Posts Tagged ‘membership’

Political Posturing is Not a Charities Job

The organisations listed below or their representatives have collaborated or even colluded in ‘Brexit politics’ at a sensitive time. They jointly signed a letter published in the Daily Telegraph on 31st December 2018 copy below.

Campaigning charities have the right or even obligation to speak out but only after due consideration. Such a considered policy needs to have full approval within the organisation and logically should relate to current circumstance  rather than matters that are still uncertain. Members of charitable organisations and donors have the right to expect balanced views from their charity or risk alienation of a significant proportion of the stakeholders. This particular letter is emotive and the conclusions drawn are by no means certain.

The Signatories

Mike Clarke RSPB     Stephanie Hilborne The Wildlife Trusts   Beccy Speight Woodland Trust     Shaun Spiers Green Alliance     Crispin Truman Campaign to Protect Rural England    John Sauven Greenpeace   Martin Spray Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust   Craig Bennett Friends of the Earth   James Thornton ClientEarth   Sandy Luk Marine Conservation Society   Nick Mabey E3G    Dr Michael Warhurst CHEM Trust   Helen Browning  Soil Association

SIR – No one who loves Britain’s beautiful countryside, or cares about our environment more generally, should be in any doubt about the disastrous impact of a no-deal Brexit.

We can expect traffic chaos, with the garden of England turning into the lorry park of England. Dangerous chemicals will go unmonitored. Farmers will face huge uncertainty, with high tariffs on exports and livestock stuck at borders. And we will immediately lose the institutions that have ensured cleaner rivers and beaches, and safeguarded important habitats for wildlife.

The Government has promised a “green Brexit”. That depends on continued cooperation with the EU and a mutual commitment to the highest environmental standards. No deal is not an option for a greener UK. (Our highlights)

Opinion and Action

  • I will not renew my membership of some of these organisations
  • I am actively reviewing my support for the other causes signed up to this letter. Those who emphasis ‘doing’ good will be favoured over those who talk an ill timed fight.
  • I will continue to advocate that charities avoid controversial involvement in politics even when I am sympathetic to the underlying issues.

Global Justice Now – Economics of Envy

A membership organisation, Global Justice Now 1064066  is made up of a network of activists and local groups. It works as part of a global movement to challenge the powerful and create a more just and equal world.

Global Justice Now Charitable Stance

Global Justice Now (GJN) was formerly called the World Development Movement and  co-founded the Fairtrade Foundation in 1992.

From their web site they say ‘A few use the world’s resources to generate incredible wealth and power for themselves. Meanwhile, many millions of people are unable to access the essential resources – like food and water, housing and energy, healthcare and education that they need to live decent lives.’

One of it’s campaigning slogans is ‘Act Local Think Global’ but with only 6 staff it is as a coordinator of activists that it has the biggest impact.

GJN is one of over 500 UK organisations including many faith groups, trade unions and charities that are part of the Make Poverty History Group. It may be this sentence that has drawn 160 spam comments to this post by organisations selling ‘loans’ or unwanted debt products, all of which I have binned.12.7.18

Currently working with ‘our friends Campaign Against Arms Trade’ GJN has produced a series of how too campaigning guides.

My Experience

The organisation politically leans to the left, as you may expect from the causes it supports. However it seems to skirt away from direct party political influence. I am very selective when considering the individual activist actions they wish to draw me into.

GJN punches above it’s weight of donations and membership income by effective use of e-commerce for campaigning, petitioning and communication.

The views it takes on international trade helps to put across a different perspective, one that supports the effected poor.



Conkers Charity – Top of the Tree

And the winner is …… a conker or to be more specific Aesculus hippocastanum the Horse Chestnut tree which has been been crowned the UK’s Favourite Tree in a public poll by The Royal Society of Biology (RSB)  277981.

This first place was won with only 675  votes in the house magazine Biology Week 2017 poll. This shows how few votes some organisations need to make significant and sometimes distorted claims.

The Royal Society of Biology

The RSB is a membership organisation  advising government and influencing policy; advancing education and professional development and engaging and encouraging public interest in biology and the life sciences. The terms biology, biosciences, life sciences, and biological sciences are used interchangeably to encompass all areas of the science of life from molecules, through whole organisms to ecosystems. It appears to be well funded and able to conduct a large range of scientific and educational activities. This includes numerous awards, grants of up to £500 to put on local biology events and sponsoring the British Biology Olympiad. Charles Darwin House is co-owned by RSB one of six learned societies most of which are charities concerned with various branches of biology and its applications.


Dissing the National Trust Again

Gosh Ghosh is going! We wait to see what pension and final payments she receives. With her new role as Master of Balliol College Oxford  she should still be able to afford her National Trust Membership.

