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The Big Society (Conservative Party catchphrase espoused by David Cameron, Prime Minister UK 2012 - )


A notion for allowing “the people” through charitable organizations to supplant areas of support in society that should be the responsibility of government. A means of cutting demand on tax revenues for basic “social” services.


The concept would be more accurately entitled The Big Con, for the following reasons.


The Big Con!


High-profile charities now work as businesses, rewarding their personnel through extravagant salaries in proportion to money they extort from the general pubic by appealing to our sympathies and better natures. Highly paid charity executives are therefore little more than well-heeled, proxy beggars.


Thus, those persuaded to part with their hard-earned cash are in effect entering into a voluntary taxation system in which the charity executives may be seen as well paid tax collectors.



“Want the best? Then pay the most”, the mantra trotted out by the vast majority of high profile charities, including the Charity Commission for England & Wales itself. Read on . . .     


UPDATE April 14 2014.


The charity "Shelter" has expressed concerns over some 4 million folk in the UK getting into difficulties paying their rent and general overheads.


Shelter's Chief Executive received in 2013 a salary in the region of £110,000 to £120,000, a further six personnel received between £80,000 and £90,000, modest by some standards. I doubt these folk will be scraping around town for somewhere to sleep tonight.




The commentators commentate,

the pontificators pontificate,

the charity chief execs sponge off

the down-and-outs,

the second-home owners home in,

winners and losers by turn—

where do YOU fit in?


UPDATE February 3 2013.


Jamie McDonald (adventurer) has just completed a Canadian cross-country run and is reported to have raised some £150,000 for children’s charities. It is worth noting that this sum would not even meet the expenses in terms of annual salary for the chief executive of NSPCC in 2012/13.


I should not wish to decry those who seek to raise funds through such efforts as the above. However, most of this is in the nature of stunt practice. It might be more beneficial to the disadvantaged of this world to receive practical assistance instead: for example, offering free home help for a period (a year or more, say)?


Of course this would not have the glamour of the more spectacular fund raising enterprises and might not therefore raise so much money, but at least folk world benefit firsthand, and anything that circumvents lining the pockets of well-heeled charity personnel must be a good thing, surely?






This page has resulted out of a concentrated period of research into the way charities, particularly those based in the UK, run their organizations.


An article in the Daily Telegraph, August 2013, authored under the name of Priti Patel, the Conservative MP, brought the public’s attention to the fact that charities are paying their top-salaried staff annual sums in excess of £100,000, and in some cases in excess of £200,00 per annum.


The results of our own survey, which is ongoing, has been published in two leaflets, The Fundamentals of Charity and The Charitable, Voluntary Hierarchy.


The object of our enquires and the publishing thereof is not intended to inhibit anybody supporting a worthwhile cause in whatever fashion they choose, but simply to attempt a revision of the rank practices within the charitable sector that could prove counterproductive. In essence, why should any person struggling to make ends meet on a modest income be expected to line the pockets of these well-heeled individuals?


To be working in the voluntary sector as a professional is a matter of both privilege and trust: reward should be measured primarily in outcomes for good, not via bloated salaries. Things have come to a sorry pass if efficient personnel can only be acquired through the inducement of a sizable carrot.

Pleae go to the following link:

The Charitable, Voluntary Hierarchy

The Charitable, Voluntary Hierarchy The FundamTT


We give below details for the NCVO:


The National Council for Voluntary Organizations (NCVO)


About us: NCVO is a member of the FundRaising Standard Board (FRSB) self-regulatory scheme. The FRSB works to ensure that organisations raising money from the public do so honestly and properly. As members of the scheme, we adhere to the Institute of Fundraising's codes of fundraising practice and key principles.


NCVO champions and strengthens volunteering and civil society, with over 10,000 members, from the largest charities to the smallest community organisations. We make sure the voluntary sector can do what it does best.


Executive Pay Inquiry announced


Friday, 11 October 2013 16:03


NCVO today (Friday 11 October) announced the members of the Executive Pay Inquiry that will draw up guidelines for charity trustees when deciding on pay levels for senior executives.


The Inquiry will explore the arguments about what are appropriate levels of pay for charity senior executives, and how these levels should be arrived at. It

will also explore the relationship between salary levels and public trust and confidence in the sector as a whole. The Inquiry will produce definitive guidelines for charity trustees, informed by a broad debate on the issues involved, to take into account when setting salaries.



The announcement that NCVO would bring together a group of trustees to look at these issues followed extensive criticism in the media of high levels of executive pay in a number of large household name charities.


The Inquiry, which includes experts from a range of diverse organisations, will meet for the first time next month and will publish their recommendations in the spring.


They are expected to discuss issues relating to benchmarking, pay ratios in the voluntary sector, public trust and confidence, and reporting requirements before setting out definitive guidelines for charity trustees when they are looking to establish pay and remuneration for senior executives.


Commenting, Martyn Lewis CBE, Chair of NCVO, who will chair the Executive Pay Inquiry said:


“This is a sensitive issue which concerns everyone involved in the voluntary and community sector. We have a duty to ensure that donations are spent effectively and efficiently so that the public can continue to have absolute confidence that every penny of their money is being spent wisely.

“Setting senior staff salaries is a complicated task for trustees, who have to balance many factors to determine the right pay level in their organisation. It’s right that we take the time to consider the complex issues around executive pay before coming forward with detailed recommendations.


“I’m delighted to bring together an experienced group of people who represent a cross section of organisations in the sector so that we can explore every aspect of this important debate.”


We at Spring Ast LIX would note that there appears not to be one member of this panel taken from the pubic at large. It is all very well to have people in well established positions, most of whom are presumably far from the poverty line, but when making decisions on fund raising from the general public it would seem reasonable to us to include the proverbial “person on the street”.


It is also worth noting that the salaries paid to some NCVO staff itself hover above the £100,00 per annum mark.


Further details for the Executive Pay Inquiry members are available at:




Matters arising out of contacts with specific organizations:

It is interesting to note that a number of organizations within the charity sector, with whom we had amicable contact initially, have ceased acknowledging our communications. Also some Members of Parliament, members of the clergy and others, who had expressed concerns about the functioning of many charitable organizations, have not shown us the courtesy of a reply to our emails.





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