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Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by Napavalley » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:53 pm

Now Charity shops are not good enough for the high street! they are giving it away,( and it is going to charity, that's the point!) material possessions mean nothing, even second hand ones , look at what you have in your life that means the world !! You have a choice what you buy!  but nothing in life is guaranteed 

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by Bonnijump » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:49 am

I recently posted this. Maybe a good alternative. :)

Dear Mums and Dad,

My lovely Midwife Odette, who helped me to have two wonderful births is doing something really good for people in need. I very much trust her and gave away all the baby cloths and equipment, I no longer need to help others.

Odette is a private midwife who runs Regents Midwifery and usually charges for her service. Currently however they are getting more and more enquiries from women living on benefits or a very low income who are struggling to make ends meet. That's why they offer a free service to a limited number of woman every month and have begun collecting baby cloths and equipment for them.

Anything unused will be forwarded to charitable birth centre in South Africa called 'Busfare Babies'. ( where woman living in difficult conditions (40% are HIV positive) pay the price of a bus fare for midwifery birthing centre. They can send baby and children's cloths, baby equipment and maternity cloths. They desperately need someone to sponsor their crates (postage) to be sent (approx £200) per year or to negotiate a good deal to send these items to South Africa.

Odette: 'My friend Karen Clarke in South Africa is trying to run her birth centre single handed and always puts women first and works tirelessly to make ends meet so we want to help. The woman using her birth centre have very basic facilities and when they arrive in labour they don't even have knickers or sanitary pads. There is a high rate of neonatal death and life is difficult for them.'

Odette's contact details are
Telephone: 07891 276 499

Regent’s Midwifery Practice
2 Varndell Street
Regent’s Park
London NW1 3RG

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by Goldhawk » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:09 pm

I have a reasonable choice of charity shops for my donations
We usually give to FARA as the staff are pleasant & helpful
I cannot say the same of other local charity shops!

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by AbbevilleMummy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:32 am

My comparison is in regards to SHOP REVENUE ONLY and SHOP COSTS ONLY ie. not including donations. This information is very clearly available in the accounts of trinity hospice.

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by BDB » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:55 pm

My personal view is that you can't compare the two charities. Trinity does have a shop but my understanding is that the majority of their fundraising is from donations and from fund raising events (which are really well organised by the way) For example they had a team of 15 runners at the London Marathon. I could be wrong but my understanding is that Fara mainly raise funds from what is sold in their shops. Hence the differences in their accounts.

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by CKS » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:21 pm


I am sorry you disagree but financial accounts are only a snapshot of the picture. Percentages vesus £'s, long term investment versus short term, different business models etc.

It is very difficult to compare like for like and if you choose to compare like for like and not donate to Fara no-one is stopping you. Other people who are sceptical can choose not to donate.

I just think there are more important battles to fight.

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by AbbevilleMummy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:53 pm

I completely disagree CKS. It is absolutely possible to analyse and compare this financial information. This is what annual account are for! And this is what analysts do the world over for a living!

I agree that an MP is not necessarily the best route and people should just make a well informed decision with regards to charities they wish to support, hence this thread!

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by CKS » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:42 pm

It is impossible to compare accounts, profit and loss, Balance Sheets and Cash flow statements to ascertain whether donations are being used to make the maximum profits here and now or for long term revenues.

Looking at percentages rather than £'s, investment versus disbursement, benefits of professional staff versus volunteers and long term strategy will only confuse the issue.

If you don't think Fara is charitable enough then it's probably best to donate buy elsewhere. I can't see the need to email an MP.

Energy is probably better spent elsewhere.

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by AbbevilleMummy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:27 pm

Scotov, in my previous post analysing the accounts of trinity hospice I did indeed strip out their retail results only and excluded voluntary donations etc and so was comparing like for like with Fara.

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by tooting_mummy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:38 pm

I think that the majority of people who have posted on here have the best of intentions - they want to get to the bottom of why a charity they have supported is not able to give more of their revenue to their causes because it is getting swallowed up in operating costs. That is, we want MORE money to go to Romanian kids. Can't argue with that.
Unless you like picking a fight that is.

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by Scottov » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:08 am

AbbevilleMummy wrote:Thanks for the response Fara but you didn't actually add any real information.
I don't know that its fair to say they haven't provided any real information. What I think is perhaps true, or maybe the point to raise is how sustainable is a retail based business model in difficult economic times?

That seems to be the question: they have a bricks n mortar based retail model, versus say Trinity Hospice who are more donation based - is the model now a problem? There are a lot of fixed costs involved in such a setup

Reserves seem high, but if they have committed to long term programs then it is arguable they are needed.

I do wonder if such a high multiple (reserves/annual charitable distributions), or how many years worth they are holding back is necessary. But it might be.

Trinity hospice is another worthy charity, who many do and should support. Comparing the efficacy of their operations with Fara might tell us more about their respective models than it does the efficiency of their management.

