These days charities use sophisticated methods to attract us. I understand that; they have to. Particularly today as much of their funding is withdrawn. Half my mail is made up of appeals. Most go straight in the bin. Having said that I’m a sucker for the ones that give personalised labels and pens. I can’t bear to think they have wasted money on me. I don’t tend to support sponsored runs or races and particularly not for those in exotic foreign parts. And I can’t bear the ones with the greatest emotional pull, using images of starving children or those gut-wrenching pleas on the radio. This is trying too hard. In general I guess I tend to give to those charities with which we have a personal connection. And local charities. Best are the ones where there are small administration costs and where you know the money is going directly to those in need. You have to determine some giving criteria for yourself; otherwise you can end up just giving to the big charities who draw on huge funds. Or feeling guilt, a useless emotion.
One good example of clever charity funding was an Indian meal we had last night. If you live in Leicestershire you have to be a lover of Indian food. There so many restaurants, the city even has its own Golden Mile. This one was a Balti house. We paid £10 for a two course meal with rice and naan bread. Bring your own alcohol, which cut down on the cost. The place was packed on a Tuesday evening, when it may have been empty, I suppose. The food was freshly cooked and the service was effortless. Their smiling faces and courteous care is what we have come to expect from our ethnic restaurants. Needless to say the place was full, 77 covers I believe. The owners allowed 60% of the profit to go to the charity. They have supported charity nights before. They invited Princess Anne to one. She refused of course. We were shown the letter with the royal crest. The evening raised £600. It was a great do, as we Northerners say. Many of us said we would return. You could be cynical and say it was a PR exercise, but this way everyone wins. The money is going towards a new classroom for an African school.