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RSPCA loses its pound of flesh - for now!


woolybanana

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But when you know that the RSPCA maintains or did maintain full time lobbyists in Brussels, plus people going over all the time, then you begin to wonder, plus the salaries of the senior management, then expecting all the work to be done my unpaid volunteers... They are all the same these charities these days.

Better leave the money to kids or grandkids who need a mortgage or whatever.

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I think we are "told" where a lot of our hard earned money goes enough while we are alive....taxes, inheritence, capital gains, V.A.T. etc. We should be able to decide to whom and what percentages of our money goes to when we die, if I want to leave it family friends or a charity it is up to me.

I might be tempted to do a little haunting if someone decided to contest any decisions I made in my will.

Mel.
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Some of the details of this case are not clear. There are reports that one of the parties sought a settlement (which it is not clear) before the litigation started but the other refused. If Dr Gill was caring for her mother doesn't she have a claim under the Inheritance Act?

I find it strange that the RSPCA should persist with an appeal - shades of Jarndyce v Jarndyce. How will it justify the expense to its members if its action fails again?
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I think most of the above comments assume that the will has been made without coercion and influence.   We have seen a number of cases over the years where elderly people (with no direct descendants) have been 'befriended' by a neighbour / fellow church member (!) at a point where they are frail, elderly and sometimes confused.  When they pass away shortly afterwards the entire estate has been left to their new found 'friend' despite the existence of wider family and very longstanding friendships.  I even heard one woman brag that she had done this three times now and that this was how she financed her, rather lavish, home.  She considered the proceeds of the will her 'earnings' for visiting etc. If there are direct descendants then they can contest the will but more remote family and friends are unlikely to do so.

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My OH had a rather dotty aunt who regularly changed her will. In the final one she said that she didn't want her 88 year old brother, who had cared for her garden as long as he was physically able, to attend her funeral. She left everything she had to the RSPCA. This included some pieces of jewellery which she had obtained in rather doubtful circumstances when her mother died. My sister-in-law asked the RSPCA if there was any way that she could retrieve her grandmother's jewellery and they replied that they would be happy to sell it to her.

Perhaps the family could have contested the whole of the will because the jewellery was only a minor part of the estate. In the event my sister-in-law decided to buy the jewellery. My opinion of the RSPCA was already low before this happened and this confirmed my dislike of many large charities which in my opinion have become far too much like big business.

Hoddy
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I share the scepticism concerning these large charities.

I have long wanted to give something to charity on a regular basis but am loath to contribute to the salary/expenses/company car of an already overpaid "fundraiser" of a charity which takes advantage of volunteer workers.

Have been considering NSPCC or Salvation Army.

Any thoughts?
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To be fair, I do expect a charity to be well managed and staffed by appropriately skilled people. If someone is employed as an accountant or secretary or van driver, I expect them to be paid a fair rate for that job. If you had a family to keep would you work for a charity at a reduced pay rate just because it was a charity?

What I object to is the importation of inappropriate management techniques which ignore the voluntary aspect of the business. For example, some large charities have introduce management by objective methods for dealing with volunteers. If you were a volunteer, organising events to raise money, would you take kindly to some functionary telling you to increase your input by 10% next year? I think that I would tell him that my input for next year would be zero and walk away.

The RSPCA always seems to be mentioned when unacceptable administration methods are mentioned.

You can always go to the Charities Commission website and see how much of a charity's income is spent on administration and support.
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I was not happy about the cost of investigations that were carried out by the RSPCA. I believe they folowed trucks all over europe on one occasion to see how often cattle were watered on their way to slaughter that must have cost a fortune in salery and expenses ...Appeals on expensive court case decisions where the money left in contested willls ends up in lawers pockets does not make them any more popular to me .
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I watched a dog maul a swan in Victoria Park (East London). I phoned the RSPCA and told them, "not our job contact the council" they said to which I replied that "in which case you don't need my money anymore". All that twaddle on TV, Animal Rescue etc, you try getting one out to help.

One of my clients was one of the largest international aid organisations based in a square in London. We helped them install a new computer system. Three months after they got a new IT Director, ripped out the lot and put another system in which we had evaluated previously and didn't do the job, total cost £1.8M for the new system plus removing the old one. After that whenever I saw them collected money at London Underground stations I used to smile and give them a wide berth. They did have a very good corporate events department with about 20 employees, they organized some really good beano's, balls etc.

