Society Diary: How good are these charity jokes (and some knitting news)

29 Nov 2019 Voices

This is definitely not Princess Anne knitting blankets for needy puppies

Is it Christmas yet? Surely it can’t still be November. Anyway, the mince pies have already been broken out at Civil Society HQ, and we’re on the verge of playing Christmas songs in the hope it could help us get to the end of the year. 

Diary, like at least 1 per cent of the general public, has been eagerly following the televised election debates (and definitely not finding it interminably exhausting), and is eagerly anticipating the voluntary sector version next week that has been organised by CAF and NCVO. 

It falls to us to suggest that should any of the participants pull out, the organisers should follow Channel 4’s example and replace them with an ice sculpture, or maybe something that symbolises chronic underinvestment in the charity sector, like an empty donation jar. 

Anyway, onward with this week’s lighter charity news: some actual jokes and knitting. 

Jokes, jokes, jokes

Diary is painfully aware that the UK is in bit of a sorry state at the moment, and is therefore always on the lookout for anything to bring some levity (hence this column). And what is more levitous that a good joke?

Fortunately Fran Perrin, who became a trustee of the charity sector think tank NPC in May, was on hand this week to provide us with not just one but four jokes, and all of them directly relating to philanthropy too. 

Perrin, who previously founded the Indigo Trust to provide evidence-based philanthropy and 360Giving to provide sector-wide transparency of grantmaking, was speaking at NPC’s parliamentary reception at the House of Lords on Tuesday night. She apologised in advance for the quality of the jokes, which she came up with herself, but Diary thinks they are good enough to share.

Well some of them anyway. Well, one of them. Oh, you decide.

What do you call a philanthropist who likes fish and chips? 
A plaice-based philanthropist.


How many philanthropists does it take to change a lightbulb? 
I'm sorry we don’t fund overheads.


What did the philanthropist say to the apple farmer? 
I'm sorry we don’t fund core costs


What do you call a philanthropist who’s been hit by a meteor? 
A high impact donor.

So yes, they are perhaps a bit variable, but Diary thinks the lightbulb joke is genuinely rather clever. 

All charity-related jokes will be gratefully received by Diary and may be shared in a future column if they are any good. 

Royal knitting news

Now to some knitting news, an ever-popular topic and something Diary is committed to being on top of for its legions of readers. You would *cough* never catch us dropping a stitch, on this important topic. 

This week the place to be if you work in charities was the Hinton lecture being delivered by Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal (unless you were across town at NPC’s winter party, which was an unfortunate clash if ever there was one. Fortunately Diary’s super powers enabled it to be in two places at once). 

Anyway, Princess Anne began by speaking about her long association with Save the Children, revealing that one of her first engagements with the sector was knitting squares to be turned into blankets to send abroad.

Now, Save the Children doesn’t do this anymore as the blankets are now produced and sold locally, which I think we can all agree is better. Nevertheless she did seem rather wistful for a time when anyone who could knit could volunteer easily and usefully. 

Fast forward to the Q&A, and Clare Horton, chief executive of Battersea, stood up not with a question but a comment, or maybe a rather audacious public bid to secure a royal volunteer. She informed HRH that if ever you wanted to knit for charity, Battersea accepts knitted blankets for its dogs and cats. 

It’s at this point that Diary would like to say it went straight home to break out the knitting needles. Alas there was an abundance of canapes and lemonade and somebody had to eat them. 

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