Of course, you can resist all you want. Ultimately though resistance is futile. Like it or not, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!, Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth, Wombling Merry Christmas and many others besides will eventually get lodged into your brain and you won't be able to get them out again until New Year at the very earliest.
If we want to stamp out homelessness, and poverty, and starvation, and all of the other problems we are currently facing, the answer doesn't lie in a donation once a year. If we really want to challenge these social ills, we have to bond together and stand in solidarity with the less fortunate - all year round.
I think we often underestimate the benefits that pets can bring to children. I often reflect about how my two boys benefitted immensely from our lovely cat Charlie - sadly no longer with us. He was an elderly stray cat we adopted and he showed them how you had to be tolerant and respect a pet's needs. In return Charlie offered devotion and a listening ear when life was 'unfair'.
At NPC we argue that every charity and every funder should try to improve their impact. But because in the sector we are all mission focused, we should always be sharing our knowledge too, even as we have to compete with them in different ways. And that sharing is not only about impact lessons, but issues around failure and mergers.
Anything that raises money for charity is great, and I am fully behind sending relief money to help the Ebola crisis that is happening in West Africa. Nevertheless, like many others, aspects of the new Band Aid 30 single make me feel uncomfortable with regards to its portrayal of West Africa and West Africans.
Adele was brought up by a single mum who struggled for money but provided her daughter with a stable and loving home. That Adele is now wanting to do the same should be supported and applauded, not attacked as a sign of selfishness. It is the egotistical rock star who wants to play God that is selfish.
When I was growing up I lived in a huge 5 bedroomed house and when my siblings flew the nest (I was the youngest and last to go) I found myself sitting at the breakfast table with an eclectic assortment of visitors - a renal surgeon, a very handsome scuba diving instructor, professors, the mayor of a small town in France and an Irish man doing his PhD...
Dan Pallota asked the staggering question - what if everything we've been taught about charity is dead wrong? What if tools like ACC can help us go beyond just financial metrics but understand real impact, reward charities with the biggest accomplishments and support those who need it? Wouldn't the world be a better place?
Microfinancing is a great example of this development in progress. Funding initiatives are making it easier for Zambians to access small, affordable loans to help them to help themselves. The MicroLoan Foundation for example, which I founded twelve years ago, is committed to helping tackle poverty through encouraging independence, rather than dependence