Friday 13 February 2009

Lecture - March 3rd and "You and Yours"

"I enjoy doing live Radio. Especially Radio 4. So off to the BBC HQ in Portland Place for You and Yours and a debate on the future of the Lottery. Irritatingly I forget to ring Mother to tell her I'm on. I have a revolting cough so I turn up armed with Vicks cough mixture and some lozenges. I take the lozenges into the studio just in case. I survive the interview coughless.

I wonder who is listening in? Any members I wonder?

I am in the studio and Clive Booth, who Chairs The Big Lottery Fund, is on the line from Oxford.

The debate is about the future of the guarantee the Government gave to the charity sector that between 60-70% of the funds of the BLF will go to the charity sector. In fact the BLF have done well and the figure is actually 74%. The guarantee is till 2012. So the BLF is consulting about whether this continues after then.

I make the point that in a recession there can be no question that the guarantee must continue. Its good to be able to get a plea for the state of our sector in this growing recession.

The Lottery was established to give money to good causes. It has made a huge difference to charities large and small. It funds causes and projects that cannot get funding elsewhere. It is therefore worth fighting for.

Since it has been set up it has proved too easy a target for governments to take money for other things. The Olympics was just one of them. Without a guarantee it would be easier for further raids in the future.

I give what I hope is a vigorous defence for the money to be kept for the sector. In fact it is our money. Not the BLF's, or the Government's. Booth makes a point about them funding Parish Councils. I suspect if Parliament had wanted the Lottery to fund Parish Councils it would have said so when setting up the Lottery. But they specifically wanted the money to go to our independent charity sector. Not arms of the state. So we must be vigilant. The BLF are right to start off the debate. They alert us to the need to defend our money. I'm glad both Booth and I have had the chance to publicise this consultation.

We also have to ensure the political parties support the guarantee. I will take this up with both Andy Burnham and Nick Hurd.

Anyway make sure you have your say and tell the BLF that the 70% guarantee for money to charity continues.

Click here for link to the Big Thinking website.

I am giving a Lecture with DEMOS on March 3rd at Deloitte on, "The Third sector: leading through recession to Recovery".

I wanted to use this Lecture to give some substance and form to some of the ideas I have been putting forward in my blogs about how the third sector can play a Leadership role in the current crisis.

I want to explore how this recession might act as a stimulus to change; for our sector and in the economy more generally.

It's at lunchtime on the 3rd and if you were interested email me for a ticket. And if you want to put up your own ideas here as comments please do.

And for those of you who wanted to know what were the three books I choose as my favourites for the Institute of Philanthropy newsletter they were;

TS Eliot's Four Quartets

The Book of Common Prayer

Brideshead Revisited -Evelyn Waugh

You will have to wait to read the Institutue's newsletter to find out why!

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