Poll: is it ever OK for charities to accept tainted donations?

Dorchester hotel nw230510 1

The Dorchester Hotel, where the gala took place

Charities which found themselves the recipients of cash raised at a gala where women were humiliated and groped acted quickly to distance themselves from the affair.

Great Ormond Street Hospital charity and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital said that they would return donations raised from the scandal-wracked President’s Club.

The charities stood to gain a substantial financial windfall from the men-only event, which was attended by leading figures from the financial and business worlds.

However, they decided they could not accept the cash after an undercover reporter lifted the lid on goings-on at the gala, revealing it as a cauldron of misogyny and wealthy male entitlement.

There have been some similar cases over the past year where charities refused to accept cash from events where people blacked up, or where men dressed as sexist caricatures of women.

In each case, the organisations decided the financial gain was not worth the reputational damage.

That’s why we’re asking – is it ever OK for charities to accept tainted donations?

Vote now and join in the debate by leaving a comment below.

Graham Martin's photo

25th January 2018 by Graham Martin 4 Comments

Is it ever OK for charities to accept tainted donations?

Poll results (total votes: 106)

Is it ever OK for charities to accept tainted donations?

26th January 2018 by Lok Yue

Sloppy reporting again: what does 'tainted donation' mean? Does it include metro chemicals because their products damage the environment? soft drink companies because the sugar in their products is harmful to health? What about charitable trusts whose capitalisation derives from tobacco or alcohol. Easy to bask in the warm glow of self-righteousness but a little more difficult, i would venture to suggest, to justify (without consultation) that beneficiaries are being deprived of services and support because the charity management wants to make a political point

26th January 2018 by Tiiu-Imbi Miller

On the one hand we might say no, but then on the other aren't those who have caused problems (I am thinking here of big business rather than groping etc. at a charity event) the very ones who ought to donate generously to charities to make amends?

31st January 2018 by Hew

While in an ideal world donations would only come from reputable sources and who can determine who is reputable, I'm afraid if charities were to have to examine donations to such an extent it would be yet another tier of Administration which would again eat into the overheads and adversely affect the people the charity has been set up to assist

31st January 2018 by Gordon Liddle

Tainted has no definite meaning, tainted for some is not for others. Thus so the answer might be, depends on what is meant by tainted but as that is not an option I was compiled to answer "yes".