Yesterday morning (Thursday 30th September 2010) at approximately 7.40am, Dawn Vincent, The Donkey Sanctuary’s Senior PR Officer represented the charity on BBC1 Breakfast Show in a live debate with Martin Brookes, CEO of the New Philanthropy Capital charity, who believe there needs to be a moral index to charity giving.
Mr Brookes has spoken unfavourably about The Donkey Sanctuary in several of his blogs (unfortunately sometimes misrepresenting our work and finances) and as we understand it, his focus behind a moral index for charities is that he feels some causes are more important than others and should get greater attention, focus and funding.
He suggests considering the formation of a framework that catalogues charitable causes, according to their field of work, and prioritising needs accordingly; i.e. the human need for food and water being top of the list.
Dawn Vincent pointed out during the show that without the help of donkeys many millions of people in developing countries, children included, would be unable to collect their own drinking water from bore holes, were it not for donkeys to carry the containers. Our work in developing countries is a lifeline for such people. Should such a framework of worthy charities be created, would animal welfare charities like The Donkey Sanctuary which indirectly help humans lose out?
Dawn, having returned from London, her travel arrangements kindly paid for by the BBC, says: “I completely stood by the statement we made yesterday that making a judgement about the worthiness of any charity is a personal decision, and that the British public are free to make their own choices about who they wish to support. Charity is from the heart.”
“The interview went very well and I’m pleased to have been able to put The Donkey Sanctuary in a good light, along with speaking on behalf of all charities that could perhaps be considered ‘unworthy’ in a moral index.”
We have received some wonderful comments from our supporters. Ian Cunningham wrote:
"I saw Dawn Vincent on Breakfast TV this morning - wasn't paying too much attention (bit early for me) until the expensive suit next to her starting criticising charities like yours for having donors who are led by the heart, not the head. Never heard such nonsense - notwithstanding that charity donations are by definition heartfelt, I thought Ms. Vincent dealt with this number-crunching individual magnificently, and also put the case for your Sanctuary with a rare combination of eloquence and passion. Not having much to do with Donkeys - more of a Springer Spaniel chap myself - I decided to make a one-off donation of £20 to your charity just to say 'well done' for winning the battle on TV this morning against the faceless accountant-types. Have just donated £20 through Justgiving - hope it helps a little somewhere. Keep up the good work, Regards, Ian Cunningham.