Third Sector at Large: It's barking, but do the dogs get to see Pimp My Ride too?

Dogs watching TV, 'amalgamations' and the new chair of the Charity Finance Directors' Group are on our minds this week

- If you're an MTV junkie, you'll have seen Pimp My Ride, featuring tarted-up Pontiac Sunbirds and Ford Econolines. Apparently the name inspired the website Pimp My Cause, which unites charities with creatives in pro-bono mode. Any objections to that name? "There have been a few people who react to the word pimp," says bubbly frontperson Anna Mullenneaux. "They don't realise it has a new connotation and meaning." Oh, it has, has it? A pimp is a pimp to many of us, including one charity that declined to join. But Mullenneaux says there's a deal in the offing with Virgin, which loves it. Wonder what name that partnership is going to have ...

- This week's most jaw-dropping piece of information comes in My Week, where Clare Williams of the National Animal Welfare Trust tells us that elderly dogs in its care have big kennels, central heating, sofas and - yes - TVs. Once you're over the initial shock, the questions crowd in. How do they operate the pause button? Do they have UK Gold for One Man and His Dog and Tales of the Unexpected? Radio channels so they can tune in to Bach? We could go on ...

- There's a new variation of the verbal ducking and diving that goes on around the ticklish subject of charity mergers. Coram and the Children's Legal Centre threatened dire retribution last week if the 'm' word was used and insisted it was an 'amalgamation'. Experts say that, whatever language is used, these affairs are usually in fact a takeover by one of the parties, but the 't' word is considered most poisonous of all. Perhaps we need a new term to make it still more obscure: how about 'amalgamerger' or 'amergermation'?

- Ian Theodoreson, the new chair of the Charity Finance Directors' Group, delivered a warm speech about his predecessor, Charles Nall, at the group's London members meeting last week. He talked of Nall's considerable intellect, his service to the sector and the fact that he was "genetically programmed to be late for every meeting, including those in his own office". How did Nall react to this? Difficult to say, really. He wasn't there. He was running late.

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