Coffee, cake and charity?

Coffee, cake and charity

By Vanessa McHardy, MA Integrative Child Psychotherapist and Neil Gamble, Chairman and Director of Companies and Retired CEO.

Can we have our cake and eat it? And at what cost to our health, and the health budgets of our governments?

There is a cancer patient support charity that raises funds by asking people around the world to take part in annual coffee mornings. Their slogans for these events are ‘Cake tastes better together’ and ‘You can have your cake and eat it’. Read More

Charities, cold-calling and the nature of giving: just how charitable is it?

Charities Cold Calling UK

Dr Eunice MinfordBy Eunice Minford ~ MA FRCS Ed Consultant Surgeon with an interest in current affairs, transparency, responsibility and accountability in all spheres of life.

Last year in the UK we saw how a number of large charities, including Oxfam, Save the Children and Cancer Research amongst others, think it is appropriate to ‘cold-call’ people to raise money for their charities.

They employ external companies to do the dirty work – and dirty work it is indeed. The undercover videos 1 2 accompanying the recent media article (“VICTORY! After Mail exposé reveals shame of charity cold call sharks, PM pledges tough new laws to tackle ‘boiler room’ tactics targeting the elderly and vulnerable”) published by the Daily Mail UK 3, show the tactics that are used to get people to part with their cash. No one is spared from being given this ‘opportunity’ to donate including elderly pensioners and those with dementia. Read More

Supporting charities: does it really help?

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Just before Christmas I glanced through my local community newspaper and was struck by the number of items, primarily editorial, that were about charity – including on this occasion the front cover.

I did an audit. Of the 36 pages of the paper that weren’t devoted to sport, real estate, classifieds or jobs, no less than 20 contained a piece (and on several pages, two to three pieces) on something to do with charity.

Some were small items, others prominent. The cover story was about the threatened closure of a charity; other items were designed to alert readers to the needs of a particular organisation or their constituents; one or two were simply communicating a success or an outcome; others were seeking support via donations of goods, money or time.

This paper by nature does report similar items regularly but on this occasion the amount of charity pieces felt excessive. Maybe the somewhat dramatic headline on the front page set the tone – and me on high alert in terms of noticing how many similar pieces followed.

How to account for this increase? Perhaps the proximity to Christmas meant charities were under more pressure to deliver services and needed additional support; possibly they were being strategic in their communication, banking on the possibility that ‘Christmas spirit’ might motivate readers to contribute extra donations or to volunteer their time.

Whatever the reason I found myself feeling quite overwhelmed by all this need and wondered how other readers might fare in the face of these alerts and requests for support.

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