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Charitable Giving

We recently received a communication from a group of individuals, letting us know they had included some information about The Biscuit Fund in their monthly magazine.  The following is what was said about us.

"One of our London supporters sent this about us for inclusion in his Synagogue monthly magazine:

Maimonedes and Charity

Many of you will be familiar with Maimonedes eight degrees of charity – if only because we use the phrase at subscription time to encourage those of you who can pay a little more to do so and help those who can afford a little less. But I came across a tiny charity the other day which, despite being non Jewish, is nearly at the top of the Maimonedeic scale – where neither the giver nor the recipient knows the identity of the other. The Biscuit Fund (tag line : “offering a crumb of hope” ) gives small amounts of cash anonymously to people who are really down on their luck; who for whatever reason cannot reach the safety net of our sometimes wrongly maligned welfare system. Please do look at their website http://www.biscuitfund.org and read some of the heart rending stories which their 50 anonymous helping hands find throughout our relatively prosperous country. If you can spare just a fiver, or more, please consider them and count our blessings. "

Information about the Maimonedes Eight Degrees of Charity can be found here

We have already received a very welcome donation which we are grateful for and will be able to put to good use.

 

 

Tags : CharitableGiving MaimonedesandCharity MaimonedesEightDegreesofCharity

Charities

I was privy to an online forum topic recently regarding charities. A person had posted saying that they were not going to buy Christmas cards, but were going to give £30 to a charity instead and wanted to know which ones people would recommend supporting. It was lovely to see that our name got a mention on the list, but also fascinating how many people replied saying that they didn't trust charities and that they would go and give the money to a homeless person.

In reply to the comment about TBF, where the postee said that we ran with no overheads, there were quite a few replies pertaining to CEO salaries, and that if you believe they're not making money themselves then you'll believe anything. What a shame to see such mistrust in charities, and why is that?

I'm not sure where the line is or should be drawn with big charities and their fundraising/salaries. Of course, if you don't spend money on fundraising you're very unlikely to raise much; if you spend money then naturally people will be more aware of your cause, but I'd have to admit that even I am dubious of the door-to-door Direct Debit canvassers, and more often than not turn them away because I know that my first donations will pay the canvasser for their evening's work. (And I'd have to admit that I do find door-to-door very intrusive when I'm trying to cook dinner!)

There's an argument that people who work for charities should naturally expect a lower salary, but seeing CEOs on six figure salaries is enough to make anyone's eyes water. But then should people who work for charities be expected to work for less, or should charities do all that they can to keep their staff well-paid and thereby retaining as many high quality professionals as they possibly can? Does salary have anything to do with it? It is my belief that often charities do pay less of a salary than the corporate world, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that people who want to work for charities are often less financially motivated than their corporate counterparts and more interested in 'doing good' than having an extra holiday.

As it happens, we really are a zero overheads charity. We once paid 'expenses' to one of our Agents, who paid for a cab to take one of our clients home with a heavy food shop. We reimbursed her £7 for that cab, as our client would have had no way of getting their food home without one. We have no premises, no company phones, no biscuit budget, no work laptops. I guess as founder and one of three with access to the charity bank account you could call me a CEO. I have absolutely no salary from TBF. I don't even claim for the cost of stamps if I need to send a letter. I do my work with TBF from a three-year-old HP Pavilion G6 which is very, very slow, and when it dies I will have to replace it myself.

Would I like to pay people a salary though? In theory, yes. I'd love to be able to create jobs and have outreach workers and a marketing department and someone to look after social media for us. I'd love us to be more well-known and have more supporters and not ever need to worry about whether we will be able to afford to help the next family in dire need. In lieu of a £10m grant and a complete rewrite of our constitution, however, we are and shall remain the zero overheads charity.

The only money we receive which doesn't go to those in need are nominal PayPal fees (usually pennies as we get a special charity rate), nothing more.  Really and truly.  Really.

Jemima

Ros Wynne-Jones

We are so overwhelmed and incredibly grateful to Ros Wynne-Jones of The Mirror for her recent article about us.  We have received so many wonderful emails and donations since, and have made some wonderful new charitable contacts who will potentially be fantastic sources of clients for The Biscuit Fund.  We've gone from a small group with not a lot of money to play with, to an organisation with strong alliances with other groups doing good, and a lot more helping power than we ever had before!

We received a lot of messages from lovely folk saying that what we do has restored their faith in humanity.  Well, the support and generosity we have received has restored ours.  Our heartfelt thanks to everybody who took the time to read, contact or donate.  Every penny we receive goes to someone in need.  Every single penny.

Well wishers

Since we posted the video and mp3 downloads we have received some lovely messages of support via our contact page. Hare are a couple of them.

We received this encouraging message of kinship from B

Message :
Hello
Thank you - that is all. I am working on a website that will help people make some kind of difference, as you do - I've no idea just what or how but I'm going to do something that helps others do something. And you're already doing it. I just wanted to say that you are wonderful. If I can ever help you, support you with online stuff, just say the word. 

And this is just a lovely message that reminded me why we started this from A

Message :
Oh my goodness! I've just seen your video about the Atos deaths and just started reading about your site. This is wonderful. Thank you so much. This is what I had been thinking about as it's so badly needed. Well done to all of you. We need one in every town. WE NEED ONE IN EVERY TOWN!! Sorry for shouting!

How lovely to receive such wonderful support.  We have responded to each and every message we received, and in other news, the song donated to us has helped us raise a further £72 to help those in need!  That's enough for us to send a family of four a decent food shop.  :-)

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