As Socon or Bust readers are aware, the Development & Peace abortion saga has been about many issues. It’s been about abortion, of course. That’s the central issue in this ongoing scandal. But it’s also been about many other issues as well, such as Condoms & other Contraception, Homosexualism, Marxism, Anti-Catholicism, and even Infanticide.
We all know, of course, that Development & Peace is a big enterprise, collecting roughly $30 Million dollars per year, over half of it coming from the Catholic Church in some fashion while the rest of it coming from our Federal Conservative government. Since its inception, Development & Peace has duped Catholics and the government into donating over half a billion dollars (as of March, 2007) to their perverse form of social justice. Today, it’s now well over $640 million and counting (and that’s not even inflation adjusted). And remember, everyone, it’s not only that much of this money went to our enemies; it’s not only that much of this money went to causes it shouldn’t have gone to; it’s also that this money didn’t go to those who needed it most. That’s a tragedy too that we must not forget.
Aside from the moral accountability surrounding these issues, there is the issue of financial and administrative accountability. In the past, Socon or Bust has only briefly touched on this aspect of Development & Peace’s operations in a few short blog entries.
But now we have some more news on this front, so we would like to share it with our readers.
In the Summer 2011 edition of MoneySense, the magazine featured an article which assessed the performance of Canadian charities (see p.44-51). Ranking charities might sound strange, but considering that the charity industry is very competitive and operates within a free market in securing donations, it is subject to the rules of good stewardship and efficiency just like any other organization is. The charity dollar is part of the same limited, finite pie. And there’s competition to ensure that bloated, inefficient, and unaccountable charities are held responsible for their operations and the decisions of their management. Now that might sound very unsocialist for our friends at Development & Peace who mostly vote NDP, but Canadians, and even Lefties, want to ensure that their donation buck is not being squandered.
This is how MoneySense set up their ranking system:
To help donors get a better idea for how efficiently charities use their money, we set up a sophisticated rating system that grades charities on how they perform in four different categories: program spending efficiency, fundraising costs, governance, and reserve fund size. We scour each charity’s annual tax filing status for clues as to how efficently the charity is run, and we personally contact each and every charity on the list and ask them to fill out a detailed questionnaire designed to measure how well they are governed. (p.45)
There are 15 charities in the International Aid and Development Category. And guess what?!
Development & Peace is listed!
A Socon or Bust reader who tipped us off to the article provided the following summary:
In the category of Overall Charity Efficiency, Development & Peace gets a grade of C+, lowest of all 15 charities, with only 72.3% of spending going to programs. Chalice, (ed. the non-official but actually Canadian Catholic development and aid organization), by comparison, gets an A, with 93.3% of spending going to programs.
Fundraising Efficiency is better for Development & Peace: Grade A, as the cost to raise $100 is only $4.73, probably because churches do the fundraising. Chalice, however, gets an A+ here.
Governance and Transparency is another weak area for D&P, with a ‘C-’ (1.0 out of 10), tying 3 other charities (including Amnesty International) for the lowest ranking.
Reserve Fund Size is another strong point (B) for D&P, with its 7 month reserve being above average.
In Overall Score, Chalice gets top position, with an ‘A’, along with one other charity: Samaritan’s Purse, which is a Protestant organization with a similar purpose (run by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham), which also does well across the board.
To view all of the areas and charities ranked in the International Aid & Development category ranked, click here.
The first and most important area in which Development & Peace faltered is in the area of efficiency. They were the only Charity to rate as a “C”. In fact, all of the other charities, impressively enough (except one), rated as “A”. MoneySense stated that ”a highly efficient charity should be spending 15% on overhead, so we give our best score to charities that spend 85% or more on programs”. (p.45)
The other important area of serious concern is transparency. Socon or Bust readers will know well of our complaints of the lack of transparency shown by Development & Peace through their abortion scandal fiasco. For a charity that is financed by the taxpayers of Canada not to be totally transparent in the groups or programs which it funds is completely unacceptable. It smacks of banana-republic-style corruption. (You would think that given the sex abuse scandal of recent years, transparency would be a top priority for the bishops of this country, as well as for official Church organs under their care.) Consequently, because of Development & Peace’s “let-them-eat-cake” attitude concerning transparency, it was duly reflected in their C- grade rank in this category, tying them with that discredited rump of a pro-abort “human rights” organization known as “Amnesty International”.
For the sake of full disclosure, it should be pointed out that Development & Peace finished with an overall grade of “B”. However, even this respectable grade must be taken with a grain of salt, considering:
1) The “B” Grade was one of the lower Grades given in the International Aid & Development category.
2) The compensating categories which helped increase the overall grade for Development & Peace concerned revenue generation and cash reserves, rather than efficiency and stewardship of funds. The latter two categories, however, are much more important categories for the individual donor because it concerns how the Charity spends donor money rather than how the Charity raises it. In one of these lesser categories, for instance, Development & Peace received an “A” Grade for fundraising efficiency. But this is very deceptive since D&P has a running tap of donations from a) the Catholic Church and its various organs and b) the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) of the Federal government. Every Lent, for instance, Development & Peace pulls in approximately $10 Million dollars from tens of thousands of duped Catholics while doing sweet jack all to earn it, except, of course, to wait for the 70 odd cheques to come rolling in from the various dioceses in Canada for their “Share Lent” campaign. And it’s a similar welfare program with their other partner in moral crime, CIDA, who keeps the abortion gravy train rolling with regular wire deposits into D&P’s bank account. That’s certainly efficient, but not in the way most people think of ”fundraising efficiency”. As Socon or Bust has often suggested, let Development & Peace really know what fundraising efficiency is all about by having them compete for the charity buck in the public arena at large, instead of being on pogey for their entire existence. One thing is for certain if that scenario were to unfold: their $30+ Million dollar annual budget would be drastically reduced, and probably straining to hit the $3 million dollar mark — and that’s likely being generous.
Oh, yes, and one final point which deserves a special mention.
Readers will notice that the highest paid employee for Development & Peace is in the $120,000-$160,000 category. That’s not bad coin for head honcho of our official social justice gig here in Canada. Then again, the social justice industry in the Catholic Church is staffed with professionals, and professionals need to be paid professional wages, funded from the largesse of Catholic sacrificial offerings, of course. Readers should contrast that professional wage to Chalice’s highest paid position at $35,001. In fact, Chalice ranks as (tied for) the Number 1 spot in the International Aid & Development category. That’s something to be quite proud of as a Catholic, since Chalice is a true Catholic charity. They run a tight ship and are faithful to the Church’s teaching on human life. If readers want something to rejoice about, this is it.
Why then is Development & Peace still the Catholic Church’s official development and aid agency?!
Is it fidelity to Church teaching on authentic and comprehensive human development? No.
Is it financial stewardship? No.
Then what is it?
This Autumn, the bishops of this country will have yet another opportunity to correct a massive abuse that has been going on for decades. Let us pray that they don’t shuffle it off to another committee but finally force Development & Peace to respect the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life. And let us further pray that the bishops wake up and consider who they are dealing with in the management of Development & Peace, and ensure that every and all available measures to monitor and control their shady practices are fully implemented.
The time for the proverbial passing of the buck so it can be blown away by Development & Peace is over.