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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 19 May 2015 - 5:09pm

Good to see in the Times today a report from Rosie Bennett making clear that Olive Cooke's granddaughter wants to set the record straight; she is not blaming charities for driving her grandmother to suicide.  This rather puts some of the nasty and lurid press stories into perspective - and I recommend the article to some of those MPs who have decided that they need to "sort out" charity fundraising.
I also want to congratulate Alistair McClean, who runs the fundraising standards board on his deft and sensible handling of the issue.  He showed great skill in making the case for charity fundraising but recognising the broader issues it raises for us as a sector. As I said, it's something CEOs in fundraising charities will want to review and keep an eye on - and I'm glad Alistair is reviewing this in the standards board.  A healthy complaints process is good for those who have a problem but also for charities generally. 
It's interesting that of late the media - or at ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 18 May 2015 - 5:23pm

The tragic story of Olivia Cooke has reopened the debate on charity fundraising. Many members of our sector have been talking about their own fundraising practice in response.
What we should do now is not apportion blame, but recognise this as the moment to take a hard look at our work, and particularly our fundraising.
Libby Purves made a good point in her Times column today:  "the nation's decent and reasonable rage at the case of Olive Cooke should be a shot across the bows of all fundraisers". Of course, charities need to raise funds. But the way we do this must be in line with our mission and purpose to do good.
ACEVO made this case in our recent report Good with Money. We argued that Chief Executives should be conscious of ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 12 May 2015 - 3:27pm

So it's started already.  Hardly the ink dry on the election result and some MPs already banging on about "Europe".  If this goes on like this, I will be one of those wanting an early referendum to get it over with. Whilst this is an important issue there will be many more key priorities for our sector, not least the attempt to abolish human rights legislation, attack charity campaigning, cuts to welfare and changes to the public sector. Some maybe positive, but not all.
As it happens I am at a Euclid conference looking at "Strategic Leadership in turbulent times" in Europe. Euclid was set up in 2007 as a network of European third sector leaders to provide mutual support and learning, and act as a catalyst for social change across Europe.  We meet in the great Catalonian city of Barcelona.  Parallels with the Scottish question as there is a strong Catalan independence movement but with a Spanish government determined not to grant autonomy or even a referendum.  One of my ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 8 May 2015 - 3:21pm

What a night. It was strange to be watching the results rolling in, sitting in David Cameron's constituency. Indeed I even saw his car – and the accompanying helicopter – pass as he went from his house up the road to the count in Witney.
To Cameron’s credit, he was the only party leader who spoke about volunteering and the third sector during the campaign. He made a radical proposal on volunteering rights in new legislation, which we strongly supported. His support for charities and social enterprise – and specially his emphasis on volutneering – will have been noted all over the country. I look forward to seeing it take shape in government.
Andrew Marr made a perceptive remark about Labour’s stance on the voluntary and community sector, when he said the party need to fundamentally rethink their approach, to think less of public sector workers and more about the role of charities and the community. I was shocked that Ed Miliband, who was our first third sector minister, ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 22 April 2015 - 2:01pm

This election campaign may be boring at times, and too policy-light, but it’s risky to ignore its importance for our country’s future.
I read two excellent blogs this week on the challenge of getting the third sector heard.
Rosamund McCarthy of BWB, writing for Civil Society, made a comprehensive argument for why third sector organisations cannot be ignored in the pre-election debate, for the sake of good, informed politics and for the sake of improving political representation.
And then Andrew Purkis, former CEO, Charity Commissioner and ACEVO member, continued his excellent new blog with some reflections on political activity and the third sector.
Rosamund wrote:
The voice of the ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 16 April 2015 - 4:37pm

It’s been striking, in recent years, how often religious groups have led the response to the hardships of austerity. Even in the days of declining church attendance in Britain, groups like the Trussell Trust have galvanised society and led the third sector’s efforts to prevent and alleviate the worst effects of financial crisis.
So how appropriate it is to see my old friend the Rt Rev Dr Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, writing in today’s Times about the new campaign he launches this evening with Tearfund.
Tearfund is a Christian charity - in their words, “Christians passionate about ending poverty”. The Bishop writes:
“Many of today’s global challenges have been brewing for many years and we should have seen them coming. Yet we have made the ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 8 April 2015 - 1:22pm

Did you spot the irony of that full page advert from business leaders supporting the Tory party to win the election?
I wonder whether the Lobbying Act prohibitions against 'non-party organisations and individuals' trying to influence public votes during the election period shouldn't also apply to those 100 company CEOs who released their overtly partisan letter in the Telegraph?  
I suspect many of them have spent far more than the registration threshold on supporting party election campaigning too?  I wonder how much tobacco companies are spending in fighting against plain packaging and who they are supporting?  What would have happened if charity leaders had done the same?  This is yet another instance of the outrage of the Lobbying act and how it doesn't affect Lobbying but does gag charities.  It has had an insidious effect on charity campaigning. There is no doubt that the act has quietening our voice.  This Act has to be repealed and ACEVO will continue its ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 2 April 2015 - 10:51am

So, it may be future directions for the country in May but it was "Future Directions" for me in Oldham yesterday.  I was there to help launch a brand new social enterprise, a spin out from the NHS, and providing community care and support for people with learning disabilities. It's certainly the future for people with learning disabilities and their families.  And I was delighted to be there to support ACEVO member Paula Braynion who from one minute past midnight became the latest third sector CEO.  Indeed she joins the CEO of English Heritage who has gone from being a quangocrat to a proper fully fledged third sector CEO. English Heritage has also spun out of the public sector to become a charity yesterday.  It's the future direction for the public sector!! Though whether there will be any money around to support them is a moot point as we look to spending plans that envisage large cuts whatever party you support (that's assuming the Greens and SNP don't form a new coalition ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 1 April 2015 - 12:58pm

At the heart of trendy Clerkenwell stands the ancient gateway of the Priory of St John. It may be cool now but in Dickens day this was a den of depravity.  The Priory has gone, falling foul of Thomas Cromwell, and the lovely church bombed in the Nazi Blitz. But it is still the home of St John's Ambulance and I was there to see Sue Killen, the CEO and ACEVO member. Great to get a tour of the old parts of the Priory still standing.  The photos show the place off so well and if you fancy getting married in a rather splendid environment - it's available for hire!


...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 30 March 2015 - 10:14am

Hurrah for charity shops!  I was in the Helen and Douglas House Hospice shop in Chipping Norton on Saturday - the top performing of the 30 plus shops the Hospice runs!  Well supplied by the "Chipping Norton set" its a rather good place to secure some up market goods at reasonable prices.  A Paul Smith suit in the window didn't fit, but a bargain at £150. Get there quick!  Of course, I'm not sure I'd actually want to know if the splendid tweed jacket I bought was from Jeremy Clarkson but perhaps it was a Cameron cast off?  They are both big supporters of the Hospice.
As indeed am I; I was persuaded by Angela, the Manager of the Chipping shop, to put up for a trustee position and I was appointed a trustee about 6 months ago.  I thought it would do me good to see governance from the other side, so to speak.  I've now been at 3 trustee meetings and found it all very revealing. There are challenges yes, but also opportunities for growth.  This was the very first children's hospice ...more