Charitable capitalism

I have recently joined my school’s PTA committee and I am seeing at first-hand how difficult it is to entice parents to fundraising events and part with some cash. For instance,  out of the 200 families that were sent books brochures (where every order placed also creates money for the school to buy their own books for the children), only 3 parents placed orders – 2 of which are members of the committee.

If people struggle to reach into their pockets to help the schools educating their children, then no wonder charities overall are finding it particularly tough to enrol supporters.

Parents lead busy lives so require constant reminders about dates and events.Now I realise why I am bombarded with letters, emails and texts from charities asking for money, because people need constant reminders about what is going on outside of their own day-to-day bubble.

The money it must cost for charities in communication must be phenomenal. I wonder how much they have to spend to raise £1.

That is why initiatives such as Easyfundraising is so clever because it weaves the draw of online shopping with online giving making it easier for people to donate. Making life easy to donate is key. I think retailers could do more to encourage charitable giving. For instance, Tescos could ask customers if they would like to make £1 donation to a charity of their choice when paying their bill. The charity’s overheads would be reduced and customers simply tag it on to their weekly shopping rather than fending off yet another telephone call/ door sales person or sending in a seperate cheque or online payment.

In short capitalism could do more to be charitable.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

The birthplace of British politics?

Thanks to the HMRC (my favourite Government department), I have a bit more time on my hands. This has been quickly swallowed up by a couple of part-time jobs a bit above minimum wage (and 16 hours a week as a minimum in order to receive help with childcare costs – another freak HMRC rule).

For four years I have attended events run by my daughter’s school pta, but have never been able to help due to work and time constraints. So having found myself in the privileged position of ‘lady of leisure’, I have volunteered my time. A few emails and a couple of meetings later and I now have a committee role.

I am very glad to help but feel that I am on the precipice of the deep and dark hole that is ‘Mummy Politics’. I have delved in it before at my daughter’s pre-school and I still bear the scars. You would think that there would be nothing remotely controversial about organising some social and fundraising events for a school? In fact, once involved it is vey difficult to stay in this serene situation because doing anything ‘voluntary’ requires energy, patience, more patience and very very thick skin.

I know of one Mum who resigned from the PTA because she couldnt stand the politics……she remains a parish councillor though.

In fact move over Ed Miliband and David Cameron, if they want to find out more about point-scoring in the run-up to an election campaign they only have to venture into a playground at drop-off time to see the homeland and birthplace of politics.

And I have just said yes to organising the fireworks night (I have issues with saying ‘no’…as expressed in a previous blog hence why I get myself into situations that are very often worth blogging about).

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.