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Views on: Stereotypical images of homelessness, BeatBullying's reserves policy and Acevo's opposition to relaxed society lottery rules

Stereotype: lone, bearded male
Stereotype: lone, bearded male

'Stick to stereotypical homelessness images'

It would be risky for homelessness charities to use less stereotypical images of homeless people in their fundraising materials because they would not match up with the images in the minds of potential donors, according to new research. In a report published in the journal Sociological Research Online, Jon Dean, lecturer in politics and sociology at Sheffield Hallam University, said he had found that most people thought of homeless people as being lone, bearded men begging and sleeping on the streets.

Commenting on ThirdSector.co.uk, George Overton said: "No image of beneficiaries will be a 100 per cent accurate representation. Chances are the charity needs that income from fundraising. Therefore they'll use images that have been tested to raise as much money as possible. I don't see the problem with that."

Housing worker said: "Surely homelessness charities have a duty to use their promotional materials to challenge stereotypes of people who are homeless."

BeatBullying 'ignored its own reserves policy'

The defunct charity BeatBullying did not comply with its own reserves policy before going into liquidation last year, but there is no evidence that its demise was due to financial mismanagement. This is according to the Charity Commission's report about its operational compliance case into the anti-bullying charity, which went into liquidation in November owing more than £1m to its creditors.

Carl Allen commented: "Many charities regularly find themselves in an 'all or nothing' financial situation for periods lasting several months. Conventional financial risk management principles are of limited use in these situations in the context of the charity services being rendered. In short, trustees gamble."

ApocalypseCow said: "In this case, they were gambling with people's livelihoods. The 'non-compliance with own reserves policy' wording masks the fact that they had no money to pay their staff, which has resulted in considerable hardship."

John Wright said: "How can a charity that is not complying with its own reserves policy not be guilty of financial misconduct or mismanagement? The board is there to hold the executive to account and provide good governance."

Acevo opposes relaxing of society lottery rules

The charity chief executives body Acevo has said it is opposed to proposals to loosen the rules governing society lotteries, such as the Health Lottery.

A consultation on society lotteries by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport asked whether the requirement that at least 20 per cent of a society lottery's proceeds must go to good causes should be reduced. In its response, Acevo said the "wholesale deregulation of lotteries would be a mistake".

Christopher Hearn commented: "Acevo is right to oppose. Most respectable society lotteries are contributing a lot more than the minimum of 20 per cent to good causes, which is how it should be. If anything, the minimum contribution should be increased to 25 per cent."

Joe Saxton said: "Really disappointing to see this anti-fundraising stance from Acevo. Deregulation is nothing to do with commercial gambling organisations. It's a pity Acevo can't listen to fundraisers and what they say, and instead pontificates on the basis of woeful ignorance."

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