2016 Fraud Survey – BDO

I’ve talked about fraud in the charity sector before, and my personal take on it is that it under reported, because charities don’t want their donors to know that there are people committing fraud (no matter the level.)

Yes, there is a risk to funding if general donors (mums and dads) learn that there has been fraud committed at a charity they support, but in reality isn’t honesty the best policy, shouldn’t donors be told what’s been happening?

It seems that the majority of charities have systems in place, especially given the new reporting standards required of them, and know they can get help and support from Charity Services; so maybe the message is getting across, especially with smaller organisations, that there is help available to them and that there’s no shame in asking .

Read the summary of the BDO Not-for-Profit 2016 Fraud Survey here.

If your organisation detected fraud, what would you do, would you take action, would you let your supporters know? Either leave a comment below or email me charitymattersnz@gmail.com.




Payroll Giving


We all try to do what we can for charitable organisations in our communities; and often people struggle to work out who to give to, how much to give and; when to give. 

Payroll Giving which came into being about 18 months ago makes it easier for people to give, sure there’s still the questions of who to give to and how much; but by having donations automatically paid from wages one of questions is answered, and makes it easier for people to give. 

In essence Payroll Giving simply allows for donations to go directly from someones wages to a chosen donee organisation. The employers has to introduce the payroll giving programme to the firm for individuals to participate though.


What makes it simpler is that it’s run through the PAYE tax system, so people whose employers introduce the scheme get tax benefits of their donations each payday, negating the need to collect and hold donation receipts or wait to claim at the end of the tax year.


With some research showing that that over 794,000 people in employment are committed givers (ie: making regular contributions of time or money to causes that are important to them).  It possible for some of these to likely get money back that they otherwise might have missed out on by not bothering to claim in their annual tax return; which some have said makes “donations more affordable”, this could have the flow-on effect of encouraging more people to give and for more to look at increasing their level of giving.


What’s surprising is that according to the latest update from Revenue Minister Peter Dunne is donations for the month of March 2011, reached $540,000 – a monthly record since payroll giving was introduced.


It would seem that charities need to do some work to educate their supporters, and the community that payroll giving is an option that can be used for giving. In discussions I’ve had some charities are finding it hard to get the opportunity to talk about it, and some are being met with resistance from employers not keen on letting their staff know about the option to give immediately from wages.


It’s staggering to think that of the many thousands of people who give only 5,100 gave directly from their wages in March 2011. Are employers letting their staff know? I’d guess they’re not – as I mentioned above some see it as something for the too hard basket.


Charities need to be proactive in letting people know that they’re able to give directly, what the benefits are and what drives people to use payroll giving as a way to give – this will give them the potential opportunity to gain more through its use. Using some of the points from Payroll giving for individuals will help to give supporters some insight into why, employers can check Payroll giving and your employees.


Charities can’t let the opportunity to slip through their fingers and must make the effort to let people know it’s another way they can help, using newsletters, adding a footnote to email notifications and any other opportunity to get word out.

For more on payroll giving check the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector websites Easy guides to payroll giving. 



How Market Researchers can benefit nonprofits


Came across this on AdAge Blogs (no relation to me) and thought it worth sharing, there’s certainly food for thought here.

Companies that want to do good while gathering market research are being offered a new way to do that, thanks to the CMO Council and its Pause to Support a Cause. The council this week announced its partnership with online research community Opinions for Good in a program that allows consumers to reward their favorite charities when they take part in market research surveys — while adding new voices to consumer research.

“We often hear a great frustration from our brand marketers that their research comes from the same pool of people,” says Liz Miller, VP-programs and operations at the CMO Council. “One of the big issues is how do we open up new demographics; how do we open up new opportunities to get new voices?”

Through Pause to Support a Cause, Miller says, “We’re looking at multiple benefits to multiple constituencies.”

With the cause-directed survey model, consumers can donate 25% to 100% of the payments they receive for participating in research to a nonprofit or charity. The effort already has more than 200 nonprofit groups signed up and hundreds of consumers registered. More



They’re not invisible, so why treat them as though they are




There’s a growing number of homeless people all around us, it doesn’t matter what country, or city we are in; homelessness is everywhere.


Why then do people treat as though they’re invisible? Homelessness affects people from almost every walk of life; the recent economic crisis has seen families who were prospering end up losing their homes and resorting to living on welfare, on the street or in shelters.


Here’s an exercise we should all undertake; next time you walk down the street acknowledge someone who is living on the street; a simple smile will do, if you have the time, stop and say hello. For some a simple hello will make their day, almost as much as that spare change you have in your pocket will help them with a meal.


Not only will the person you acknowledge feel better, but it’s likely to have a positive impact on you as well.


The other side of this is to take a look at the reaction you get from others when they see you talking to someone less fortunate. It’s surprising how many people look down their noses when they see you engaging in conversation.


How do I know this? I’ve met several homeless people over the years, mostly they’ve been a good bunch of people, some have been a little abrasive, but perhaps this is because they’re not used to us ‘seeing them’.


When you get someone who wants, or maybe needs to talk; you could be surprised by the level and intellect of the conversation, there’s some gems of stories out there just waiting for someone to hear them.


There’s Missions and Shelters throughout the world where people can gain shelter, a cuppa and a bed for the night; but how many of these people being ‘helped’ in this way are also in need of a friendly smile, a wave, a quick hello, or a quick chat? I’d say many are.


Say hi, it’s warming to those you say it too.


If you can, head to your local Mission or Shelter and offer a hand, if you don’t have the time; how about making a regular financial pledge.


Please remember, no one is invisible; it’s the people like you and I who are blind to others around us.


Can we do it here – “Homeless write to put life in context”

 I was homeless; ‘the look’ judged me worthless



© Taylor Wilkins | Dreamstime.com