If you’re a keen visitor to McDonald’s, you’ll know about its recurring Monopoly promotion that runs in a number of countries across the globe. You’ll often get a free food voucher for a portion of fries or a McFlurry, but while you might be tempted to hoard them for future binges, perhaps donating them to the homeless is a better way of using them.
That’s what Matt Lawson from Melbourne in Australia proposed in a Facebook post on Monday:
McDonald’s is currently running the monopoly game and I’ve got an idea. If you win free food by purchasing food you would of bought anyway, why not put your tokens in a jar and take them to an area where you know there are people less fortunate then yourself (Melbourne CBD, Fitzroy shelters etc).i did it today and if all of us do it together we can be part of a small change. FEEL FREE TO SHARE. #bethechange#monopolisecharity
“Why not put your tokens in a jar and take them to an area where you know there are people less fortunate then [sic] yourself,” he wrote. “I did it today and if all of us do it together we can be part of a small change.”
“I know it’s still consuming junk food, but it can teach our kids and ourselves a lesson in giving with no taking,” he said in a comment on the viral post.
What a simple idea to make a small difference in your community.
I loved the email article, The Challenges of Leadership in the Charity Sector by Charles McLachlan in this week’s Cinnamon Network mailing:
As my career developed in commercial organisations, I believed I also had something to offer charities – the Third Sector. It seemed easy to get invited to join trustees, act as a treasurer or get more involved in operational activity. Here was a place that I felt I could contribute, if only they would adopt some of the commercial disciplines of project management, financial control and clear lines of authority that I knew so well, then we could really make a difference together!
My early attempts at introducing some of these commercial disciplines were welcomed in principle however, but resisted in practice. As my mentor used to say, “Charles, just because it makes sense, doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do” and even more confusingly, “Charles, just because it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t mean it is not the right thing to do”. I felt I must be missing part of the picture.
Then it clicked. I had hardly imagined the challenge charity leaders face when:
- 90% of your customers don’t pay you for your services;
- 90% of your staff hours are provide by individuals who cannot be motivated by pay or financial reward;
- your investors often have stronger opinions about how you do things and what you do than the actual outcomes delivered;
- available resources may be allocated in response to perceptions (internal or external) rather than a business case;
- too often, absolute cost trumps value for money in spending decisions;
- individuals with power may have no responsibility, and those with responsibility have little power.
As I began to fully understand this, I developed a new respect for leaders of charities. I also realised how much of what those leaders achieve could be applied with enormous power into commercial organisations.
The Third sector is often incredibly entrepreneurial. With almost no resources, a community action group can initiate the transformation of an entire neighbourhood, for example. The Jubilee Debt Campaign released billions of dollars of Third World debt to education and health care.
Does the commercial sector have nothing to offer the Third sector? No, I still believe that many of the disciplines of the commercial sector are required. But it is easy to squeeze out the power of the relationships that are the Social Capital underpinning the Third sector if you just turn the organisation into a more efficient financial machine. And for all of us, where financial resources are increasingly constrained, we should look to Social Capital as the entrepreneurial resource for leaders who want to re-invigorate Britain in the 21st century.
Thousands of pieces of furniture left over from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralypmics are being offered to charities, schools, community groups and start-up companies for free or at a steep discount. To receive them organisations simply have to explain why they deserve to receive them.
They are being made available via a website by The Remains, the company which last year offered one million pieces of former Olympic fixtures and fittings for sale to individuals and organisations in the UK and internationally. Charities acquired some of these for various uses, such as beds for a hostel, sofas for a day centre for adults with learning difficulties, and chairs for a community centre.
The vast majority of items still available have come from the Athletes’ Village. They include garden furniture which was originally sourced from John Lewis.
How to apply for legacy items
To qualify, organisations should use the website to introduce their organisation, explain what it does and say why they need the furniture.
A panel of judges, including former paralympic swimmer Tim Reddish, who won silver medals at the Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney Games, and Paul Levin, head of operations for Legacy Remains, will then decide which of the applicants is most deserving.
Successful applicants will receive their items free of charge. Unsuccessful applications will then be offered the chance to buy their items “at vastly reduced prices”.
The closing date for receiving enquiries is 27 July, the first anniversary of the beginning of the Olympics. Deliveries will take place from August into September.