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Peter McVerry Trust has 'financial issues'.



  • Registered Users Posts: 82,587 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    A million a week going through it, where does all the money go? Why is the CEO on circa €110k? Why does a country as small as Ireland have over 11,500 charities?

    The Peter McVerry Trusts latest annual report shows that the charity received €38,378,909 in State funding in 2021. It also received €14,875,168 in charity-generated revenue and capital funding.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,798 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    110k is bugger all for a CEO of a medium sized property development firm, which is what these basically are.

    Organisations that are volunteer run to the top cannot ever reach any significant scale, and professionals don't work for less than they can get elsewhere. If a charity was looking to hire me I would be looking for the same terms as if it was any other employer.

    Now, I don't think any of these bodies should be operating the way they are - McVerry, Tuath, Cluid etc should all not need to exist and all "their" housing should be state housing, consider the state paid for it. But the CEOs salary is basically irrelevant. If they had someone on the average wage doing it I'd be vastly more concerned!

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,756 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    But the CEOs salary is basically irrelevant. If they had someone on the average wage doing it I'd be vastly more concerned!

    The CEO of a charity’s salary is very much relevant, particularly when the charity claims to be experiencing ‘cash flow pressures’. The point being they are not just a medium sized property development firm.

    I completely understand that if a charity were looking to hire you that you’d be looking for the same terms as if they were any other employer, and that is indeed the way these medium sized charities are being run, as though they are like any other employer, when in reality they’re just not. I’ve been involved with a few of these charities on an entirely voluntary basis in similar roles to others who were directly employed by the charity, and much of the reason they grow to be the size they are is because of the amount of public funding they receive, as opposed to relying on donations from the public which don’t amount to a whole lot of their annual revenue.

    They wouldn’t be nearly as large as they are without receiving public funding to manage housing which, while it is ultimately saving the Exchequer a bundle, it gives the wrong impression to suggest that a CEO salary should be €100k, for no other reason other than it’s the market rate for a CEO position in the private sector. Charities which are experiencing cash flow pressures would do well to take another leaf from the private sector - the idea of the one-dollar salary for the CEO position:

  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 76,290 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Beasty

    OP snipped and a number of replies deleted - no speculation over what these issues are. I am sure announcements will be made in due course, but at present there is not going to be much that can be discussed here

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,798 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Who is going to be a 'one dollar salary' CEO for a charity?

    A one dollar CEO is doing it because they make money off having shares in the company. Are you proposing that a charity CEO should get a share of the charities assets? Because without a rather exceptional clarification of who you think would be CEO for free, that's the only other outcome from a 'one dollar salary' CEO. Or are you just slamming a buzzword in here without any idea of what it means?

    110k is already a small salary for a CEO of an organisation of that scale, by the way.

    Rather like when people suggest tiny salaries for TDs, nobody seems to ever realise the result of doing so .

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,990 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    Dodgy ?

    They literally blew the whistle themselves and followed the correct reporting procedures.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,699 ✭✭✭standardg60

    If you give two euro to someone on the street that is charity.

    If there is a middleman between you and that person who lives off a percentage of that two euro then it's a business. It has no right to call itself a charity.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,586 ✭✭✭✭For Forks Sake

    There's nearly €40 million state (taxpayers) funding going into PMVT every year, they should absolutely should be brought to account for what's being done with it.

    It's certainly not being spent on high-grade staff anyway, they couldn't even spot a corpse in one of their own properties ffs

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,385 ✭✭✭✭

    The statement admits there's "potential financial issues".

    It doesn't look good.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,385 ✭✭✭✭

    And neighbours had been complaining about the flat being used as a drugs den for ages and the Trust did nothing about it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,756 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    Having worked in both the private sector, and as I mentioned previously - having worked with some of these charities, I can tell you that there would be no issue whatsoever in finding people who are willing to volunteer their time, skills, expertise and experience in service of causes that mean something to them. Unquestionably they are a very different calibre to the kind of person who a charity seeks to attract by offering them a €100k salary! 😂

    No, the person who appears to be using the buzzword ‘charity’ with no apparent understanding of what it means is you, and indeed any organisation which is registered as a charity, but run like a private organisation, as though their primary source of funding isn’t practically guaranteed by receiving funding from the public purse in return for their services to the State. It’s not an unreasonable expectation that they would be able to provide value for the amount of public money they receive from the Exchequer seeing as they’re not answerable to shareholders.

    I’m well aware that €100k is a small salary for an organisation of their scale in the private sector btw. I’m not comparing charity organisations to organisations the private sector - they are two very different things. Organisations in the private sector aren’t operating on the basis of charity. Charity organisations on the other hand, as the term suggests, should be, as opposed to being run like a business which is not required to make a profit.

