Do you really know where your donations go?

This question was asked in reference to the Panorama special on Comic Relief, where the show uncovered how a proportion of the money they raise is invested in weapons and alcohol companies to gain a greater return on the donations. Members of the panel described their initial reactions to reading the article as ‘shocked’, ‘disgusted’, ‘saddened’, and ‘disheartened’.

35% of the panel commented that they had no idea donations were invested in that way, and felt it was wrong of the company to invest money into companies that went against their core values. This made a large amount of our panel question where their donations really go – 78% commented that they really had no idea where exactly their donation was spent after they had given the money. On the whole most of the panel members presumed their money was only going to some good, and felt that charity organisations should be more transparent with how the money is used.

Of those that felt they knew exactly where their money went, almost all of them chose to donate to local charities as opposed to national or international charities. They preferred to see the hands on work that the charity were doing, and mentioned that they were involved in some way with the charities.

Many members of the panel felt that there was that extra level of risk when donating to charities abroad after a natural disaster, as when the money enters their country and government it could really be spent in anyway if a corrupt government is in place. After the article, a large amount of the panel agreed that there should be a regulating body in place that shows the breakdown of how each charity spend money, and this should be publicly available.

Watch some responses from our panel.