Little at Large

A happy Christmas to fundraisers stripping under the mistletoe

Ryanair fundraising calendar
Ryanair fundraising calendar

Advent calendars are being hung on walls across the land. But the sector's latest interest in calendars doesn't involve Christmas tradition - unless that includes fundraisers grasping sprigs of holly and wearing nothing but Santa hats.

Yes, the naked calendar has breached the last modesty-retaining bastion - charity professionals themselves. It's no surprise that fundraisers have succumbed: they were never noted for hiding their lights under bushels. And now they'll need the bushels to hide other things ...

The instigator is fundraising PR man Ian MacQuillin, who suggested the seasonal strip-off on his blog in aid of the Fundraisers Fund, which helps fundraisers in the developing world. Within 72 hours, seven fundraisers had booked their slots, including such sector luminaries as Paul Farthing of Cancer Research UK (August), Stephen George of the NSPCC (November) and Ruth Ruderham of Christian Aid (May). Sadly, you can't see these fundraising stars in their full glory until Christmas 2009. But some things are worth waiting for ...

If you're desperate for a charity calendar for next year, why not visit the Ryanair website? The budget airline has the perfect calendar for 2009 - or is it 1979? The models are all Ryanair cabin crew, although the men don't seem to have made the final selection. At least they are wearing more than Paul Farthing will. All proceeds go to the Simon Community in Dublin.

Commissioner for the Compact Sir Bert Massie pepped up last week's Compact annual meeting - no mean feat - with his Scouse humour. "When I applied to work here the hard question was whether the Compact should be statutory," he said. "I didn't have a clue. I said 'give me three months and I will give you an answer'. They still gave me the job."

- Mathew Little is a freelance writer. mathew.little@haymarket.com

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