Thursday, 26 April 2012

Claire Squires - what an extraordinary effect

In the wake of Claire Squires' sad and untimely death on Sunday is is extraordinary that 65,000 people have given £3/4 million to the Samaritans in memory of someone who the vast majority had never heard of before the marathon. It's not unusual for the public to respond generously to a tragedy (witness the tsunami response) or when someone in the public eye dies (witness the Princess Dianna effect) but for a young women, doing the marathon for a great, but not huge charity (£10m turnover last year) is, in my view, extraordinary. So what is going on? In my view the Spectrum of Philanthropy applies rather well here. It's not the cause, great though the Samaritans are, it is the the person doing the ask - albeit in this case a very powerful implied ask. But what do you think? Were you minded to give and why? More of this, I hope, if I can persuade the Guardian to commission a thought piece from me. In the meantime however do please respond and let me know your feelings, emotions or cold logic about this phenomena. Well it's in the Guardian at: What motivates people to give to charity? Please post a comment there or here whether you agree or think it's something completely different!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

George Osborne just doesn't get it

It is extraordinary that so many people (especially George Osborne and one suspects the rest of the cabinet) don't get it! Whether a high rate taxpayer is giving £1000 or £1,000,000 they do so out of taxed income (even if they are only paying 10%). Thus the high rate relief they get back only reduces the cost of the gift by 20% or enables them to give 20% more. It's arrant nonsense to suggest that people give to charities (even the Royal Opera House) to reduce their tax bill.

That said, there may not be many who would give more than 25% of their £200,000 income but I can think of quite a few generous souls who do give a lot more than the £50,000 proposed limit would cap. Can't help feeling that Zac Goldsmith's prediction that "....this will for ever be remembered as the Government that smashed the charity sector in this country." is rather over egging the situation.