Six months ago I was sticking up for the National Trust when they got egg on their face over messing with Easter. Enough is enough and damaging headlines are again catching out this so called national treasure.

National trust rainbow badge –                       additional   material Mail Online

Telling volunteers they must wear a rainbow badge at Felbrigg Hall Norfolk in support of the 50th anniversary of decriminalisation of homosexuality was heavy handed in the extreme. It has caused such ripples that the trust backed down and now say they only request that the gay pride badge be worn. These weasley words were issued after volunteers and members complained leaving in droves in protest.

LGBT is a community of people whose sexual or gender identities can create shared political and social concerns. Writing in the Daily Telegraph   Dame Helen Ghosh currently chief executive said those who did not wish to wear gay pride lanyards could ‘step back’ from volunteering or take a backroom role. But just hours later, the National Trust issued a statement saying: ‘We are aware that some volunteers had conflicting, personal opinions about wearing the rainbow lanyards and badges. We are therefore making it clear that the wearing of the badges is optional and a personal decision.’ What was not optional was the Trusts decision to ‘out’ Felbrigg Hall’s former owner, the poet Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, as gay.

 ‘Betrayal of Trust: how the National Trust is Losing its Way’.

This is the title of a presentation by journalist and historian Harry Mount  author of ‘How England Made the English: From Why We Drive on the Left to Why We Don’t Talk to Our Neighbours’ In a  public lecture he highlighted many issues for the National Trust including:

  • An organisation that was once the pride of Britain has been hijacked by a lethal combination of catastrophic dumbing down, social engineering, rampant politicisation and intolerance of opposing views under its last two director generals, former civil servants Dame Fiona Reynolds and Dame Helen Ghosh.
  • The Trust has sacrificed its original aims on the altar of political correctness and as a result we and future generations are all losers.
  • The mindset at the top of the organisation is alienating members and the volunteers who are the Trust’s lifeblood.
  • Headlines generated by this latest row have done nothing to help the Trust’s reputation for getting involved in areas it has no business to.
  • According to the National Trust Act of 1937, the Trust’s twin duties are the preservation of buildings of national interest and of beautiful landscapes.
  • Forget beautiful buildings and landscapes; what now matters is imposing modern political claptrap on our greatest country houses. It is symptomatic of an organisation that no longer cares for history.
  • A litany of further minor issues are raised in Henry Mount’s full article that make you question the management and politics of our National Trust. You may also be interested in his Spectator article on a similar theme ‘ How The National Trust is spoiling its treasures’.



Clicktivism for Slacktivists

Book Cover

Clicktivism versus Slacktivism

Clicktivists and Slacktavists are both sides of the same bitcoin. They are using a range of digital media tools that are making it easy to show support for causes and charities. Activists seeking social change use the methods but may find slacktavists are not the most dynamic.

Businesses, politicians and NGOs now think nothing of using Clicktivism for marketing or campaigning.  A cynic may think the hidden purpose may be to get personal details, names, email addresses, phone numbers etc etc.

Clicking to ‘like’ on facebook or retweeting on twitter takes minimal effort and arguably has little effect. Thus it is more a form of ‘Slacktivism’ or actions in support of a cause without effort.

Charity brand building and awareness development uses slacktivist tools and paraphernalia such as ‘pins’, badges, balloons,wristbands or bumper stickers. Clicktivism can’t generally achieve the same effect from a digital device’ but try harder on the click baiting.

Slacktivism is often used to promulgate the world’s reaction to major disaster when social media spread the message. Charities hone their campaigns to take advantage of social media’s ability to proliferate the message and seek donations.

Charity can ‘Clictivise’ in many ways to gain supporters, collect donations or develop awareness of the cause.

Slacktivists may  favour a product  due to it’s reputation or  history of supporting a charity and that is easier than researching options.

Clicktivism is part of social media or browsing fodder where you can ‘click a link, like a post, donate money, feel good, go back to looking at cute cat videos ..’

Be an Actionist

Read ‘Click2Change a better world at your fingertips’ for a range of topics where an individual can help create a better world using digital media.

Search  on ‘click to donate’ you will get a large number of results (I got 5million results). Then filter out the outrageous and marginal.

Search for ‘web shopping for charity’ (I got 10.4million results). From that you can consider your shopping options with a charity kicker.

Searching ‘petitions for social change’ that achieved over a million hits of which six hundred thousand were for climate change petitions.

Join in as a slacktivist as and when you feel the urge or selectively be a dynamic clicktivist for those causes you support.



Not to be confused with the UK charity 1107328 – CLIC Sargent  for children with Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood (CLIC) They benefited with other cancer charities from the £32m Text Santa  fund raiser – textavist or what?