Charity Matters Feb/Mar 2016 ISSUE 65. Thank you for your continued support, you can find more articles on

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Trust is a fragile thing. It's very easy and quick to break, very hard and slow to mend.

The allegation in the Sun newspaper earlier this month, that well-respected and trusted charity Age UK earned a secretly-negotiated and paid commission for every elderly person who signed up for an E.ON tariff they recommended, has been confirmed by Age UKs anonymous spokeswoman. However she says the amount E.ON paid, hidden from her customers, was not £41 but only £10, leaving the very grubby principle, or lack of any, still the same.

People, justifiably, don't expect to be able to trust large companies, and they don't expect to be able to trust celebrity endorsements Most do however expect to be able to trust that recommendations from a charity working to help the vulnerable are honest ones and not contaminated by what are fundamentally bribes from businesses they endorse. In this respect Age UK have broken trust, and will need to work long and hard to mend it. Giving every penny of the dirty money from E.ON back to the claimed 150,000 customer who trusted them, and admitting the wrongdoing that everyone except the charity and energy company knows was done should be the minimum as the first step. After all they haven't just let themselves down with their grubby deal but damaged the reputation of the charity sector.

Over the next few months we will expect to hear what Ofgem, the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Standards Board think of it all, but it probably doesn't matter. The more important marketplace jury have already reached their verdict.


There is no doubt that patronage from our Royal family is positive for hundreds of chosen charities and the endorsement of the RSPCA by H.M.The Queen, in place since it was first granted by Queen Victoria in 1937 has helped it raise substantial funds for animal welfare over the 79 years since.

However there is now speculation that RSPCA could become SPCA, given some of its recent activities, such as its successful if expensive prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt for the sick killing for pleasure that was once part of the English country scene, now illegal. Such moves, whilst doubtless welcome to many of their donors, have not earned them any friends amongst those Royals who openly support hunting, and have raised questions about the wisdom of the relationship.

There is a valid view that endorsement of animal welfare is inconsistent with support for hunting, and that this arguably two-faced approach does neither party any credit. The Royals, some say, should decide which is most important to them and act accordingly. And if this means withdrawing their valuable Royal patronage on such an important matter of principle then that might just be the best result all round.

And the RSPCA, some say, should bite the bullet and refuse future Royal patronage, if they have to abandon their principle of prevention of cruelty to all animals to keep it and start making exceptions with animals the Royals like to hunt.

Tough call, we'd say.


Hare coursing, once a legal "field sport" has been taken over by criminal gangs since being made illegal by the 2004 Hunting Act.

The gangs operate mainly in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk and set a number of starved dogs after a hare, which is torn to pieces when caught. The film of the chase is then played in pubs around the country with the gangs offering betting on the outcome of which dog gets to the hare first.

A recent increase in hare-coursing has been blamed on the closure of a special five-person police unit set up to deal with the illegal meetings.


Paul Kelly, formerly Asda's vice president for corporate affairs faces jail after admitting seven counts of fraud at Leeds Crown Court. (Business Desk)

Kelly (55) admitted that he diverted £180,000 from Asda's charity fund to the MurleyDance ballet company, also a charity, run by his partner Paul Murley (35) Kelly used his position as chairman of the supermarket's charity foundation to divert money purportedly being used to help flood victims to the ballet company.

Kelly, who parted company with Asda when the fraud was discovered by his employer in September 2014, was also an ambassador for Prince Charles's Business in the Community charity. He is expected to be sentenced later this month.


A donation to charity in place of a gift is around a quarter less acceptable than some donors think.

This has emerged in a study at the University of Southern California where 151 people were asked to either make a £25 donation to charity on behalf of a friend or give them a gourmet coffee hamper to the same value. The givers and receivers were then asked to rate the present in terms of overall appreciation, offensiveness, commitment to the friendship and thoughtfulness.

Recipients were up to 27% less appreciative of the charity donations than the givers expected, and their expectation of thoughtfulness at 74% was higher than the actual figure of 48% recorded.

It transpired that the virtuous identity bought by the giver by the charity donation was only really of value to the giver and not the receiver.


The founder of a UN-backed charity formed to combat trafficking of footballer is being investigated for trafficking.

It is alleged that former Cameroon player Jean-Claude Mbvoumin of the charity Foot Solidaire took more than £2,000 from a young Japanese hopeful for accommodation, travel and trials at top French club Angiers. However it is alleged that no trials paid for ever took place, and that a £350 fee paid for a five-star hotel room in Geneva got the 20 year-old hopeful a two bedded room in a four-star hotel, that he had to share with three others.

The allegations have been made in a new book The Lost Boys: Inside Football's Slave Trades by Ed Hawkins. The investigation is being run by, er, Fifa


Free canapes and sparkling wine on arrival are two of the inducements being offered to charities booking events at the Stadium of Light Sunderland football club before the end of March.

Other components of the Charity Event Offer are professional photography, appearances by former SAFC players, money-cant-buy signed merchandise and incentives to use the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, opening next to the stadium in April.

Tel 0871 911 1555 email conf&



1. From Charlotte Cooper, Head of Media Relations, Countryside Alliance
Dear Mr Cotterell,

I receive your e-zine Charity Matters and was very surprised to see that you had included a story of a court case that happened in October 2014 on the latest bulletin -

I note that the article followed two very recent stories about hunting and imagine it was included by mistake, otherwise I fail to see the journalistic reason for reporting the case 14 months after it happened?

I would be grateful if you would make it clear in the next e-letter that the case was included in error and did not represent an additional case.

Many thanks
Charlotte Cooper


Editor's response
Hi Charlotte, and thanks for your email.

This story (TALLY-HO!) was indeed an older one than the other two on the subject and I can fully understand why you would not want readers to think there had been more illegal law-breaking by foxhunters than there actually had. I accept that my error in including the details of the foxhunter's convictions and fines from 2014 made our 2015 issue look a little outdated.

Still Charlotte, perhaps not as outdated as all those sick killing-for-pleasure activities you are paid to promote and protect?

Do stay in touch.

Kind regards

Peter Cotterell
Editor Charity Matters



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Charity Matters is a free eZine, published every two months, which we think you will find a useful and informative resource. It is distributed monthly to approximately 24,000 selected charities based throughout the UK and is designed to help keep you abreast of issues of potential interest.

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Peter Cotterell
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