Charity Isn’t ‘Gentle’ – It’s Messy, Hard, Difficult and Painful

Charity Isn’t ‘Gentle’ – It’s Messy, Hard, Difficult and Painful

Four weeks ago we started lobbying the Government for the help that only it can provide at the scale the sector needs to ensure that the most vulnerable in society are not left to shoulder the greatest burden in this crisis. Yesterday Rishi Sunak announced an unprecedented, grant-based, injection of cash into the sector. I was asked immediately for my reaction; was I pleased or disappointed? For me, the answer is not binary and I have wrestled with it all night.

I am delighted with what has been given. I am disappointed at what has not. I am frustrated that many of the fundamental points have been missed. I’m angry that we have been made to jump through hoops to show why charity should be supported when the same has not been asked of business. I am disheartened by the lack of joined up thinking. I am relieved for those for whom this is the lifeline they needed so desperately. I am a pragmatist and I know how politics works. I am far from able to give a simple response for how I ‘feel’.

For me, the last four weeks have simultaneously highlighted everything that is good and bad about charity and its relationship with Government, with the other sectors and with the public.

Firstly the good; the rich patchwork of organisations and individual endeavour rose to the challenges thrown up by Covid19. Communities rallied together to support each other. Huge numbers responded to the NHS’s cry for volunteers. The public in its most financially uncertain times thrust its hands deep in its pockets and gave millions of pounds to the National Emergency Trust (and many other calls for support). Celebrities and those of independent wealth gave and Foundations got their tone just right. Politicians of all parties came together across divides in order to support the work done by social change organisations. And the PM, Leader of the House and Chancellor all applauded the vital work undertaken by our sector as part of what makes Britain great. Fantastic.

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Source: Charity Finance

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