Ransom Note

Appeal asking you to donate by SMS? Might be better to donate online. When you donate by SMS, you get a follow up call from a “professional fundraising company” who will do everything possible to convince you to set up a standing order (because that’s how they get paid).

I understand that charities have to do whatever it takes in difficult times, but my wife said my face had turned purple by the time I’d finished on the phone with them.

My guess is that the SMS is not so much about making donations easy, as getting a foot in the door. Next time I won’t make the same mistake.

But the fundraising professionals are not alone. A lot of charities now follow up donations with a plea for more, even when you’ve given all that you can afford, in some strange belief that you’re not doing enough.

Of course I know the situation on the ground… that’s why I donated in the first place… please don’t emotionally blackmail me…

Honestly, it all leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. Today’s charities need a lesson in manners, if not ethics.

The Insanely Rich

Look, if I had as much money as you two Irish rockers, I probably wouldn’t release a Christmas single to raise some cash for charity right now.

How much money do you two actually need to live on? Most of us families of four get by on about £1500 a month.

Oh insanely rich superstar, I’m absolutely positive the Disasters Emergency Committee would gladly accept a nice discrete £500m donation (still leaves you £400m to tide you over for your retirement).

Oh poor hater of Mondays, surely you can spare a paltry £50m to build a few well equipped hospitals (you’ll still have £100m left over).

And maybe save the rest of us from your sneering appeals. We’re already doing what we can.

Gratitude for our age

I don’t like to get emotional about an inanimate object, but sometimes you do just have to express your wonderment at advances in technology. Continue reading “Gratitude for our age”

My vision

Building confidence in our community

For some time I have been contemplating means and methods to build confidence in our community, where issues related to a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem can be seen to be linked to academic under-performance, gang membership, abusive marriages, criminality, extremism and other social ills. Continue reading “My vision”