John Harris

Journalist & Author

We carry on giving, but isn’t charity an offence to basic dignity? | John Harris

Schools and hospitals are, more and more, surviving on donations – a sign of how Darwinian our nation has become

Someone needs cancer treatment only available in Germany. Someone else is leading a 187-mile bike ride across India to pay for research into brain tumours. Top right is a team of swimmers with learning disabilities who want to attend an international competition in Sheffield; bottom left is a girl who desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. And all around are numbers that dance in front of your eyes: “£64,994 raised by 2,773 supporters … £1,044 raised by 47 supporters … £900 raised by 23 supporters.”

The online donation platform JustGiving seemingly soothes the world’s ills with a sleek, altruistic efficiency the pre-digital world could get nowhere near. Since its foundation in 2001, it claims to have raised $4.2bn (£3.3bn) for “good causes” in 164 countries.

Related: Call for fundraising pages to be regulated amid fraud concerns

Related: JustGiving is right to operate as a profit-making organisation | Anne-Marie Huby

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