Is it wrong to profit from charity?
Hey everyone, hope you’re having a great weekend. I’ve got quite a tricky question to throw at you today as it’s on a subject that is close to the hearts of many for personal reasons and that’s the subject of charity. This week was children in need week over here in the UK and during the week Mrs.B and I ended up having quite an interesting conversation about the morality of making a profit from charity occasions. Here’s how it started.
On Friday my eldest boy – Well I say eldest but he’s actually only in his first year of school – had a non-uniform day at school and all the kids had to go to school in their pajama’s. Not only did they have to wear their PJ’s but they also had to wear something spotty in support of the Pudsey Bear campaign. We didn’t really have anything spotty for him to wear so we started looking for children in need items online. Soon enough my wife found herself looking on a large UK supermarket’s website at one off Children in Need items available for purchase. She found quite a few nice items but most of the good things had sold out. She then thought that she could instead find a spotty scarf or something like that on eBay so she looked on there too. Stick with me here, I’m getting to the point.
On eBay she came across some of the items which were exclusive to the supermarket whose website she’d been scouring 5 minutes earlier being sold by individual sellers. It seems as though some people had bought the items simply to inflate the price and then sell them on eBay. She turned to me in shock saying ‘ I can’t believe people are making profit from charity!’. I encouraged her to have a look at the eBay listings to see if any of the people we’re giving the profits away to children in need. Well, some were giving maybe 10% of the profits to charity but most didn’t seem to be giving anything at all. There were also other Pudsey items being sold on there where the sellers didn’t seem to be giving anything back.
The other thing I found interesting though is that she didn’t seem to have any problem at all with the fact that a big supermarket was selling Pudsey products and possibly making a bit of profit from it in the process. So we went online and had another look at the website of the supermarket in question to see whether ALL of the profits from charity products sold were being handed over to Children in Need, the answer was pretty inconclusive. The page was full of lines like ‘With a donation from every sale going to Children in Need’ but there was no mention of the percentage of the donation being made or how much profit was being made by the company themselves from each sale, if any profit was being made at all.
I just thought the conversation threw up some interesting questions. Is it ok for people to profit from charity? If you think it is, then is it only ok for large chains to profit or should the little guy making charity items from home or re-selling items on eBay be allowed to profit too? If you don’t mind the little guy making a profit, should they be forced to make a donation when selling charity specific products? Finally, what do you think the size of that donation should be in terms of percentage?
There are other area’s we could talk about here but there are so many questions to think about already, I thought it best to discuss just this one area today.
What do you think?
I Also just need to give a quick shout out to a few people. Firstly I want to thank J. Money for featuring one of our posts on his new website Rockstar Finance this week, it drove a nice bit of traffic our way so thanks for that J. Also Money Bulldog was mentioned in the following carnivals last week so thanks to these guys too.
Yakezie Carnival – Veteran’s Day Edition