or Fiction – Fake News

As a reader of this blog you probably subscribe to the proverbial view ‘Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear’. Well there is one charity, with cross political party members of the House of Lords as trustees, who seek to call fiction and fake news to account.
Registered charity no. 1158683 Full Fact seeks to improve the integrity of ‘facts’ quoted by others including politicians and the media.

‘It’s easy to trumpet the facts you care about, far harder to support the ones you don’t.’

Fact checks alone are not enough to halt the spread of misinformation but accurate and balanced information will help.  The charity says ‘It is also necessary to push for corrections where necessary, and work with government departments and research institutions to improve the quality and communication of information at source’.

Like Caesar Wife

  • Full Fact seeks to be beyond reproach and does not employ outside external  fundraisers or employ the kinds of fundraising tactics that give rise to recent public concern.
  • They had no recorded fundraising complaints in 2017.
  • The approach is that donors are a crucial part of the extended Full Fact team and deserve to be treated with respect.
  • They solicit donations from the public on the website and other online channels but are also supported by other charitable trusts. Funders giving more than £5,000 should be listed on the website.

Aspirations for 2019

  • Clear well presented facts reflecting both sides of an argument should be checked and treated with integrity.
  • Admission of any vested interest by public figures and the media.
  • Improved political debate followed by rapid and appropriate action.

Clothing Charity Stitch Up

CAPITB Trust 1000290 succeeded  the Clothing and Allied Products Industry Training Board as a perpetual trust or for as long as the industry has a requirement. (Or as long as the money lasts?) The chairman reports he is ‘pleased with the increase in the distribution of grants paid out in 2016. In total, the amount granted was £50,100 versus £42,000 the prior year.’ (No big deal)
The charity has over £3m in unrestricted funds but two non-charitable subsidiaries each made trading losses totaling over £100,000 in 2016 and further investment losses contributed to a reduction in reserves of in excess of quarter of a million pounds.
The Clothing and Allied Products Industry Training Board had its roots in West Yorkshire. Alongside many notable businesses in the industry they were part of the then ‘Northern Powerhouse’. This is shown by the location of the professional advisers and former bankers Yorkshire. It is hard to detect  this trust is going to help make these industries great again.

Principal activity

Charity -The promotion of education and training for the public benefit of those employed or intended to be employed in the British apparel industry.
CAPITB Limited – Provision of training and technical consultancy services
RTITB Limited – Property rental

Suggested activity

Sell the consultancy business, sell the property, eliminate the pension and staff millstones, improve investment management and become a small grant giving charity without all the baggage.

Web Fundraising a Scammers Paradise

It may be part of human nature for tragedy to stimulate a charity gene that provides an outpouring of cash and emotion. Tragedy is  the backbone of funding to help with international disasters and top up the coffers of DEC. Big charities hopefully ensure their web funding, logistics and ethics are legal, decent and honest. That may not always be so on smaller one off appeals by amateurs often using fundraising platforms, email and social media, (modern day tin collecting.)

In the face of recent concerns the charity regulators are meeting with fundraising platforms to impose new guidelines.

Campaign Updates for Man made Disasters

  • The We Love Manchester Fund managed through the Red Cross has reached over £4 million, thanks to generous donations the majority of which was via web sites. Each of the 22 bereaved families will receive £250,000.
  • Grenfell Tower as a search term on Just Giving has 3 appeals linked to registered charities. But not all are for registered charities, Just Giving, had to take over control of an account spuriously raising cash for  Westminster terror attack victim.
  • The British Red Cross, K&C Foundation and the London Community Foundation have come together to make money available immediately through the London Emergencies Trust, a charity set up following the Westminster Bridge attack this year to support the victims of emergencies. There are reports of false claims by individuals seeking to gain from the tragedy.
  • In Las Vegas, ‘Zappos for Good’ is matching donations made on the CrowdRise donation page, up to $1 million, to help support victims and their families of the recent shooting massacre.
  • The Mirror and other national newspapers report: a page to raise £1.5million to prosecute missing Madeleine McCann’s parents was taken down amid fraud claims; ‘scammers’ had hijacked a web fundraising campaign to send a little girl with leukemia on a dream trip to Disneyland;  Another case saw a dance teacher convicted for inventing a story about a nine-year-old “pupil” who was dying from cancer and asked for donations to pay for a dream trip to Disneyland; Kids’ football coach Darren Head, 39, got a 14-week suspended jail term in 2015 for stealing about £4,500 he raised on Just Giving .

