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Sunday, 1 June 2014

Expensive Tributes; Purple Rain

Stephen.SuttonThere cannot be a heart in the Western Hemisphere that has not melted on learning about the life and premature death from cancer of British blogger and charity activist, Stephen Sutton.

At the time of writing – two days after his funeral -  19-year-old Stephen’s JustGiving campaign for the U.K. Teenage Cancer Trust is still raking in  cash and  has reached a staggering  £4,176,164.80.

That’s wonderful. But I’m not the only one to wonder how much of that money will ever reach the intended recipients.

Let’s examine the facts:  JustGiving is a private for-profit company that charges charities £15.00 per month to use its service, along with a five per cent fee on each donation. While it is transparently honest about this and also announces on which donations it may reclaim an extra 25% in tax through the U.K. Gift Aid scheme, I think the company is rather sly about how it uses the money it earns.

For example, most donors won’t look at the small print in the ‘work with us’ section of its website and therefore see the extraordinary benefits being offered to potential staff. Many people making small donations through JustGiving are non taxpayers on absurdly low incomes and so are unable to use Gift Aid. How would they feel, I wonder, learning that five per cent of their hard won gift helps to  provide JustGiving staff with the following benefits:

  • Private pension scheme

  • Complete medical/dental insurance
  • Half-price gym membership
  • Weekly in-office yoga classes
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity leave
  • Cycle-to-work scheme
  • Season ticket loan

Furthermore, as I’m probably best dismissed as an ignorant and joyless old reactionary, what really peeves me is that along with the current vacancies for technological and public relations experts there is another  – please believe me – for an In-house Prince impersonator.

PrinceI’m unsure whether this is an extended leg-pull or something I should be taking with the utmost seriousness. But hey, as Stephen Sutton may have observed, I’ll only live once. So, what the hell, I’ll conclude this post by copying and pasting the Prince impersonator job description. This’ll give me more time to write and post a cheque directly to the TCT. After that, I’ll simply have to ensure my gift is not spent on compensating patients who have been variously misused and abused by staff working for the glorious National Health Service. But that’s another story – isn’t it? 

Prince impersonator

“We are looking for a professional Prince impersonator to join the team here at JustGiving.

“About us

“We’re the world's leading online fundraising platform, creating innovative technology that helps people, charities and businesses connect with the causes they care about. We make giving and fundraising simple, social, impactful and inspiring.

About the role

“As the JustGiving in-house Prince impersonator, you’ll be required to provide at least six hours of live music, funKy vibes and miscellaneous inspiratiON to the team throughout the dAy. You’ll be comfortable in the role of international Megastar, but wIll still be an approaChable and goOD-humoured membEr of the team.

“Working in a fast-moving, focussed environment, your flamboyant personality and natural creativity will assist our hard-working teams to deliver top quality products in an environment that is both groovy and wild.

“In this role you will:

  • Provide a daily rendition of the FULL soundtrack to the film Purple Rain. Backing singers and musicians can be selected at your own discretion from your fellow colleagues.
  • Flirt outrageous with up to six members of staff every day, leaving almost all of the product managers in a state of perpetual confusion about their sexuality.
  • Lead a weekly, company-wide training session in any of the following musical genres: funk, rock, pop, new wave, synth-pop or R&B, ensuring that all staff are able to fully extol the virtues of the Minneapolis sound when arguing about music from the 1980s in the pub.
  • Announce secret shows on a regular basis, but only ever reveal the location once your colleagues have all secured their space on the front row.

“About you

  • You are 5ft 2in tall EXACTLY. Candidates who exceed this height will not be considered.
  • You posses an extensive wardrobe consisting largely of, but not strictly limited to, Regency-style ruffled shirts, purple velvet trench coats (with matching flared trousers obviously), Cuban heels, metallic jumpsuits and an excess of sequins and leather.
  • You are prone to regularly changing your name, frequently without any warning and often to a symbol rather than an actual word.

“In return for everything that you can bring, we pay competitive market rates and can offer you an exciting role in a growing business that’s part of something bigger, with plenty of opportunities to learn – and of course get funky at the same time”.

© Natalie Wood (01 June 2014)

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