The SPUC Charities Bulletin has been a useful guide for parish priests and others when considering whether to allow fundraising activities for particular charities. The response to recent appeals for donations to help those suffering from the drought in Africa is a reminder of how generous people can be. Unfortunately, good people often assume that if an organisation is a charity, we do not need to enquire further. Sadly, with medical research charities, we do need to know whether the charity supports embryo experimentation, to give one example of ethical problems that can occur with charities.
The SPUC Charities bulletin dates from 2006 and is in need of updating. It is good news that it is now to be an online index that will be updated as new information becomes available. See: Charities and respect for human life. Another advantage of the online deployment of this index is that people can notify SPUC of information or concerns that they have about particular charities. (Send information to Anthony Ozimic: firstname.lastname@example.org)
There are many organisations competing for the generosity of generous parishioners who conscientiously support charitable causes. The purpose of using something like the SPUC charities index is not to discourage people from giving to charity but to direct their generosity to charities that are worthy of it.
Photo Credit: Howard Lake