Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Not a good day for charities !

Currently new regulations are emerging which will cause charities to look carefully at their future plans and commitments. Given this Government's lack lustre commitment to "things environmental", and a succession of mediocre Secretaries of State for the Environment, the whole picture surrounding the UK's recognition of the worth and needs of our natural environment gets incrementally worse. Equally the social care sector will be affected too.

Now the new regulations , as I understand them, address something that I must say I don't necessarily disagree with. "Cold calling" and  unsolicited mailings linked to fund raising I've always thought to be pushing boundaries a lot of people might find offensive. All of us are aware of our own financial situation and I guess, in the event of an unexpected increase in our funds, are apt to consider offering one off support to something dear to our hearts beyond the annual subscription commitments we maintain. Some charities, not all, have felt differently and a number of difficult circumstances have resulted. Such direct appeal activities are now to be limited and doubtless various accountants are poring over the implications.

It's difficult as charities support much that Government has no connection with or deliberately chooses to ignore. The plethora of support groups in the social care sector are an example. I've always suspected the vast majority of appeal mailings must go straight in the bin, but clearly a sufficient number must produce results for the charities to continue with them. Are we now to see more TV advertising from individual charities ( or the ones that can afford it ! ) ?  I suspect the difficulty such regulations influence are the one off appeals for support for research projects or environmental disasters as, otherwise, how do charities communicate their needs to the general public. I suspect this is something which won't go away and might even see some innovative alternatives emerging. Certainly it suggests for those of us who care for our wildlife and environment, indeed any type of charity you support, now is not the time to be reviewing the usual commitments we've entered into and even to consider extending them.

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