    When a charity can’t even break even, then looking at the salaries of their Board of Directors or their Board of Governors is usually the first place to look in terms of cost cutting measures given the vast majority of their employees are already on the breadline given what they’re actually being paid (and I’m not referring to their employees on various State-sponsored employment schemes). Either that, or they should look to scale back operations, rather than having the hand out for even more public funding like they’re siphoning money from a never-ending supply of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,798 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    You haven't answered the important question there - who, that is actually competent for the role, is likely to offer to be CEO of a relatively large charity for a nominal fee?

    Its a full time role, so anyone with an existing full time role is out. Part time volunteer of skills is absolutely and utterly useless for a CEO position - great for the board, but pointless to actually run the place. Your imagined volunteers are board members, not executives.

    They're already paying a crap salary for the role, but expecting a volunteer to step leads rapidly to the organisation ceasing to exist.

    This charity should not exist - the state should be performing all of its roles and own all of its properties - but its actually poorly paid CEOs salary is not part of the problem.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,410 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Their first mistake was contacting the trust …. Should have contacted the Gardai

    big a big mistake if anything is proven… donors will walk away elsewhere with their cash.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,038 ✭✭✭Deeec

    I agree that the many housing 'charities' operating now are no longer charities in the true sense. They are service providers with employees earning high salaries who have no real interest in actually solving the housing crisis because that would make their jobs redundant. It's apparent that the bigger the housing problem is the higher the salaries will be.

    What I read the financial issues to be is just that they are experiencing a reduction in private donations and possibly want a higher government handout. I don't take it to mean there is financial irregularities.

    However I have no doubt that if the charities finances are looked at in detail that funds are wasted by needless spending and not securing best value - careless management but not illegal or improper.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,385 ✭✭✭✭

    It's an industry now.

    Whether or not these charities help homelessness is another matter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,699 ✭✭✭standardg60

    Completely agree, if you are the CEO of a body that is wholly or vastly paid for by the state then your job is to always run at a loss so you can argue for more funding. See literally every state funded body for reference.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,715 ✭✭✭✭

    Charities have been businesses for a very long time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,756 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    That’s an entirely different question you’re asking now, and in terms of the particular medium-sized charities in question, I can’t think of anyone who would volunteer themselves for the role of CEO of those organisations, for a couple of reasons - the biggest one being that they aren’t interested in being involved in those charities because they don’t agree with how the charities are run.

    It’s being a full-time role certainly does not mean anyone with an existing full-time role is out. That’s a ridiculous impression of the responsibilities of a CEO, a number of whom hold positions in other organisations as well as being in the position of CEO of charity organisations, of comparable size to the medium-sized charities we’re referring to here. My ‘imagined volunteers’ as you put it are not just Board Members, they are Executives, just not executives on €100k salaries.

    There’s no reason to suggest that any charity organisation would cease to exist were it to cease offering €100k salaries for executive positions, and rather than suggesting they shouldn’t exist, they were established by volunteers in the first place - people like Fr. McVerry, Sr. Statislaus Kennedy and Sr. Jean Quinn, who built them from nothing, and much as he’s a pain in the proverbial on a personal level, I still have to give credit to Colm O’ Gorman, the founder of One In Four (interesting wrangling over funding went on there with the HSE), who went on to become the Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.

    You say poorly paid CEO positions aren’t part of the problem of charity organisations over-extending themselves to the point where they are having to admit they’re having cash flow problems, I would think that would absolutely be the responsibility of the CEO to manage such a problem within the organisation effectively. Certainly I would question their competence and commitment to the organisation if they’re expecting €100k annual salary and the organisation is being run aground! 😳

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,798 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    It's the same question as it always was, and you can't answer it

    Your wall of text does nothing to support the idea that a charity could get a "one dollar salary" CEO, and you've fallen for buzzword bollox.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,310 ✭✭✭alias no.9

    A bit of consolation the sector wouldn't go astray. If it's prudent to force mergers of Banks, not just an Irish thing either, why not Homeless Charities? The problem isn't a CEO being appropriately remunerated, it's that there are more than 20 of them when maybe 3 or 4 will do, allowing for different types of homelessness.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,756 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    It’s not the same question it always was! You first asked who is going to be a one-dollar CEO for a charity, and then you asked me who, that is actually competent for the role, is likely to offer to be CEO of a relatively large charity for a nominal fee? I know many people who would, but they wouldn’t offer to be CEO of any charity where they didn’t agree with how the organisation was being run.

