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CHARITY FUNCTIONS - Essay Example

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While social organization has been an essential aspect of modern existence, few would argue that even the nations with the most functional government systems have been able to address the ever-burgeoning amount of social challenges. …
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CHARITY FUNCTIONS
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Download file to see previous pages This gap between government remedies and social ills has long been a concern of organizational theorists in who examine corporate social responsibility, as well as humanitarians who work towards social change through establishing or donating to charities (Weisbord 2004). Although the general public consensus is that charities make a strong contribution to the social good, growing bodies of theorists and researchers have argued that the only function that charities can ever perform is that of relieving the symptoms without treating the disease (Rydenfelt 1983). In effect, charities merely salve people's conscience while maintaining the status quo. Within the world of finance such charity functions have emerged as firms or individual investors have placed funds into trusts with the intention that their donation is making a significant real world contribution to social progress. This essay explores this equity trust relationship through an examination of the extent that charities can truly be understood to make significant real world contributions, and argues that many of the current charitable organizations must structurally rethink their approach to humanitarian aid. When examining the extent that charities contribute to social progress one of the essential considerations is the establishment of a working understanding of the charity concept. In the United States, charities are clearly defined as non-profit organizations (NPO) that have philanthropic interests that directly contribute to the public good (Marion 2004). While the United Kingdom has a similar understanding as the United States, rather than defining the charitable organizations as the non-profit organizational label they are distinguished by the Charities Act. Originally established in 1993 the Charities Act has undergone a number of considerable amendments over the last two decades (Kihn 2012). The Charities Act 1993 was established by the Parliament of the United Kingdom as a means of altering the regulatory framework around which charities act (‘Charities Act, 2006’). The main provisions established in this act are the definition of the requirements to become a charity and the establishment of a Charity Tribunal to hear appeals from decisions of the Charity Commissions. Subsequent changes to this act, with the most recent 2011 act making alterations to the requirements for registering charities (Kihn 2012). These notions are significant as they establish the important elements of the United Kingdom’s charity trust system. Even as there are considerable amounts of charities that fall under the auspices of the United Kingdom’s Charities Act, a number of researchers have criticized these institutions for lack of true understanding of social change. Additionally, there are a number of laws that these charities benefit from. This is significant as it indicates that to a degree they fall under the auspices of government funding. Hudson (2009) indicates that the law grants charitable trusts in the United Kingdom exemption from most taxes, and the trustees have freedom from legal action. Although this research has found no direct link between the tax exemption and charitable inefficiencies, it seems highly possible that this policy has allowed a system to emerge where the government is actually subsidizing ineffectiveness. Each case is specific, yet there has emerged an overarching argument against these institutions. This argument contends that these equity funds simply stave off the immediate problem, yet fail to target the long-term solution. Metaphorically this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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