Responsible Charity

Responsible Charity

Reasons Charity Has Failed in Uganda

Charities have failed in Uganda because those receiving money are not held accountable for how the money is spent and because the money was given without any planning on how it should be spent!!!!!

The blog at the link below explains in detail why charities have failed in Uganda in the past and should be read by those in Uganda wanting support and those interested in helping Ugandan’s achieve self reliance.

It’s very important charity providers don’t give to dishonest people who are likely to abuse or use those in their care.

Good Objectives

  1. Help maintain survival
  2. Provide a means to end the need for charity by setting up self sustaining enterprises.

Charity that perpetuates poverty by inculcating patterns of reliance behaviour rather than independence & self reliance is not responsible charity but results in enslaving those who perceive themselves in need of help.

Sometimes the more charitable action is to educate and awaken people to possibilities rather than simply give financial aid which can engender laziness and dependence.

Necessity is the mother of invention. There were no handouts for the early settlers of Australia, their necessity created their self reliance. Africa is wealthy in resources, sunshine, water, pure air, natural fauna & flora, and minerals. The question should be asked why do the African people live in poverty. They must be compelled to cooperate with each other and coordinate resources to break the chains that hold them in poverty.

Having a plan to achieve self reliance and sticking to that plan is the only way to avoid the “hand out poverty trap”.

Forming A Trust Relationship

Applicants seeking charity cannot expect providers to trust them without making reasonable efforts at presenting proof of their honesty, reliability and integrity.

Those seeking charity from strangers need to realize they have a duty to provide to the best of their ability as much information as they can to answer the following questions in order to help prove their credibility:-

  1. Who they are. E.g. Provide some form of photo identification
  2. Exactly where they are. E.g a google map with a location marked on it.
  3. Why they think they should be supported.
  4. Why they can’t get support from the local existing charitable organizations e.g provide correspondence between themselves and local institutions or why they can’t or won’t make an effort to obtain local support.
  5. What they are currently doing to support themselves and the orphans they claim are in their care. e.g. providing proof such as payslips showing wages and/or bank statement.
  6. What their current situation is e.g. Their current weekly monthly income, numbers of those in their care numbers of boys girls their ages and state of health.
  7. What their needs are.
  8. How they intend to spend the charity provided e.g. Food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance, education
  9. Their plans for becoming self reliant.
  10. Any attempts they have made to obtain accreditation e.g. Applications to become accredited with their government. Or the reasons why they haven’t or won’t apply for accreditation. Attempting accreditation & proof thereof will increase trust.
  11. Why they decided to look after orphans rather then putting them in the care of existing accredited charitable organizations like Child Link Foundation
  12. Proof that those in their care are not being used as charitable bait.
  13. Why the decision was made to provide for those in their care when it’s claimed that personal resources are so limited.
  14. Independent Referees – Written References from people with community standing that confirm the claimants good character, trustworthiness and that confirm the truthfulness of claims made.

The more evidence applicants can provide that help answer these questions the more chance they have in engendering trust.

Prevarication and efforts to deflect doubts will only go towards proving that the applicant/s are untrustworthy.

People are prudent not to trust statements made without proof.


Applicants should be prepared to make an effort to obtain written references from people with good standing who are prepared to sign a document confirming their statements as being the truth the whole truth & nothing but the truth.

Maintaining Trust

Money given as a donation carries with it expectations and implied conditions that the money will be spent as promised or expected.

Once applicants have a supporter who has provided financial support those who received the charity have an obligation to:-

  1. Keep the supporters identity and donation private i.e. Secret.
  2. Provide proof of where the donations are being spent. E.g receipts of purchases.

The providers have an obligation to do their best to hold their beneficiary accountable by insisting on proof their donations are being used responsibly.

Funding Methods


  1. Gofundme campaigns are expensive to run, complex to setup and often require donators to trust the creator of the fund (the trustee) as well as the beneficiary (the donatee or recipient of the funds). The trustee has to transfer collected funds to the recipient using a money sending service which costs more money. Gofundme campaigns involve setting up a stripe account (similar to automated paypal account) which is a holding account before the funds move manually or automatically into the trustees bank account, so that money can be refunded if the donator changes their mind within the legally required 72 hour cooling off period.
  2. Gofundme, stripe, money sending service & currency conversion all come out of the collected funds which means the recipient or beneficiary receives less.
  3. The trustee is responsible for maintaining the Gofundme setup which is time consuming and can be stressful they are also responsible for record keeping to ensure if an audit is requested that all funds can be easily accounted for so people can have trust in the process and they must ensure transparency by ensuring people who contribute can see the money trail to resolve any possible doubts.
  4. The advantage of using Gofundme is it enables donators to donate using their credit and visa enabled direct debit cards.
  5. One of the major disadvantages with the GoFundme setup is the disconnect between the total donated displayed on the Gofundme website and the actual amount available in the underlying stripe account and the amount transferred to the recipient. The different amounts often creates confusion and mistrust.


  1. The recipient (people seeking charity) sets up on the internet a paypal account and donators send money via paypal to the recipient using the paypal email handle setup by the recipient.
  2. This is very easy for donators to use to send money and they automatically receive receipts.
  3. It is easy for recipients to advertise with a paypal link and their email address as their paypal account handle or identification.
  4. The trustee is paypal.
  5. There is no maintenance process.
  6. The disadvantage is currency exchange costs involved for the donators which can be a large percentage of the funds.
  7. Another disadvantage is the recipient needs a bank account, a home address and must go through the process of linking their bank account with their paypal account which can be complex for people not familiar with the internet and technology.
  8. The recipient must provide the records to show where the money is being spent to maintain donators trust.


  1. Simplest method for recipients.
  2. Using services like WorldRemit or Western Union cost a tiny amount compared to the transfer currency exchange rates incurred in a normal bank to bank transfer.
  3. The recipient doesn’t need a bank account to receive the funds.
  4. The disadvantage is that the donor must use the money transfer service so only determined donators will donate.
  5. The recipient should keep receipts & provide evidence to show that the donated money was spent in accordance with the agreed charity to maintain the trust relationship if they wish to receive further support. They should also supply plans for their ideas for future expansion & how they hope to support themselves in the future. This is so donators can see that the beneficiary (people receiving the donations) are using part of the funds to become self reliant so that eventually they will not need support. If this is not done charity can become a poverty trap.
  6. To set this up the provider will require the recipients photo ID, their address and their mobile phone or email address so the recipient can receive the donation identification number that will enable them to get the money sent.
  7. If the recipient has a bank account and it’s agreed to deposit money there the provider will need the bank account number and banks identification swift code number which is found on the internet.

Responsibilities of Providers

  1. Should insist the beneficiary provides proof of their good faith as described above.
  2. Amount To Donate – It’s a good idea to donate small donations of say $10 or $20. Donating large amounts can put the beneficiary in danger of being robbed, or of being tempted to spend the money on inappropriate things that were not expected. Large amounts tend to breed dishonesty.
  3. At the first suspicion of impropriety and dishonesty you should cease your donations.
  4. Insist on proof of where the donations are being spent.
  5. Insist on a plan for financial independence otherwise your donating will enslave the beneficiary rather than help them towards self sufficiency.

Reasons Why Poverty Exists in Luuka 48 km NE Of Jinja


  1. Paypal
  2. World Remit
  3. Gofundme
  4. Western Union
  5. Child link foundation
  7. Save the children
  12. Ugandan Charities


Simon Shields