Tuesday 7 September 2010

A day in the life...

Straight from a meeting with the Editor of The Times it was back to the office for a meeting with a brilliant young guy, David Erasmus, who has been developing a "Get Giving" app. It will rapidly simplify how to give through your mobile phone, including using mobile photos to allow you to take a shot of a charity billboard and then donate. Fantastic. But Apple have rejected it. Wretched lot. We shall have to see about that!!

Then, walking through the rain, to a meeting with The Cabinet Secretary. Fascinating. Gus has a superb office. One of the joys of the ACEVO job is that over the last ten years I have got to know three Cabinet Secretaries, and their taste in office furniture!

Straight from Gus to see John Denham MP at the Commons. John is the Opposition spokesperson for Local Government so we had much to talk about. He is also the policy campaign manger for Ed Miliband and so we talked about public service reform. I said one of the worst decisions of the last Labour Government was "preferred provider" and I was worried that too much genuflecting to unions was going on by ED and others. I was appalled when I heard Andy Burnham say that policy was one of his proudest moments. Appalling.

And just to show political balance (don't want dear Charity Commission getting the wobbles) I was off to the launch of "Digital Giving" with Nick Hurd MP and ResPublica. They are a superb Think Tank led by the irrepressible Phillip Blond who is one of the most agreeable people I know. Always huge fun. And their work is changing policy so ACEVO is working with them closely.

The key point made by the new ResPublica report, which CAF commissioned, is the need to enable gift aid to be claimed on mobile donations. This is crucial for the future. We suspect mobile donations will increase significantly, especially amongst the young. We already lose some £750m in unclaimed Gift Aid so we have to insist Government sort this. The app approach would help this so Apple must sort that.

We will have to press HMT hard. So far they have been obfuscatory and unhelpful. The Gift Aid Forum discussions are on their way to become the most unproductive meetings ever held in our sector unless Nick Hurd MP and Justine Greening MP can exert themselves over the officials who have clearly decided to talk this one out.

Good to see Nick Hurd. He announced he had just got married. A week ago. In Scotland.

Congratulations Nick.

And then I could relax; off for dinner with my Deputy, Dr Kyle, to chew over the day as we chewed and drank at Chez Gerard.

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