Posts Categorized: Third Sector

The sector needs to take a positive approach to ageing

“Sixty-five is the new 50” was a statement that got many people at the launch of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing’s first report smiling. But, despite effectively having 15 years taken off my age and being transported back to my twenties, I left the event feeling somewhat downbeat.

The report, ‘Age of Opportunity: Putting the ageing society of tomorrow on the agenda of the voluntary sector today’, was launched on April Fools Day, causing Dan Corry, chief executive of NPC to worry that people would think it was a prank. But a good number of people did turn up to find out what it was all about, even though a few who I spoke to said they were not sure what the commission would achieve. Read more on The sector needs to take a positive approach to ageing…

#nomakeupselfie is social media at its best

I think it is fair to describe the #nomakeupselfie trend on Twitter as a phenomenon without precedent in the charity world. As of Tuesday this week, Cancer Research UK said it had received a total of £8m in donations from the public. That is £6m more than it said it had received when I first reported the story for Third Sector on Friday.

It just goes to show how an organic trend is far more powerful than the most potent marketing techniques you can imagine. Read more on #nomakeupselfie is social media at its best…

Was my dry January for the wrong cause?

It wasn’t hard, but I’m glad it’s over: that’s the best summary I can find for taking part in the Dryathlon for the second January running. Life without alcohol felt calmer, but lacked the sharpening of mood and thought that a glass of wine can provide. The secret, of course, is to keep things moderate as the year goes on… Read more on Was my dry January for the wrong cause?…

Read more on Was my dry January for the wrong cause?…

My family’s experience of the Plymouth Brethren

Many years ago relatives of mine were in the Plymouth Brethren, gradually moving from the ‘open’ section to the ‘exclusives’. It was not a happy time for my otherwise close family who failed to see the public benefit behind the organisation, experiencing instead separatism and fundamentalism. Read more on My family’s experience of the Plymouth Brethren…

What was the IoF up to?

What is one to make of the fact that the Institute of Fundraising, just over a year ago, drew up a confidential internal document scoping how it might merge the membership of the Fundraising Standards Board with its own? It was clearly more than a passing thought – the document, leaked to Third Sector, runs to nine pages and includes detailed analyses of current membership fees of both organisations and calculations of how a combined membership fee might work. Read more on What was the IoF up to?…

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?…

The mood music of the honours list

When you read the bi-annual honours lists, names occasionally appear that make you think, hang on a minute – haven’t they got an honour already? And you usually think that because the person is so well-known or has achieved so much that he or she definitely should have had an honour already: the gong is obviously overdue.

Read more on The mood music of the honours list…

“Every penny goes to beneficiaries” no longer rings true

Among the revelations that Comic Relief had been misleading people over its investment policy, another revelation went almost unnoticed – that it has been  misleading people over how much money goes directly to the cause.

Comic Relief has always pledged that every penny donors give goes directly to frontline organisations. It manages to do this, it says, despite spending around £17m a year on staff. Read more on “Every penny goes to beneficiaries” no longer rings true…

Orbison was on to something

The more you read the National Audit Office report on the regulatory failings of the Charity Commission, the clearer it becomes that David Orbison, the former commission case worker, was onto something significant when he rebelled over the case of African Aids Action. He protested at the decision by senior management to close the case because he was convinced from his inquiries that there were serious shortcomings at the charity that required more determined intervention. The ensuing row led to his resignation and eventual success in claiming constructive dismissal, a decision against which the commission is currently appealing.

Read more on Orbison was on to something…

A baffling session on the value of Gift Aid

The Public Accounts Committee convened with its normal seriousness on Monday. The top bods of HM Revenue & Customs on one side; some political heavyweights on the other. The plan for the early part of the meeting was to conduct an investigation into whether Gift Aid had been effective at incentivising giving to charity.

Read more on A baffling session on the value of Gift Aid…