Luke Blackall: Giving to charity has never felt so good

Man About Town

Share

Of all the invitations I am lucky enough to receive, around a quarter have something to do with charity. Be they fundraisers, dinners or auctions, this end of the charitable activities spectrum is usually the most comfortable.

Guests can feel good just by mingling and drinking the free champagne (usually provided by a sponsor). If they want to feel especially good about themselves, they can listen to the speech on the worthiness of whatever cause it is we're noticing that evening. They might even get their photo taken.

I've seen one billionaire spend more than £20,000 on a table tennis lesson at a charity auction, and witnessed countless times the way a garrulous auctioneer, an eager spouse and a willing audience can push the nation's plutocrats and captains of industry to pay over the odds for jewellery, art and exotic holidays all in the name of “charidee”.

The cigar-smoking media mogul Richard Desmond was on a stage in London this week as he helped launch the health lottery. The new game encourages us to buy tickets, with all the money going to health charities. People always feel good about winning money, or trying to win money. And patrons such as Desmond can feel good that they're raising money for charity in the warm glow of the public spotlight.

The same was true at the Serpentine Gallery last week. There, the Future Contemporaries party, brought together the group of under forties whose £1,000 per year each helps to finance the gallery and keep it free.

For that sum, members get to be part of an select (and very good-looking) cadre of art-lovers with access to exclusive events and a glamorous party each year - almost as good as a member's club.

A study earlier this month discovered that the average household in this country spends as much on cheese as we do on charity - 0.4 per cent of income, a number that has remained fairly static over the years.

In the meantime, a Barclay's Wealth report survey concludes that better targeted philanthropy could save the UK tax payer £100bn a year.

Last week I wrote how big brands are cashing in on the cachet of cool, by aligning themselves with creative types and their work. The same could be true for charity givers. In the eyes of the party crowd, they never looked better.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

 

General Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk