Third Sector at large - Kilt by association: Is the clan McLean taking over?

The clan McLean, kilts swinging and pipes skirling, appears to be conquering the strategic heights of fundraising

Alistair's been boss of the Fundraising Standards Board for a couple of years, and now his namesake Amanda has been appointed chief of the Institute of Fundraising. Being a cautious bunch, the institute actually did some extra checks to make sure they weren't married or related. Nonetheless, perhaps the pair will give us a celebratory highland reel.

Stop press Mick Aldridge of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association has declared, in a blatant fit of me-tooism, that he's prepared to change his name to McLean.

- Why is it taking so long for the Attorney-General to confirm that the Charity Commission's guidance on public benefit is being referred to the courts? Just the normal Dickensian pace of the law, is the official response. But one lawyer points out that the Charities Act 1993 requires that when an issue goes to court like this, all related matters must go on hold - which would halt everyday public benefit business by the commission, including the registration of charities. "I suspect they might be scratching their heads on this one," says m'learned source.

- The government's desire to reduce risk aversion seems to be catching on at the National Trust.

One senior director told a fringe meeting at the Lib Dem conference the charity wanted to be less uptight about people walking on the grass or climbing trees. One of her colleagues had even joked about a key performance indicator for broken arms. "He actually said deaths," she confided later. "But I thought I'd better not repeat that."

- Some strange things happen at charity events, such as when England rugby union stars pranced around in pants for Afrikids last week. Canapes were topped with walnuts, but were they vegetarian? "Yes," said the waitress. "Except for the nut." What? The pants, plus a signed ball, were auctioned for £250.

Mathew Little is away.

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