The Autumn is certainly the time of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but it has also been adopted as the time of the year when big charity giving campaigns seem to happen. This year, Macmillan Cancer Support launched “Go Sober for October”, the idea being that the money you would normally spend on alcohol in October you donate to them. On top of that there is Movember, which is now firmly established on the faces on men everywhere in November, no longer the preserve of visiting Southern Hemisphere rugby teams.
The problem appears to be that even as the pound in your pocket has been squeezed more and more, there are even greater demands on our spare cash from charities and appeals. It will soon be Children In Need night again, and somehow, in the depths of the worst recession in the last hundred years, last year there was a record total pledged on the night. In fact, when was the last time that you heard of a major appeal complaining that it hadn’t raised enough funds?
We receive so many donation bags at home, there must be a whole landfill site full of them somewhere. My daughter may be a teenager, but even she doesn’t go through clothes that quickly, and yesterday my son came home from school with shoeboxes for Romania, that we are supposed to fill with our unwanted knicknacks. As an aside, I am surprised that British Gas and SSE haven’t applied for charitable status as a way of masking their increased charges as “donations”, but I’m sure it would have crossed their minds. I wish I could just arbitrarily turn round to my clients, impose a 10% rate rise and claim that the wholesale cost of candidates has increased and therefore needs to be passed on to them.
Anyway, the point of this was to raise awareness of the charities we support during this time of the year, not to ask for donations, or even to brag about how much we donate or how we raise that money, but to draw attention to the charities, and hopefully give them a little boost in terms of profile.
In September we support the World Child Cancer charity, in November it is Movember (a good reminder not to take ourselves too seriously) and in December the British Heart Foundation. We have our reasons for supporting each, and hope that our efforts help them to fund the work (often research rather than care) that will make a difference.