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The Dubious Charitability of Taxpayer-Funded NGOs: Profit from Crisis

In a world where words are as malleable as clay, the term "charity" has been sculpted by some to mask an array of less altruistic endeavours. Nowhere is this semantic subterfuge more pronounced than in the operations of taxpayer-funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which claim to operate under the banner of charity. Yet, what occurs in practice is often a stark deviation from the noble implications of this term.

"Charity" implies voluntarism, a quality fundamentally absent when funds are extracted via taxation to support these organisations. This distortion of charity becomes a tool for perpetuating a system where public funds—taken involuntarily from taxpayers—are funnelled into entities that not only fail to alleviate the issues they profess to address but actively perpetuate them to secure further funding.

The inherent conflict of interest in NGOs deriving financial sustenance from crises is palpable. By maintaining, if not exacerbating, the very problems they purport to solve, these organisations ensure their continued relevance—and funding. It is a cycle that incentivises the perpetuation of suffering rather than its alleviation.

Consider the example from Australia, where numerous indigenous programs have received billions in federal funding with scant evidence of improvement in the lives of the indigenous populations. The "Close the Gap" initiatives, continually funded while expanding the gap into a nearly insurmountable canyon through fraud, corruption, misappropriation, and theft, evade scrutiny largely because of the indigenous backgrounds involved. This represents the quintessence of bigotry, elitism, and malevolence. Reports frequently reveal that administrative costs absorb a disproportionately large portion of funding, with only a small portion going to the intended beneficiaries. Here, the crisis of indigenous disadvantage is maintained, not mitigated, serving as a perennial justification for the continued flow of funds.

Across the Pacific, in the United States, the narrative finds echoes in the operations of certain homelessness advocacy groups. In cities like San Francisco and New York, vast sums allocated to combat homelessness seem to swirl endlessly in administrative roles, with homelessness rates souring. The visibility of the crisis generates public sympathy and a governmental response in the form of more funding, which paradoxically feeds the administrative bloat rather than resolving the underlying issue.

In the United Kingdom, similar patterns emerge in the context of foreign aid. Funds intended to aid developing nations end up supporting corrupt governmental regimes or wasteful projects, which do little to uplift the impoverished masses but much to enrich local and foreign bureaucracies.

The Northern Territory of Australia provides a particularly poignant case of how NGOs exacerbate the issues they aim to solve. Programs intended to reduce youth crime, for instance, have been criticised for their ineffectiveness, with critics arguing that they provide little more than lip service to rehabilitation while failing to address deeper societal issues that lead to youth offending.

The economic theories of moral hazard and perverse incentives offer a lens through which to view these phenomena. When NGOs profit from the ongoing existence of a problem, there is little economic incentive to resolve it. It's like asking a peodophile to design a child care centre, the results won't be pretty. Furthermore, the psychological and managerial frameworks suggest a disconnection between the intended altruistic missions of these organisations and their operational imperatives.

The security sector’s insights reinforce this view, showing that without clear accountability and outcome measurement, any system is susceptible to abuse. This is as true in corporate security as it is in NGO management. As a security professional that has worked on communities, I have observed the very behavior and actions I describe.

The restructuring of funding mechanisms to align incentives with the genuine resolution of crises rather than their perpetuation, is essential. This might involve tying NGO funding to clear, auditable outcomes or shifting towards models that support empowerment through investment rather than dependency through aid. Observing a variety of NGOs over the years has made it clear that the cognitive dissonance within these organizations is too profound for them to acknowledge the psychopathic narcissism that is prevalent among much of their staff and management.

A societal reevaluation of what constitutes true charity is overdue. Real charity is characterised by voluntary giving and direct, impactful action, qualities that should be reintroduced into our understanding and practise of aiding those in need. Giving to others what you have not earned is not charity, but the redistribution of stolen goods.

The path forward requires a candid reassessment of how we label, fund, and evaluate the operations that fall under the broad and often misused umbrella of "charity." Only through such clarity can we hope to transform well-meaning but misdirected efforts into truly beneficial actions that lift up those most in need.

True charity is not only about aid; it's about effectiveness and integrity. As we forge a path forward, the call for ethical reassessment in the operation of NGOs is not just a critique but a necessary step towards meaningful reform. Transparency, responsibility, and accountability must be the cornerstones of any organisation that claims to serve the public good. Funding should be tied to results, not promises.

The lack of transparency in how NGOs operate and how funds are spent creates a breeding ground for inefficiency and corruption. By instituting rigorous financial and operational transparency, stakeholders—including the taxpayers who ultimately fund these organisations—can see where and how their money is being used. This visibility is crucial in building trust and ensuring that resources are channelled effectively towards solving problems rather than perpetuating them.

Accountability measures such as external audits, performance reviews, and impact assessments should be standardised across the sector. These measures would not only help to prevent mismanagement and fraud but also facilitate a feedback loop that helps organisations learn from their mistakes and successes. By understanding what works and what doesn’t, NGOs can adapt and improve their strategies, leading to better outcomes for those they aim to help.

Moving beyond the mere allocation of funds, NGOs need to cultivate a results-oriented culture that prioritises measurable outcomes over activities. Instead of focusing on how much money is spent or how many programs are run, organisations must focus on the impact of their interventions. This shift from a 'funding-centric' to an 'impact-centric' model would encourage more innovative and effective approaches to addressing social issues.

A community-based program in the UK has shifted to a performance-based funding model, where they receive funds based on the successful outcomes of their projects. This model has encouraged the program to refine its strategies continuously, leading to better results in community development and a significant reduction in local unemployment rates.

The restructuring of NGO funding and operations is no small task; it requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders, including government bodies, private donors, NGO leaders, and the communities they serve. However, the benefits of such reforms—increased effectiveness, reduced waste, and the restoration of true charity—are too significant to ignore.

By embracing transparency, accountability, and a results-oriented approach, we can ensure that NGOs fulfil their noble intentions and genuinely contribute to the betterment of society. This is not just about reforming an industry; it’s about restoring faith in the very concept of charity and ensuring that it remains a powerful force for good in the world.

Privately funded investigations into FACSIA NT have been teased to "upcoming" publishing on international social media platforms using decades of whistleblower evidence that the anti-corruption commission ignored. This tactic aims to get around the censorship that the Australian government and local mainstream media have imposed. Once the international community becomes aware of sexual abuse rates surpassing those seen in the Catholic Church and levels of government and NGO misappropriation that could finance several Pacific nations for years, Australia’s international standing and tourism industry could be severely damaged.

From the author.

The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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