If there is an inherent weakness in their business model however, then I would think that is highly relevant to their customers, donors & supporters. Not to mention their directors

From the directors point of view Its one thing to say we do as well possible under the circumstances, when perhaps they are better off questioning if there a better way of doing things. I.e. a retail model generates 17p per £1, and perhaps that's a pretty good retail result, when whether to stick with a retail dominant model is the bigger issue.

I'd be interested if anyone is able to strip out the retail operations from an oxfam or a trinity hospice type setup. That would validate (or disprove) their claims about how well they run things

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by Scottov » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:47 am

mungomuffit wrote:Clapset and Tootingmummy - please don't encourage scottov to post! It's been a bonus having my computer down for the last 3 weeks that I didn't read a single one of his unpleasant posts!
Very interesting that you claim to read my posts, but run away & hide everytime I ask you if you can substantiate your earlier slanderous assertions :D

I think its very interesting that Nick is trying to bring a fact based analysis to proceedings, as opposed to fantasist ravings.

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by Scottov » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:33 am

tooting_mummy wrote:Reading this thread I am astounded that someone on a parenting website has got the time or inclination to be so consistently nasty (hi Scottov), but I guess it takes all sorts....

Before Nick's post I was about to point out that the high prices could be actually be damaging to revenue, thus negating the people who think items should be set at the highest price possible. Excuse my rusty economics but there is a situation called 'price elasticity of demand' whereby a price increase results in such a fall in purchasing that revenue/profits fall. Examples of such items would be non essential items (eg the bits and bobs people have mentioned picking up in Fara without thinking) or goods that can be replaced easily with other products or from other sources (brand new items fit the same price as second hand). It's only anecdotal evidence but I'm another person who has pretty much stopped shopping at Fara - my dd is almost 4 and I shopped there regularly when she was a baby but have only bought a couple of things for my 6 month old ds because I find everything over priced.
I do however still donate and as this is our last baby we potentially have a lot to donate but Nick's post has made me think again. I'm shocked that so little of their revenue goes to charity. Surely something should be done to publisize this? Did the article ever get into the Wandsworth Guardian?

Thoughts Scottov?
Thoughts about what?

About price elasticity, as a GCSE level economic principle?

About price elasticity not being especially applicable to a charity shop - demand is highly elastic in a market with many alternatives?

About you exercising your natural rights to choose to shop elsewhere?

Or about FARA's public benefit test? I'd have thought that is FARA's management to talk about

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by AbbevilleMummy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:40 pm

Thanks for the response Fara but you didn't actually add any real information.

The results I posted re Trinity Hospice were purely with regards to their shop operations and I intentionally left out voluntary donations etc in order to compare like with like.

I will do a similar analysis of the accounts for the other companies you have mentioned and post the results on here to see if you do compare favourably to them as you certainly don't with Trinity Hospice.

Re: fara charity shop a rip off!

by FaraCharity » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:39 pm

From the FARA Foundation 2011 audited and filed accounts published by the Charity Commission

•£595,273 was cited as charitable spending (7% of total income)

•In addition to this FARA shops raised £753,565 (9% of total income) to contribute to the funds retained for future use stated on the summary sheet.

•FARA shops contribution to charitable spending in 2011 is 16% of total income generated by the charity.

The FARA Foundation2012 are audited and file accounts with the Charity Commission (these will not be published by them until September 2013.) Here are figures from these accounts

•In 2012 FARA shops raised £1,271,469 in funds for charitable spending (17.4% of trade income)

•In addition to this £309,148 (4% of trade income) was raised through Gift Aid (funds generated directly through sale of goods through FARA Shops) this was added to the FARA Charity reserves.

•In 2012 the FARA Foundation had `reserves of £2,852,599 in line with the requirements laid out in the Chairman’s report in FARA’s Reserve Policy- p7/37 of PDF of 2011 accounts.

To put it in over simplistic terms in 2012 for every one pound spent in FARA shops 21p was given to help with the daily support needs of the children and young people in FARA’s care and for their future requirements.

•In 2012 FARA Shops trade income was £7,314,510 (with a trading performance of 23.6%)

•In 2012 FARA’s trading costs were £5,724,941 which were to cover commercial rents for 50 shops, business rates, utilities, wages for 170 fulltime and 120 part-time staff, warehouse and distribution running costs, property maintenance, insurance, business administration costs.

FARA shops are performing favourably within the charity shop sector. Comparison can be made by consulting the league table in the Charity Shops Survey 2012 published by The Civil Society.

Further scrutiny of this league table shows that in comparison with others FARA is unusual in raising 97.5% of funds through shops rather than from voluntary donations.

Trinity Hospice generates 33% of income from 21 shops
Debra generates 72% of income from 116 shops
Sue Ryder generates 47% income from 392 shops

Income revenue from charity shop fund raising has much higher associated costs than that of voluntary donations (with modest business administration expenses.) FARA continues to struggle to generate voluntary donations from the general public however, we have been very lucky to receive many donations of goods for re sale through continued support for our shops.