Should governments step in to bail out charities?

Imagine a large, well-respected charity delivering services to people in desperate need. The sort of charity that everyone knows and loves and, if it didn’t exist, would need to be invented.

Suddenly, and unexpectedly, it finds itself in trouble. Revenues take a dive and its balance sheet is worth only a fraction of what it says in the books. The treasurer resigns and it is haemorrhaging cash. Funders quickly lose confidence and begin to withdraw support, knowing that by themselves none of them can stop the rot. With general consumer confidence very low, the public are not in a generous mood. Whichever way you look at it, the charity is in dire straits.

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Alliance magazine