I’ve just popped into my local branch of HSBC. After withdrawing some cash, I was presented with a list of options, most of which I normally ignore. Today, I was after a mini-statement, so my eye was drawn to the list, one of which was;
“Give Money To Charity”
Sure enough, a few taps later and a small donation was winging its way towards Help The Aged. Food for thought as I strode out into Covent Garden, past no less than half a dozen vested collectors for a range of national charities.
Speaking of charities, last night I dropped into the Mandrake Club to listen to a motivating and inspiring speech by Sir Nicholas Young, CEO of the British Red Cross. He made the point that, when weighing up any purchasing decision, he would think long and hard about how many collecting tins would need to be filled to match that amount of money. After the speech I quizzed him about bringing money into organisations using business methods (creating products or services) rather than by asking for donations. Of course the Red Cross already does this through its chain of shops, as well as selling a number of things through its website. We ended up discussing the fact that, in Make Your Mark with a Tenner, the average return (in one month) from the top 100 teams was £120, and yet none of them had asked anyone for donations, even though they could have done if they had wanted. I would love to talk to the Red Cross (or other organisations) about how they set their own members a form of ‘ten pound challenge’ which raises money by unleashing enterprise.
I helped the aged in a tiny way today by saving an older man as he fell down some steps in London’s Covent Garden. As it turned out, he was on his way out of a Grand Masters luncheon and was a Freemason. One set of pamphlets later, picked up from the Grand Lodge nearby, and I was suitably intrigued. Did you know that there are 330,000 members of the Freemasons in England alone? That’s how many members the Conservative Party had at the turn of the century…Anyway, the grateful Mason pushed a crisp fiver into my and which, after refusing half a dozen times, I accepted.
Ten minutes later my fiver was winging its way to Help the Aged. And until posting this entry, I’d not spotted the connection between those two random events…
Which reminds me, I must do a refresher course in First Aid.