The Pink Test is a feel-good story, but does it help where it’s really needed? | The New Daily

Every year at the New Year’s Test match at the SCG, tens of thousands of cricket fans don pink and give money to the McGrath Foundation to fund free breast care nurses to support individuals and their families who are experiencing breast cancer.

The charity, founded by the famous bowler Glenn McGrath and his wife Jane before she died of breast cancer, is almost universally lauded and raises millions for its cause.

But its own financial accounts raise questions about whether it is an efficient way of providing essential health care.

In terms of the money the McGrath Foundation receives from individual and corporate donors, it spends more on fundraising, marketing and administration than on funding breast care nurses.

Last year, it spent about $8.8 million on “foundation-funded breast care nurses”, but more than $9.1 million on fundraising and marketing, and a further $2.2 million on administration.

It claims that last year “68 cents in every dollar spent went directly to our nursing program”.

But that figure hides more than it reveals.

The 68 cents in the dollar figure is only true when you include government funds, which pay for most of the breast care nurses the McGrath Foundation provides.

Government grants are the McGrath Foundation’s largest source of revenue, accounting for nearly 40 cents of every dollar the charity gets, and it is contractually obliged to spend all this money on breast care nurses.

Strip out the government funding, though, and the share of revenue the charity spends on breast care nurses doesn’t look nearly as healthy.

In effect, the McGrath Foundation is an outsourced government service provider, linked to an expensive charity arm with large overheads.

Certainly, philanthropy has its place – but not in allowing charity to supplant the state in supplying essential services, especially when government can do so cheaper and more efficiently.

Source: The Pink Test is a feel-good story, but does it help where it’s really needed? | The New Daily

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