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Counting the charity cost
Counting the charity cost
Blogs » Mummy Blogger

Counting the charity cost

Do you remember the days when you couldn’t walk down the street without having a charity collection tin thrust under your chin as collectors grinned jauntily and made you feel unable to walk past without dropping a few coins in? This was before laws were passed to outlaw such practices, forcing charity collectors to stand benignly by and resorting to huge luminous buckets to help you to notice them.

In the same period of time, the rattling tins and buckets have been replaced with clipboard toting smiley-faced students who are apparently allowed to railroad you as you attempt to run their gauntlet of doom.

There’s surely an obvious correlation here? As we’ve tended to a culture that carries less and less cash so charities have had to become more aggressive with finding regular income streams. This is all very well for the bigger charities with the time and resources to invest, but for the smaller charities it represents a significant problem.

As a child I clearly remember getting excited about dropping coins into charity boxes, the guide dogs for the blind was a favourite and I still have a picture of me, all of 3 years old patting the dog on the head. I also loved the spinny round ones where your coin finally disappeared into the black hole, and the RNLI lifeboat where your coin trickled down into the base. A handful of shrapnel could provide a healthy amount of entertainment – now surely that’s better than being lost in a DS or Playstation game?!

In 2008, cash donations fell by £367m* and this trend continues. Whilst this is largely recoverable for larger charities, for smaller, more local charities it means that they have to work ever harder to organise fundraising events to recoup this income. Most don’t have a massive resource to call upon, putting even more pressure on a small group of people who care.

We can’t necessarily buck this trend, but we can demonstrate to our children the importance of giving whilst taking them away from their digital distractions. I’m going to spend a week keeping a ready supply of coins in my purse and encourage my children to actively seek out charity boxes to donate to. The added advantage is that through this they will learn about different charities and start to value what they have and how lucky they are – because they really are!

* according to:

Wednesday, 27th April 2011

Tags:   Parenting  /  Cash  /  Charity  /  Children  /  Donations  /  Donations
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