My grandmother, who is in her mid-80s, has for the last 20 years volunteered with the Sue Ryder hospice near her home. Once a month the hospice holds a sale of goods donated by the public in its expansive grounds. People queue for nearly an hour before the doors open to get in. It’s so popular because you can buy pretty much anything at this sale (within reason), for ridiculously reasonable prices.
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So what’s the difference, really, between eating cows and eating horses? And what about dogs and cats? And the more you think about it, the more likely it is you might want to eat less meat or even stop eating meat altogether.
In the past fortnight, I have written two stories about charities that have come a cropper over unpaid business rates to local authorities.
The stories go like this: charity leases premises in ‘hard-to-let’ area for peppercorn rent on flexible terms and then claims the mandatory 80 per cent discount on business rates from the local authority. The landlord, in some cases, also pays the charity an annual donation that reflects a proportion of the discount on the full business rates they would otherwise have paid to the local authority, even if the property had remained unoccupied.
I ran the Bupa 10k in London on Monday. It was the second time I have taken part in the race but the first time I actually did any prior preparation. Having struggled to run the whole route last year, I set myself the goal of running the whole course and have, over the past few months, dragged myself out in the evenings to run at least a few miles.
And the training paid off. Although it doesn’t sound like a huge achievement, this year I ran the whole way without walking, and I’m proud of myself.
I was lucky enough to attend the Business Charity Awards, organised by Third Sector, on Monday night at the Grosvenor House Hotel where the BBC news reader Huw Edwards amused us with gentle digs at the England rugby team. I was sat next to a very interesting woman who works in the field of corporate responsibility.
It was pea and ham hock soup and fine wine at Nuffield Health’s annual general meeting held at The Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall on Wednesday.
And why not? The charity, which runs private hospitals and gyms, has had a very good year.
I have signed up to support another charity – and am suffering already from donor remorse.
I was wandering around a consumer show yesterday afternoon when I was surprised to see a charity stand. It seemed incongruous among the other stalls, which were selling high price goods, although on reflection it made perfect sense – why shouldn’t they be there?
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.
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.
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.