This interview by Ray Hadley with neurosurgeon Charlie Teo highlights the problems associated with the fundraising activities of a range of charities.
The money that is gobbled up extends way beyond the administration costs of the fundraising collection company.
You may recall the VFFA publishing a series of posts titled Was the attack on the fundraising activities of the RFSA justified?
Good News from Ray Hadley…. The ACCC is announcing, Charities risk stiff fines if they outsource their fundraising to companies that hound potential donors.
Charities have become big business. Mr Hadley suggests that you donate directly to your local brigade.
The RFSA telemarketing scandal has damaged the reputation of the RFSA as seen in this newspaper editorial.
We are still waiting to find out how much was spent on the RFSA birthday celebrations at Penrith Panthers using money donated by the public.
Graham French and Barry Mac (formerly the morning show team at South Coast Radio 2ST) are moving back to Community Radio.
The show starts on Thur, 12th Jan at 9:00am on Community Radio Triple U FM.
Don’t miss this first program with the VFFA President, Mick Holton talking about four key areas of VFFA focus:
1. Bullying and Harassment
2. Let’s put the RURAL back into the Rural Fire Service
3. Funding Arrangements
4. Common sense approaches towards firefighting and land management
The Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) will not disclose how much their 20th Anniversary celebrations cost and where the money came from.
Did attendees make a contribution?
Did Panthers do the RFSA a special deal?
Were special guests looked after in the, now famous RFSA “Gala” style?
Were there any special guests flown in and at what cost?
Was it all paid for using RFSA funds that were generated from generous public donations and raffle ticket sales?
How many new style firefighting helmets, radios or other much sought after items could this event (and others like it) have funded?
Perhaps those who have made donations and purchased raffle tickets will think twice before doing so again unless the RFSA provides a great deal more transparency.
Rural communities are not impressed. The VFFA campaign to put the RURAL back into the Rural Fire Service will continue…. the next state election will be interesting.
It was brought to our attention that the NSW RFS has a web page titled “Support your local brigade” where you can make a donation directly to your local brigade.
The NSW RFS and Westpac needs to be congratulated on providing this method of fundraising.
We are not letting the RFSA off the hook, they need to spend more on brigades, come clean on their expenditure and improve transparency if they expect to retain public support.
Radio coverage on this issue
This part of our series includes two podcasts from the Ray Hadley Morning Show.
Podcast 1. Ray Hadley talks to Mick Holton about the newspaper story, fundraising and the RFSA.
Podcast 2. Ray Hadley grills the Emergency Services Minister, David Elliott about the NSW RFSA and their call centre based fundraising activities.
Comments from a harassed member of the public
The phone calls are aggressive and becoming increasingly so!
This last call, the young male caller immediately went into overdrive saying “surely I’d want to support the great guys helping out in South Australia”.
I call this emotional blackmail and I told him so.
I said that I always give to specific funds for bushfire relief, usually through St Vincent de Paul and I would really appreciate no further calls.
He was still shouting at me when I said “thank you for calling” and hung up.
This part in our series displays an email thread dating back to early 2010. It is being provided as an example that others have raised concerns about the fund raising activities of the RFSA long before the recent newspaper exposure.
“Since originally researching this I have spoken to several people who have purchased the raffle tickets. Every one of them believes that they are contributing to the RFS. When I suggest that only 10% of their purchase ends up with the RFS they are clearly upset. Mostly these people are elderly and what I would consider “soft” marketing targets. I believe the telemarketers take advantage of their willingness to help and once they have made a purchase, they are placed on a call back list to repeatedly be sought for future ticket purchases.”
The context of this “Media Watch” post can easily be applied to the RFSA and their fund raising model. If you want your donations to benefit your local firefighters then give your money directly to them…
A national survey of more than 1600 18- to 89-year-old Australians found that one in four were receiving unwanted calls from charities on a weekly basis. When it came to older Australians, 72 per cent of 65- to 89-years-olds had received persistent requests for money from charities over the phone.
National Seniors CEO Dagmar Parsons said it had reached the point where many older Australians were considering disconnecting their landlines. “We are hearing from our members that the calls are making them anxious and they are reluctant to answer the phone,” she said.
Almost 70 per cent of those surveyed had their landline listed on the Do Not Call register and 32 per cent had their mobile number listed.
But charities are one of the few exempt groups permitted to call numbers on the register. Both National Seniors and CHOICE are now calling for a change in the legislation, allowing people to opt out of any call asking for money.