Posts By: Sam Burne James

Tea with Simon Cowell, and why the Health Lottery is no bad thing

Simon Cowell asked me to go to tea with him this week. Actually that’s only partially true: more accurately, I was invited by a PR person to a rather civilised afternoon tea hosted by the TV talent guru and the media mogul Richard Desmond to celebrate the Health Lottery.

The lottery, which manages 51 society lotteries across Great Britain, has ruffled some sector feathers since it was set up in 2011, but it has also raised £50m for charities, CICs and other organisations working to combat health inequality. That’s good going: of course only a nasty cynic would point out that Desmond, who launched the game, had said it would raise £50m in year one alone. Read more on Tea with Simon Cowell, and why the Health Lottery is no bad thing…

Who’s offering what, and to whom?

“What is your big offer?” Sir Stephen Bubb, head of charity leaders body Acevo, asked charities minister Nick Hurd at last week’s Gathering of Social Leaders.

The speech that followed did not have any ‘big offer’ to woo the sector. Nor did the subsequent addresses by Lisa Nandy, Hurd’s shadow. Nor that of final speaker Jon Cruddas, the shadow cabinet office minister. Read more on Who’s offering what, and to whom?…

Late filing: excuses, excuses…

The Charity Commission’s class inquiry into ‘double defaulters’, charities who have failed to submit their annual accounts two or more times in the last five years, rumbles on.

Various reasons were given by the dozen charities whose non-compliant behaviour has been outlined in the reports released so far, in three batches of four; the first in January , the next in March, the most recent last week. And, albeit from a relatively small sample size, a pattern begins to emerge. Read more on Late filing: excuses, excuses……

Time to give the Charity Commission a cuddle?

It didn’t take me long in this job to realise one thing I was likely not to hear much of was praise for the Charity Commission. So I sat up and listened when last week, a number of sector bodies came to the defence of their regulator.

Read more on Time to give the Charity Commission a cuddle?…

Why aren’t more charities engaging with the lobbying bill?

I took three major steps in preparing for my interview for my new job at Third Sector at the end of last year.

I polished my shoes, dug out a newspaper interview with Lord Heseltine – he who founded our publisher, Haymarket – and decided I’d try getting my head around the lobbying bill. It was getting a fair few column inches, I couldn’t help but notice.  Read more on Why aren’t more charities engaging with the lobbying bill?…