Never give to charity

A truly catchy title that is simply intended to catch your attention.

The charitable sector is thriving like never before in the UK for many reasons and I do not believe it shows any signs of slowing down. People are suffering for a number of reasons while wallets of our own are getting thinner and thinner. The amount of disposable income has decreased drastically and according to the current statistical data this won’t change anytime soon either.

Charitable organisations and government bodies in place to help those less equipped are overused and heavily underequipped following years (maybe even decades) of systematic underfunding. The current attitude towards those in need is simply demeaning and quite frankly extremely intimidating.

We see ever increasing reliance upon free help and resources provided by charitable projects and free to use organisations run on shoestring budgets. The things/places we used to do/goto for free these days openly ask for our financial contribution towards the running costs so heavily depleted by the lack of support and no investment structures designed to keep these independent. The pillars of local and community based support rely upon our help more than ever before.

This is why I believe you should not give to charity.

Instead go and buy something from them; use their services and simply pay them.

Take my venture- a Social Enterprise from Leeds called The Bikes College- we operate on tight margins with little room for error thus we focused our operations on not-funded basis- we make the monies needed to run TBC via standard retail operations. Donations and grants do pay invoices but we thrive to be paid for work instead of accepting hand outs. This way we can produce instead of consume, we can contribute instead of taking, we are a retail outlet instead of a financial liability…

We say the same over and over- don’t give us money but buy something from us instead. Be it a service, a pair of #feettents socks, some components or even a second hand helmet… The goods on our shelves are tied into invoicing arrangements- buy them instead of donating to us.

Cash flow is impossible to maintain with donations due to their unpredictable nature. A retail revenue is what will push people through the current crisis. The hard work and earning is what we prefer to influence everyone around us instead of just waiting for another wave of funding.

Do not give me money. Pay for my services instead.