Third sector at large

Glam bam, thanks ma'am: fundraising gets physical

Women-only boxing
Women-only boxing

Would your outfit accept donations from a fundraising event involving "stylishly kickin' ass for charity!"? The phrase comes from Jo 'The Battlecat' Crawshaw, one of the participants in last month's Models Fight Night at the white-collar boxing club Citywarriors. The event, which took place at the Troxy in London, was billed as "16 gorgeous girls, eight stunning fights, one big night out". Money raised went to Redwood Lodge, which isn't actually a charity but a children's home run by Suffolk County Council.

* The Churches Conservation Trust spent years fighting off an attempt by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to declare that it was a quango. So the charity was surprised last month to find itself on the leaked list of quangos to be abolished. When the definitive list was published last week, the trust was reprieved, but was still being called a quango. Crispin Truman, its chief executive, is phlegmatic: as long as the National Audit Office stays out of his hair and no one tells him what to do, he's come to feel they can call it whatever they like.

* While we await the Gift Aid Forum report, eight charity umbrella bodies have written to the Treasury repeating the case for a Gift Aid database and online filing of claims. But only three of the organisations have signed another letter demanding something the Treasury is much less likely to concede - an extension of the transitional relief introduced for three years in 2008 to help with the drop in Gift Aid resulting from the reduction in the basic rate of income tax. Realpolitik - or scaredy-pants?

* Small isn't always beautiful, according to a new book by Milford Bateman called Why Doesn't Microfinance Work? He's a senior research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute who argues that poor people face exorbitant rates of interest, microentreprises fight each other for survival, and small and medium-sized enterprises wither for lack of resources. And apparently Sufiya Begum, the first ever client of the Grameen Bank, founded by microfinance guru Mohammad Yunus, died in abject poverty in Bangladesh in 1998, all her projects having come to nothing.

* An accolade of sorts for the Charity Commission as it plans to cut yet more staff. It has been shortlisted for the More For Less Award in the Civil Service Awards 2010.

- Mathew Little is away. Contact Third Sector at thirdsector@haymarket.com

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