Posts By: David Ainsworth

And what about the newspaper fat cats?

In recent days, both the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph have been on their high horses about charities paying their chief executives more than a £100,000 a year. One Mail columnist worked himself up into a fervour, putting the boot into the “hideous hypocrisy” of the charity fat cats.

But I can’t help noticing a bit of  hypocrisy on the part of the papers too. They don’t like charities spending money on staff, but they don’t seem to mind their own chief executives trousering some eye-watering sums. Read more on And what about the newspaper fat cats?…

A Fundraising Defence Council? It depends what you want to defend

Do we need a Fundraising Defence Council to defend the sector’s “right to ask”, as Mark Astarita, the chair of the Institute of Fundraising, proposed at the IoF convention a few weeks ago?

We certainly would if some Guardian commentators got their way. One was quoted last year by Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke as saying we should “arm the unemployed with AK47s and allow them to shoot down chuggers like dogs”. Read more on A Fundraising Defence Council? It depends what you want to defend…

Are the good times really gone forever?

Increasingly, we’re hearing that charities are going to have to face up to a “new normal”. In other words, a world in which they have to do more with less.

The average charity worker hears from every side that you face year upon year of terrible, lean, depressing times. The world, we hear, will never go back to how it was; things have changed forever.

The thing is, forever is a long time. Read more on Are the good times really gone forever?…

I think ATM giving is a shot duck

This week, Third Sector has published an analysis of ATM giving, a system recently created by Link to allow donors to give money to charity at cash machines. Read more on I think ATM giving is a shot duck…

Fundraising isn’t going to grow the sector’s income

If you’re expecting to increase the income of  the charity sector through fundraising, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.

Fundraising is becoming a more crowded environment  these days. More and more people are doing it. Last week, a survey showed that university fundraising was growing like billy-o: in ten years, universities have doubled the amount of donations they secure, and they’re still growing fast. Read more on Fundraising isn’t going to grow the sector’s income…

CAF’s estimates on the potential increase in Gift Aid are wildly unrealistic

The Charities Aid Foundation proposed, in the wake of yesterday’s Budget, that the suggested Gift Aid reform could raise more than £700m for the sector. They’ve produced some detailed calculations to support this thesis.

But I’m not sure they’re right. Read more on CAF’s estimates on the potential increase in Gift Aid are wildly unrealistic…

This year’s Budget is more middle of the road

Every year, when the Chancellor stands up to speak, you get a sense of a set of dice settling in the cup. Is this going be a good Budget for the voluntary sector? Because despite all the predictions and expectations, it’s pretty much down to a dice roll whether a Budget turns out well. Read more on This year’s Budget is more middle of the road…

Capping charity admin costs is a very bad idea

In the last week, from two very different sources, we’ve had proposals that the charity sector should keep itself to a minimum level of administration costs.

The first came from the philanthropist Gina Miller, who’s said the sector should keep its admin spending to below 25 per cent. The second, a bit more worryingly, came from the MPs of the powerful Public Accounts Committee, whose chairwoman Margaret Hodge, said that Oxfam spends only 3 per cent of its income on administration, and whose committee members later suggested that other charities should be made to follow suit. Read more on Capping charity admin costs is a very bad idea…

Let’s ditch workfare and introduce the Community Allowance instead

Once upon a time there was a great idea for helping the unemployed into work. It was called the Community Allowance, and various well-intentioned people spent years trying to make it happen. Read more on Let’s ditch workfare and introduce the Community Allowance instead…

The sector isn’t going to get smaller contracts, so it needs to win big ones

Last week, Chris Grayling told a meeting of the House of Commons justice committee that he wanted contracts in his department’s new payment-by-results probation scheme to be small enough for voluntary sector organisations towin them. Read more on The sector isn’t going to get smaller contracts, so it needs to win big ones…