SAFE – are they a charity or just charity muggers?

We’ve all seen those charity collectors dressed up as animals holding boxes and soliciting cash. Are they really a charity, or just another bunch of charity muggers or chuggers as they have become known?

I have asked myself if SAFE is not just the animal equivalent of Greenpeace.  After all the SPCA does all that real work while SAFE struts around tut-tutting.  Like Greenpeace, SAFE is a nice little earner for a registered charity engaged in what seems to be political lobbying activities.

If you go to the Charities Commmision website:

You will find its financial records there as a download an eye opener (it was lodged 10 November)
Full time employees: 9
Part time employees: 4
Number of paid hours worked in total by all employees in an average week: 439
Number of  volunteers in an average week: 28
Number of volunteer hours worked in total by all volunteers in an average week: 68  

Okay, this is where it becomes fun:

Gross revenue was $1,051,239.  Salary & Wages presumably came in at $488,146 (up from $402k last year) while contractors came in at $65,984.  All in all,  53% of all revenue on staffing costs.

Of the balance it spent:

$143,312 on advertising (lets face it, designed to get more income as donations!) or 13% of revenue.

Despite having 13 employees and 28 volunteers in any given week, SAFE only spent $4396 on staff training/volunteer outreach.  Strangely small reinvestment for an activist organisation at 0.4% of revenue.

Even better for a charitable body, it spent on $1,154 on entertainment, hire fees, meetings and workshops – that’s only 0.11% of revenue.

It wasn’t as if it made massive donations since this amounted to only $2,543!

It did however spend some $24k on licensing & registration fees (why/what!!), $42k doing up its website (as you do when you are a charity), $10k on air travel plus a further $31k on promotions.

Most intriguing is that it made a surplus of $69k to have assets of over $902,000.

Not bad going for a “charity” but I’m left confused as to what charitable purpose it has pursued!

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