12 Aug 2009

Children's charity defends how it spends funds

9:17 pm on 12 August 2009

Charity KidsCan is defending how it spends its funds following a telethon fundraiser at the weekend which raised $2 million for needy children.

The charity runs programmes to provide food, shoes and raincoats for children.

Financial statements from the Kids Can Stand Tall Trust for the 2008 financial year show it raised $1.95 million. Of that, $1.5 million was spent on overheads, including marketing and salaries for staff.

The figures have raised questions about how the $2 million raised by the telethon will be spent.

Media commentator Russell Brown says it seems only a relatively small amount of funds generated by KidsCan is spent on frontline programmes. He says the public should be aware of the hidden costs.

But chairman of the KidsCan board of trustees, Rick Shera, says there are significant costs to run the charity.

Mr Shera says the charity aims to contribute at least 70% of funds raised on programmes and uses the other 30% towards running costs.

He says the figures do not provide an accurate picture of its spending, because they do not include the more significant contributions of "in kind" donations.

TV3, which broadcast the telethon, says it was assured there will be no administrative costs deducted from money raised and virtually all funds will go to needy children.