I am really concerned to read that the Big Lottery Fund is
considering running a charity version of Big Brother/Pop Idol etc
to determine which charities should benefit from its ever-shrinking
At the current time, any charity applying to the Lottery knows that
the merits (or not) of its appeal for funding are judged by a panel
of its peers – people who understand the nature of the community
and voluntary sector.
By asking the general public to vote for winners after a
five-minute TV slot means that the slickest appeal, the
saddest-looking case, the more ‘tellygenic’ beneficiaries will have
a better chance than the worthiest causes.
Yes, I know that we all may disagree about what makes a cause
worthy, but at least at the moment we know that decisions are made
by people with field experience.
If the lottery funding goes this way, we risk yet again the
tendency to opt for a quick popular ‘fix’ that could seriously
damage the smaller charitable bodies in this country. And I suppose
that the cost of calling the voting lines will add to the Lottery’s
Cynthia Games, project manager, Shieldfield and Battlefield
Community Development Project