Monday, September 02, 2019

Charity for some?

There is a difference in a charity shop and a thrift shop for the poor. One is there to offer genuine charity to those who cannot afford to buy new, often reselling clothes rejected by charity shops as damaged, the other exists to make money for a charity organisation and employs many full-time managers on high salaries while relying on unpaid volunteers and the coerced labour of benefit claimants.

Oxfam is to open its first superstore in Oxford on the edge of a sprawling business park with a 20-plus staff and volunteers from a pool of 150 for the new hangar-style unit, about 12 times the size of the average Oxfam shop, a lengthy wall of display units is filled with products from its eco-friendly Sourced by Oxfam range including Fairtrade chocolate and coffee, bamboo coffee cups and lunchboxes and packs of Christmas cards. It includes an on-site cafe. Oxfam now has 610 shops in the UK, and a growing online operation.

Cancer Research UK reopened its premium priced designer store on London’s Marylebone High Street offering brands such as Chanel, Fendi, Gucci and Celine. Barnardo’s has also given its homeware sections a modern makeover.

Macmillan Cancer Support’s accounts for the year to December 2018 show that chief executive Lynda Thomas earned between £180,000 and £190,000, up from £170,000 to £180,000 the previous year. 

Marie Stopes International gave its highest paid member of staff a £200,000 bonus in 2018. Simon Cooke, received a 100 per cent bonus, doubling their £217,250 basic salary to a total remuneration of £434,500. Another staff member was recorded as having earned £250,001-£260,000, and the total paid to six key management personnel in 2018 was £1,266,000.

The median salary of the chief executives at the largest 100 charities in the UK is £150,000, according to Charity Finance.

Charity shops received a mandatory 80 per cent discount on their business rates, butlocal authority can decided whether or not to offer any addition relief on the remaining 20 per cent and nearly half do. With lower running costs, they out-compete all other second-hand retailers.

In the 12 months leading to March 2017, 76 charities operating 6,722 shops, with a combined income of more than £863m. The British Heart Foundation generated £176.4m from its shops in 2016/17 and also has the largest number of shops, with 724 outlets across the UK. In the same period Barnardo's now have 710.

Top 10
British Heart Foundation, income: £176.4m, shops: 724
Oxfam GB, income: £92.5m, shops: 640
Cancer Research UK, income: £84.5m, shops: 594
Barnardo's, income: £70.3m, shops: 710
Sue Ryder, income: £55.0m, shops: 451
Salvation Army, income: £48.0m, shops: 230
Age UK, income: £42.6m, shops: 404 
British Red Cross, income: £30.0m, shops: 341
Scope, income: £21.3m, shops: 225
Marie Curie, income: £16.4m, shops: 178

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