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I have experienced some major UK charities as both a benefactor and as my customers and I agree wholeheartedly with what Quillan has to say.

The worst (IMHO) in order:

Guide dogs for the blind

Barnardo's

Mencap

Save the children fund.

Some parts of Barnardos particularly the last chance schools for disturbed kids are very good and the staff are 100% focussed on the children but this was a world apart from the corporate headquarters and most of the other projects.

I remember thinking that the world had gone crazy when charities including some of the above started sponsoring car racing teams and racing yachts.

Still I am not bitter, just glad that they are no longer my customers and dont come knocking on my door (in France) asking for money.

Tant mieux to those who can get their snouts in the trough I say and tant pis to the needy recipients of the charities [:(]

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We have just had a discussion regarding Oxfam with my daughter - we do go in there and this week my daughter asked us to drop in a bag of clothes.

Last week we noticed some 'Bohemian'  ( OK - not outstanding) cut glass whisky tumblers at £30 for the set of 6, my husband likes them but thinks they are pricey for a charity shop, this week they are still there. My daughter says we are forgetting what the money goes toward and we say if the goods were more reasonably priced they'd be sold and the money would be helping someone a dam site quicker. In our local Oxfam paperbacks are often more than I pay in Tesco ! Given the fact that most of the staff are volunteers and the goods are donated I am beginning to think they are a teensy bit greedy.....

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Quite correct RH

Another advantage over Tesco and other shops is that they pay a very small % of the business rates & are in competition with many struggling independent shops who have to pay the full rate - and pay for stock and salaries.   Charities also get some VAT perks too.

Oxfam is one of the worse for paying HUGE salaries and perks to their staff.

Tegwini

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 When charity shops only sold donations and second hand goods I thought their advantages were fair enough, but now they sell lots of new things and compete against shops that offer work with a proper wage - that raises other issues....

I stick to the Sally army and the Lifeboats......[Www]

 

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[quote user="Scooby"]I think most of the above comments assume that the will has been made without coercion and influence.   We have seen a number of cases over the years where elderly people (with no direct descendants) have been 'befriended' by a neighbour / fellow church member (!) at a point where they are frail, elderly and sometimes confused.  When they pass away shortly afterwards the entire estate has been left to their new found 'friend' despite the existence of wider family and very longstanding friendships.  I even heard one woman brag that she had done this three times now and that this was how she financed her, rather lavish, home.  She considered the proceeds of the will her 'earnings' for visiting etc. If there are direct descendants then they can contest the will but more remote family and friends are unlikely to do so.
[/quote]

My mother's cleaner has taken to voicing a preference for certain items, "when the time comes"........my mother has known her since the cleaner was 5 years old, so somehow thinks that's OK.......[:'(]

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[quote user="Russethouse"]

We have just had a discussion regarding Oxfam with my daughter - we do go in there and this week my daughter asked us to drop in a bag of clothes.

Last week we noticed some 'Bohemian'  ( OK - not outstanding) cut glass whisky tumblers at £30 for the set of 6, my husband likes them but thinks they are pricey for a charity shop, this week they are still there. My daughter says we are forgetting what the money goes toward and we say if the goods were more reasonably priced they'd be sold and the money would be helping someone a dam site quicker. In our local Oxfam paperbacks are often more than I pay in Tesco ! Given the fact that most of the staff are volunteers and the goods are donated I am beginning to think they are a teensy bit greedy..... [/quote]

I think the problem is that under charity law, charities have a legal duty to make the most of their assets, which in Oxfam's case includes the donated items. They can't just give them away for peanuts. My BiL works reguarly in a Red Cross charity shop and says a lot of his time is spent sorting and valuing the things they have been given,

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In Salisbury a small independent bookshop closed recently claiming that when OXFAM in Salisbury started selling books he couldn't afford to  stay in business-   rates, VAT etc to pay which OXFAM got huge concessions on. 

It's not a fair competition for small independents competing against a huge multinational which has massively lower fixed and other costs.

Tegwini

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