Charity fundraising teams are very good at getting others to raise money, but do they do it themselves? Ed Aspel, executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK, challenged his team last year to raise £50,000 towards the Stand Up to Cancer campaign. The staff reached the target easily, raising £60,000, and duly claimed the reward Aspel had promised - the charity's logo tattooed on a part of his body of their choice. Unable to resist the obvious, their choice ensured he now sports a big C on one buttock. You might call it a bum deal. At Large couldn't possibly comment.
There was relief in the sector when Gina Miller of the True and Fair Foundation appeared as a leading figure in the High Court challenge to the government's plan to trigger Brexit without a vote in parliament. Did this mean she would lay off charities for a while? Alas, no: the energetic fund manager has lodged a document with the Lords Select Committee on Charities, pushing her favourite charity-bashing measures such as restricting Gift Aid to charitable expenditure and reducing charity shop rate relief to 50 per cent. Some big charities, the TFF claims, "have often lost site (sic) of the reasons for their charity being setup (sic) in the first place".
It's great to see that the Teenage Cancer Trust will benefit from two concerts by ageing beat combo The Who at the Royal Albert Hall on 30 March and 1 April next year. Only one of the dates, however, is a so-called "exclusive", when private owners of the best 1,200 of the hall's 5,000 seats give up their rights to tickets. The second is a so-called "ordinary", when it is open to them either to use their tickets, return them to the box office or sell them at higher prices on the open market. Given the Charity Commission's current dialogue with the hall about potential conflicts of interest for the seatholders - who elect the charity's governing body from among themselves - whatever they do, they will no doubt make sure the proceeds ultimately go to the charity ...
What do chairs of the Charity Commission do when they move on? In the case of Dame Suzi Leather, she walks: since leaving in 2012, she has completed four of the lengthy pilgrims' routes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and this year has finished the notorious GR20, the gruelling, often vertiginous long-distance walk along the mountainous spine of Corsica. "Quite the most amazing walk I've ever done," she reports. She took 16 days, but met a fell runner doing it in six - there's always one of those, isn't there?