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Charity Sucks (Provocations)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Charity Sucks (Provocations).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Iqbal Wahhab(Author)

    Book details

In the wake of recent scandals concerning charities such as Kids Company and BeatBullying, as well as the wave of suspicion they have generated about the third sector as a whole, celebrated restaurateur Iqbal Wahhab offers a scathing critique of the cosiness between government and charity, and proposes that the solution lies in business.

Indeed, he believes we are entering a post-philanthropy age, where social entrepreneurs are better placed to sustainably solve our problems than the outdated and ineffective donations model. With social mobility on the wane and inequalities widening, he argues, the convention of paying taxes to provide a welfare state that fixes the problems of the poor and infirm is now considered a myth.

The problem is that charities aren't evolving in the way businesses have to. They expand by the amount of hope and faith by which they can convince largely uninformed, if well-meaning, donors and philanthropists to finance them. Businesses expand through success, and success wins over hope.

Put simply, Wahhab argues, charity sucks because business does it better.

3.4 (11439)
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Book details

  • PDF | 112 pages
  • Iqbal Wahhab(Author)
  • Biteback Publishing (20 Oct. 2016)
  • English
  • 7
  • Business, Finance & Law

Read online or download a free book: Charity Sucks (Provocations)


Review Text

  • By Lad+Ladette on 20 November 2016

    Wahhab sets out to challenge the accepted norms in this book and achieves his aim.In recent years we have seen painfully exposed within the media, the failing of charities either through poor governance, executive greed or poor delivery against their aims. There are of course good charities as Wahhab illustrates, but the concept of “charity” and all it means in terms of the ‘hand out’, the lack of quality and perpetuation of reliance rings sadly true. What Wahhab successfully illustrates from the provocative title to the illustrative examples is that if we are to change the face of how we address such issues, something much more disruptive needs to occur. That ‘disruptive innovation’ can take its leads from business, where entire new industries and value in all senses of the word have been created in recent years. Disruption, of course requires acceptance of the need for change from those with vested interests often in maintaining the status quo. This is the challenge but this thought provoking text should help inspire those who see the need to do things differently to look hard at both the attitudes and the practices rife within the charitable sector at present and see what they can do to build something better. This book provides good insights into examples of how this can change.I can only finish by saying that as a restauranteur, Wahhab might have been tempted to also say that beyond ‘sucking’ the charity sector needs a good chew over their current menu and look at the creation of some new hors d'oeuvres to entice people to support them differently.

  • By Tania on 21 October 2016

    Iqbal Wahhab is the founder of the highly successful restaurant businesses Cinnamon Club and Roast. In this provocative, concise book, he gives his own experiences with having served on the boards of several charities as well as the social enterprise models he has come across or been involved in. The premise is simple; charities fail because it is generally not in their interest to succeed. Businesses, however, always have a strong motivation to succeed and once the business world discovers how doing social good can positively impact its bottom line, it will adopt an ethical, useful stance naturally as part of the DNA of the company rather than a separate Corporate Social Responsibility tickbox approach.Wahhab has a great ability to sum up his ideas in single standout sentences that deploy pleasing alliteration; ‘Entrepreneurship brings empowerment – donations bring dependency.’ There is much that I agree with here and some of the examples he uses to illustrate his points are inspirational and a great model for other social enterprises to emulate. Where I diverge from his argument is that taxes can’t play a greater role in society. Since he is looking at the problem pragmatically and knows that any business will naturally avoid taxes as far as possible, he is trying to incentivise the uptake of a socially productive approach to business by showing how much it has done for his profits. Call me a pinko commie, but I think a society that takes ‘from each according to his ability’ and gives ‘to each according to his needs’ is still a good model to hope for in future. However, this is a brilliantly written polemic on why charities are not a modern solution to the world’s problems. Extremely important reading for all interested in a progressive and progressing society.

  • By Guest on 16 November 2016

    I was intrigued with his book and its provocative title, and as a multiple charity trustee with ideas of her own on the need for charity reform, I got what I wanted. There are some good take-away ideas captured in phrases here that I expect to hear more of in conversations about charity reform and social enterprise - "Founder Syndrome", "it's charitable to donate but transformative to invest", "B Corporations" and ''post-philanthropy age" . With respect to the last one, I would add "post-Liberalism age" after events of the last few months.While I generally agree with the criticism made of "charity as we know it" and the very real opportunity for business and social enterprise to deliver benefits to communities outside their immediate stakeholders, I also believe that there is an even bigger opportunity to leverage the giving of individuals through network effects. I have seen individuals self- identify around their advocacy and support for charitable causes and use this to forge valuable relationships with others that are transformative on their own. Charitable giving provides a unique license to engage others, as people rarely "diss" charity (except the author -- who actually is "dissing" charity by disruption, vs disrespect).Volunteering is explored in this book, mainly in the context of social enterprise. I would offer that volunteering is a powerful tool to leverage donations and corporations can play a significant role in leveraging their employee engagement with charitable causes by monetising their volunteering - e.g. volunteer for the company-supported charity and get a financial contribution to the charity of your choice - benefiting employee, employer and hundreds of smaller charities - and generating valuable information on employees for further support and engagement.I recommend this book as a thought-provoking read on a subject that most of us encounter regularly - especially as we enter the Festive Season and the requests to donate begin to pile in.

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