Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The difference between Small Charities and actually small charities

Working in the finance department at a Small Charity (industry standard definition: annual income of less than £1 million) really fucks up your sense of proportion.

"Hooray!" you say, sarcasm gland in overdrive, "How AWESOME, a fundraising event. Sure, you've raised loads of money, but you've also given me a sheaf of sponsorship forms, and working out who gave what and what proportion is eligible for gift aid and how many people ticked the gift aid box AND gave their home address, AND figuring out why the total on the form doesn't match the total on the cheque will take me, like, HALF AN HOUR to sort through, which is going to SERIOUSLY cut into my cheese-eating schedule. EURGH."

In contrast, letters from funeral directors get a reaction more like, "Whoop! Someone's died! Lots of lovely money which is so quick and easy to process! HIE ME TO THE BANK!"

Like I said: fucked up.

Basically if every single one of our donors, fundraisers and big important grant-bestowing benefactors could club together and give us a nice fat cheque for £1 million every year, it would make my life so much easier.


At ASN, however, we would take donations of 20p, wrapped up in old cigarette papers smelling of wee.

Because that 20p might mean that we don't have to say, to the women calling us begging for money to fund a potentially life-saving abortion, "Have you checked down the back of your sofa for spare change?"

In the day job, it's not all that unusual to get single donations which are bigger than ASN's usual monthly income. I have begrudgingly processed cheques which are bigger than the total amount of money that ASN has ever received.

What I'm saying is, give your money however you want. But if, all else being equal, the choice is between a Small Charity and an actually small charity - that fiver will be a welcome drop in the ocean for the former. It will be an occasion for giddy undying gratitude at the latter.

Okay, yeah, what I'm really saying is what I'm always saying - GIVE US YOUR MONEY. Preferably not wrapped in soiled rizlas, but we ain't fussy.

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