Comment

  • Caveat emptor or buyer beware was a commercial mantra until it was overtaken in the UK with a compensation culture,  miss-selling rules and entitlement beliefs. Some of those who have donated to fraudulent sites are hoping to get the money refunded. Do not hold your breath.
  • Encourage and assist the Charity Commission to keep up their scrutiny and integrity work.
  • Beware Band Waggon Jumpers and make your own assessments of relative need and marginal operators before parting with cash or support in kind.

Trumps Double Bogie

Is fake news, like my golf handicap,  the result of being a bit of a bandit. Lets tee off with a double bogie and two Trump foundations that could be an albatross for many  Americans . Talk about flying like an eagle even if the foundations are turkeys.  There is no fairway to putt a slice of this story into context so there may be a hole in one line or another. (too much Ed.)

Did the Trump charitable foundation pay the Trump golfing business $100,000+ for charitable golf tournaments despite promising they would be free?  The jury is still out on that one – like other Trump matters. But the ‘hook’ from Forbes magazine provides more insight:

Did the Eric Trump Foundation donate to other charities & organisations so they could run and pay for golf events at Trump golf part of the Trump Organisation . Mmmm an interesting use of donated even if not used for golf with funds where donors were told their money was going to help sick kids, but more than $500,000 was re-donated to other charities’.

All of this seems to defy federal tax rules and state laws that ban self-dealing and misleading donors. It also raises larger questions about the Trump family dynamics and whether Eric and his brother, Don Jr., can be truly independent of their father.

At first the extra bills did not cost the Eric Trump Foundation anything. Shortly before the spike in costs, the Donald J. Trump Foundation donated $100,000 to the Eric Trump Foundation–a gift explicitly made, according to Gillule, to offset the increased budget. Thus, the Eric Trump donors were still seeing their money go to work for kids along the same lines as previous years.

The Eric Trump Foundation declined to comment on that donation. In effect, though, this maneuver would appear to have more in common with a drug cartel’s money-laundering operation than a charity’s best-practices textbook. That $100,000 in outside donations to the Donald J. Trump Foundation (remember: Trump himself didn’t give to his own foundation at this time) passed through the Eric Trump Foundation–and wound up in the coffers of Donald Trump’s private businesses.

It’s hard to imagine how the early incarnation of the golf tournament–big hauls, understandable costs–would have any problem continuing to spew out millions for years to come. Last year, the Eric Trump Foundation donated $2.9 million, according to St. Jude.

But in December, Eric Trump said he would stop fundraising. Running an event with an increasing commingling of business and philanthropy created the kind of conflict-of-interest (not to mention image) concerns that similarly plagued Ivanka Trump’s aborted attempt to auction off a coffee date on behalf of Eric’s foundation.

More recently, the foundation has rebranded itself as Curetivity. A spokeswoman for the organization said it would continue hosting golf tournaments to raise money for St. Jude. A Curetivity event was held this past May outside Washington, D.C., with Eric Trump in attendance, at the Trump National course.

IN ORDER TO understand the Eric Trump Foundation, you need to understand the Donald J. Trump Foundation. The president was never known for giving his foundation much money, and from 2009 to 2014, he didn’t give it anything at all. Outsiders still donated, though, allowing Trump to dole out their money to a smattering of more than 200 charities as if it were his own, with many of the donations helping his business interests.

Eric Trump Foundation now known as Curetivity is still  under investigation by the state attorney general’s office according to The Hill   part of the News Communications Inc founded by  the Unification Church  and leader, Sun Myung Moon.