Third Sector at Large: A glance, a nudge, a slap, and a glut of cheesy cheque pics

The Charity Commission, the £100m Transition Fund and cheques are on our mind this week

- A couple of quotes is all you need to get the flavour of the face-off between charities minister Nick Hurd and Labour MP Paul Flynn at a select committee last week. Hurd (talking about health services becoming social enterprises): "I've looked into the eyes of two nurses who have done this, and you can sense that something very different and very important has happened. They feel completely liberated." Flynn responded: "Many of us have had interesting experiences staring into the eyes of beautiful women. Is this the way you reach your conclusions?"

- Nudging was the discussion du jour at a debate on the Giving Green Paper last week, and Mick Aldridge, chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, cut to the chase: "Are the right nudgers nudging the right nudgees to get the right nudgements?" You can't say fairer than that.

- A gentle slap for the Institute of Fundraising from Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission. The IoF suggested in the consultation on the regulator's future that it could charge for its services and share some of the revenue with sector bodies taking over its advice-giving functions, such as the institute. "There will absolutely not be funding coming from the commission," Leather told Third Sector. "I can assure them of that." It was said with a smile - but a firm one.

- Q: When is a launch not a launch? A: When the Prime Minister needs something - anything - to show that the big society is actually happening. Last week, The Observer told how David Cameron's blizzard of imminent announcements includes "details of a £100m transition fund". That's the £100m Transition Fund announced in the comprehensive spending review in October. The "details of" might be mitigation, but it doesn't get him off the recycling charge.

- Fundraisers might be terribly inventive, as our lead letter says this week, but one thing they've never been able to crack is the cheesy cheque picture. We mention this because the Sobell Times, for supporters of Sobell House Hospice in Oxford, contains no fewer than four cheesy cheque pictures in its latest edition. What on earth are they going to do when cheques are abolished in 2018?

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