The Daily Mail got itself in a state this morning about the wickedness of charities. Apparently cold calling dementia sufferers for donations is something they take a dim view of.
Well quite right too but this all raises an intriguing question about ends and means. Most of us become a trifle peeved when we are button holed by cheggars when we are trying to pretend we haven’t seen them. I once asked a colleague at an international development charity why they used cheggars. Her answer was "it works".
Is that good enough? Probably it is. This is a moderate inconvenience to us that saves lives, at its best. The less happy end of it is being aggressively lectured by a teenager in a high viz jacket that bears the name of an incredibly rich charity. They really hate being asked "do you know how much xx has in reserves?".
I think the issue has to be how the third sector retains its good name with the public. An NPC – Ipsos/Mori poll last year found that while many people had doubts, most people felt charities to be trustworthy.
In an age where most public institutions are not well trusted we need to value our high regard and make sure we hang on to it.