OPINION: Are too many charities doing the same thing?

IF I asked you to take a guess at how many people in Australia work for a charity organisation what would you say?

I'll give you the answer and it's amazing.

In all, 1.1million are paid to work for a charity and that equates to a staggering 9% of our entire workforce.

In all there are 600,000 not-for-profits and 60,000 registered charities who between them turn over $105 billion each year.

While it is great to hear we have so many groups working to help those most in need, the truth is that many are duplicating the work of others.

The CEO of the Community Council of Australia, David Crosbie, has now warned this massive sector that hundreds of charities should now consider closing or merging because too many are competing with each other in an operating environment that is growing tougher by the day.

He says organisations now need to put self-interest aside and work together to get a better result for those who need their help. He claims the duplication and competition has meant 'there's been a significant amount of wasted effort'.

If you have been worried about how much of your donated dollar is actually getting to the person in need, you may want to applaud his comments.

For years, major charities have been accused of wasting far too much of their money on exorbitant administration costs.

Don't get me wrong, charities around the nation do an extraordinary job, however times have changed dramatically.

A great example of what needs to happen is the recent merger between Good Beginnings Australia and Save the Children Australia.

Here you had two CEOs and two boards willing to put aside their own personal and professional interests to ensure they better serve the needs of disadvantaged children in Australia.

According to Mr Crosbie this kind of merger should not only be commended, but should also be replicated across a significant number of organisations.

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