"I used to work for the Cats Protection League," said Mark Salway, leaning back in his chair with a smile. "The fundraising team ran a big campaign to raise money for a cat called Scrunchy, which did well. But, I pointed out to them, that this 'restricted funding' could only be used for a cat called Scrunchy, or we'd be breaking the law!
We're a very generous nation and most of us give money and support to causes we really believe in. But so much mail and email these days is unsolicited and unwanted. I know I'm not alone in finding it really annoying to be bombarded with requests for money or action by organisations which are not of my choosing.
I want to challenge conventional wisdom that suggests giving is an antidote to consumerism. Not because I want to knock giving, but because my experience of conducting anthropological research into philanthropy suggests we can better understand it by not viewing it as the polar opposite of consumer activity.
Your 20th year should be an exciting one; a time when you stand on your own two feet after university and start to build your career while enjoying the freedom of being young and carefree. But the sad truth is that today, 1 in 6 young people in the UK are struggling to find work, education or training.
So instead of spending our time hating these organisations we should be using it to try and help them. Grow, develop and move forward in to modern world. Because one day, at some point in your life you may just need that very charity that you once tweeted abuse to from something you read online; because you didn't understand what they did.
The horrific scenes in Nepal and further afield following last weekend's huge earthquake have been hard to avoid. I'm sure most people will have had the conversation that goes something like "oh, isn't it horrible, if only there was something we could do to help". And then forgotten about it. But there is something you can do.
Fortunately, fundraising societies in most of the UK Universities have recently come up with a plethora of genuinely creative and entertaining ways to raise money for charities. Doing something that you enjoy, and at the same time supporting someone in need, is a win-win situation, it acts as a great motive for you to be part of this.