    I’ve not fallen for any buzzword bollocks, and I’m certainly not falling for the idea that a charity wouldn’t be able to source a CEO on an entirely voluntary basis (the reason for the ‘one-dollar’ is due to Federal regulations in the US, that wouldn’t apply here). You need to come up with a more compelling explanation in order to justify the salary offered for a CEO position in a charity organisation when the organisation is in financial difficulty already in spite of the fact that they are not required to make a profit! 😳

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,657 ✭✭✭✭Strazdas

    Not sure that makes any sense? If a state funded body was turning over a healthy profit, it would be able to reinvest those profits straight back into the body or organisation i.e. no actual need to operate at a loss.

  • Registered Users Posts: 261 ✭✭Fox Tail

    The g

    Govt is happy to absolve its social housing responsibilites to anyone and everyone. This is just another example.

    The Govt need to take social housing back in house and stop evading their responsibilities.

    Mcverry is a tax payer funded business, not a charity.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60,636 ✭✭✭✭Agent Coulson

    De Paul Ireland should open their books as well to show how much state funding they are getting it probably as much if not more than McVerry.

    The government is pumping millions a week into homelessness through these charities yet McVerry himself shouts the loudest blaming the government for doing nothing.

    These charities want to become landlords not fight homelessness

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭ZookeeperDub

    Honestly I have no idea why anyone gives money to these "charities" anymore. They are nothing but a scam. For years we have seen "charity" after charity fall by wayside to be replaced with another. Or front page news stories about what they are getting up to.

    Last time I looked at the books on this charity the wages bill was huge yet it is full of volunteers who are unpaid.

    We need to find a better method of providing houses than pumping millions into these questionable organisations. It seems to be just used for filling the pockets of some already rich people

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,943 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    I very much doubt that any not-for-profit housing company is full of volunteers: working with homeless people is complex and needs people with appropriate qualifications and skills. Its most certainly not just about providing houses. The organisations in this field may use volunteers for fundraising and nice-to-have fringe activities (I'm thinking of things like Simon Music Project) - but core work is done by paid staff.

    Earlier someone noted that many of the housing charities were set up by volunteers like - people like Fr. McVerry, Sr. Statislaus Kennedy and Sr. Jean Quinn - and I'd add Fr. Patrick Coogan to the list. They may not have drawn a wage, and may well live very simply - but they are all members of religious orders which provide food, housing, clothing, health insurance, etc. Totally unfair to compare them with regular volunteers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,511 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    This is an enterprise with a €50 million turnover, much of which is provided by the taxpayer. It's ludicrous to suggest that it should be managed and run by volunteer staff for free. Of course it should be a professional operation; that's a no-brainer.

    Having paid, qualified, regularly-employed staff doesn't make it one whit less of a charitable concern. And the notion that there is any meaningful link between the cashflow issues they report experiencing and the 0.2% of turnover that is consumed by the CEO's salary is a mind-numbingly silly one.

    There may be aspects of this charity that ought to be investigated, but this is certainly not one of them.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Broadly speaking, the problem with many charities is that it operates as a successful business, and it develops vested interests.

    I think many charities start with good intentions, but invariably become about wealth accrual at the very stop -- it corrupts itself. The charity then exists to support the people at the very top rather than the people who they purport to support, which becomes secondary.

    The heads of many charities often become politicised, and say things for the sake of their position and not because of what they actually believe. After all, with salaries well into six figures, it's understandable why they will say "the right things" for the sake of maintaining their very comfortable lifestyle.

    If anything, charities are probably more susceptible to corruption because people expectedly believe that charities must be a good thing and shouldn't really be criticised; that they can't really be anything wrong going on. It's even easier, then, for inappropriate actions to get brushed under the carpet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,643 ✭✭✭Beta Ray Bill

    Housing charities/agencies shouldn't exist.

    We've a heap of housing agencies all trying to do the same thing with public money. They run aground financially and its up to the Taxpayer then to clean up the mess. It's an absolute joke.

    Just have one agency, run by the government and outlaw the rest.

    Does this exist in anywhere else in the world the way it does in Ireland?

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,530 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    you could easily make the argument that no charities should exist. a well run charity should have as one of its primary goals, the negation of its own need to exist. in ireland, we have plenty of NGOs doing jobs the government should be doing; but it's easier for the government to cut the purse strings for an NGO than it is for it to let go a team of people employed by the HSE, say.

    as to the notion of charities being run by volunteers - given that most of these charities require full time staff, in many cases lots of them - where is this army of otherwise unemployed people who would run the charities going to come from? people who say charities should be run by volunteers are essentially saying that the unemployed should run them, the unemployed who in theory are being urged to get 'proper' jobs. or else we are asking pensioners to run them.