Regulating charities: Toothless body

MAKING a donation to a charity should be a straightforward transaction between and individual and whichever cause they wish to support.

It has become the norm that professional fundraisers charge a percentage of the funds they raise but, just maybe, in an ideal world that would not be the case but so be it, that is how we order our affairs.

In recent years several charities have been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons and these events led to the establishment of the office of charity regulator. Unfortunately, this has not built the confidence the sector so badly needs but rather feeds into the idea that light-touch regulation is alive and well in Ireland. We make the laws but are pretty ambivalent about enforcement. This newspaper yesterday reported that the regulator does not have the resources to investigate what seem worrying and plausible claims around governance and financial irregularities at one particular charity.

Is it really possible that this office is little more than another example of our hypocritical lip service?

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