Saturday, 15 November 2014
Once upon a time, the word Charity equated to love. Then, it was alms for poor people - the deserving, the undeserving. We became an industry; companies; the business of doing good with contracts. Now, there are more innovators employed to develop fundraising campaigns than those creating ideas to eradicate the issues we are meant to address. Charity has moved from the ‘giving’ of love and solutions, to the ‘getting’ of funds and the delivery of project plans within structures of work, pay, and governance that are devoid of love. Where the most precious resource, the staff who work with direct relationships on the ground, are paid and supported the least.
The adverts, the impact stories, the speeches and tweets; we are the science that has learnt to sell disadvantage for itself. We are the graffiti makers of trickledown compassion.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Logic models face a challenge when they touch the human face of feeling. No matter what the fidelity system - the values, the intentions, the authentic purpose – their words exist only in the agile interact between a model and the matter of experience from which our lives are drawn. Like sandpaper against a fresh scar.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
A few years later, when I was emptying a room, I discovered a beautiful green frog. I meant to give the smiley face to him but he vanished before I ever had the chance. I took it to the charity shop. 'Please,' I asked, 'make sure someone good gets this.' A last touch of velvet left my hands with love.
Monday, 3 November 2014
In the charity sector there is a techincal term to describe the Four Yorkshiremen sketch – it’s called research-based fundraising narratives. The basic principle is to paint as negative a view of young people as possible, sprinkle a few connections to the inspiring works of the charity publishing the report, and make recommendations which will validate the charity's own needs for further funding.
Page 4 of the executive summary produces a little image of a person surrounded by circles explaining the various negative health needs of young people. There is room on the page, but no attempt to offer any of the qualities that young people show in dealing with their health challenges; in the assets and strengths that they do possess; in the many things that they bring to their community; in their personal goals and resilience to keep going in the face of such misrepresentation. Despite talking about a ‘young person focussed approach’, young people have actually become a set of ‘needs’ in which they are utimately a ‘homeless’ stereotype first and foremost, an actual person second (See how the Teenage Cancer Trust talk about who they work with ‘as young people first, cancer patients second’ for an alternative).
Sunday, 2 November 2014