Every penny counts
One of the many things that impressed me when I first become involved in The Pendsey Trust, was the fact that every penny reaches the charity as they are run by devoted volunteers who dedicate their precious time as they are passionate about the cause. Often, these volunteers do this around their other commitments, which includes young children, employment, professional careers, running businesses or caring for relatives. Many charities claim that 100% of donations reach the charity, this may be true, but it is important to look at what then happens to the money.
Some charities have salaried staff, so donations made to the charity will pay salaries and bonuses. Whilst this is not exactly wrong, as a person can bring in many times their salary, it is important to look at the size of the organization and the percentage of the salary against income of the charity. As The Pendsey Trust is ran entirely by volunteers, we are proud that we do not have this expense. We also believe that people working with us must be with us because of their passion for the cause, rather than simply doing it as a job.
No salaries are taken, but what about expenses?
As well as donations of money or time, The Pendsey Trust also accepts donations of services. Our website was donated by a web designer, our hosting is donated by a TSOhost who offer their service for free to registered charities, our accountant generously gives up his time to ensure we are not spending your donations on accounting fees. We have an army of valuable admin staff who help us with general admin, matching sponsors to children, liasing with clinic in India, hosting and organizing fundraising and I am sure lots more wonderful things I have forgotten right now. We have also worked with companies who have donated their goods to better the lives of the people we support. Earlier this year, Frio UK kindly donated 200 pouches to our partner clinic which allows the most needy of our young people to keep their insulin cool. This simple initiative saved us almost £4,000 and provided a sustainable solution to an everyday problem that was threatening young lives. Imagine being the recipient of free insulin, but then the heat renders it unusable; you live in a mud hut in a village with no electricity and are back to square one!
As a charity, expenses and reports have to be submitted to The Charities Commission annually. This ensures we are acting within the law and the information we submit is made publicly available for all to see. As a supporter, you can go onto Charities Commission website and download information on any charity you want. This means you can check the accounts of a charity and find out what they are bringing in and spending, you can therefore use your judgement to check whether the donations are being used to the best cause. As a charity, the Pendsey Trust does not “invest” any funds to mature in stocks, shares or bank accounts where it is tied up to grow. We feel we can not do this whilst young lives are at risk as this money can provide a sustainable solution to enable people to live a better life.
But what happens when the money reaches India?
We transfer funds for sponsored children immediately to our partner clinic, as this money is desparately needed to save a child whose life is at risk. This money enables clinic to purchase insulin, needles, glucometer and testing strips to provide a child with the equipment they need.
Once a quarter we make transfers to our partner clinic, but how do we know that the partner clinic are being responsible with the donations?
Our partner clinic is The Dream Trust, an Indian registered charity (number E-1413). All our donations go to The Dream Trust and at this time we do not fund any other clinic because this would be taking away support from the children who need it. Imagine your child being provided with insulin and then finding out a few months later they can have no more because funding has stopped and the funds redirected to another clinic? When making donations to charities, please make sure that your money is funding something sustainable, something that will make a life long difference to the people the charity was set up to help.
Typically, most patients now being referred to the Dream Trust have already been diagnosed, but this could have been several months ago and the family have been struggling to buy insulin all this time. I met one young patient who was only injecting twice a week and had always used the same needle. Upon arriving at the Dream Trust, like all patients, he was supplied with insulin and goods at no cost to the user. No one is turned away, irrelevant of social class, age, gender, ability to pay, or any other demographic. However, to ensure funds are directed to the best place, the inability to pay for insulin is not assumed and rigorous checks are carried out. To ensure the most needy are given help, and no one takes advantage of the system, the clinic look into the employment history of the family, take copies of recent wage slips and bank statements, references are given by the employer and the bank regarding the individual (or their parents) financial status. Many of our families earn 50 – 100 rupees a day, which is 50p – £1, insulin costs 1600 rupees a month. Do the maths and this leaves nothing or very little for rent, food, education, travel and other essentials. Many of our patients live in remote villages with no infrastructure, affording travel to clinic alone can be a very difficult task.
Many people do not know, but Dr Pendsey also accepts private patients who can afford to pay, the profit from this is redirected to The Dream Trust, where he uses the money to treat those who can not afford to pay. With the additional help provided from Pendsey Trust, patients can now remain in school, vocational training, university or business start up courses to allow them to become self sufficient. Our partner clinic are very good at sending us a breakdown of how the money we send has been spent, they include receipts and this means every stage of the process ensures accountability. Sometimes, clinic request specific items, such as the bike campaign.
The Dream Trust identify children most in need of sponsorship, whilst via The Pendsey Trust there are now over 75 children sponsored by families in the UK, the child in the most need would be sponsored first. Unfortunately, we still have a long list of children needing our help, in addition an average of 2 names a week are added to the list.
I hope this article has helped you see how we account for your donations and use the money responsibly. If you would like to get involved, here are some ways:
- like us on Facebook
• Share our posts on social media
• Spread the word with everyone you know, especially in the diabetes communities both on and offline
• Make a one off donation
• Host a fundraiser
• Donate time
• Sponsor a child
• Make a regular donation
- email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about any of the above