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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Three charity lessons from Scrooge Bird before the New Year begins

An hour ago I was stopped outside Heals on the King's Road by a guy collecting for the Painted Children Charity.

"Sorry," I said, "I've already given. You lot are everywhere."

This is true - they've been doing an amazing job. He was not put off, though, and in what sounded to me a heavy Slavonic accent said, "Ah, but you must give. This is your last chance."

Being insatiably curious, I asked, "Where are you from?"

"Guess," he replied.

"I looked at his name tag. "Armenia," I said.

"No," he responded. "If you cannot guess you must give £10 donation. This is last chance of year, last chance of decade. You should give."

I looked again at his name. "Georgia," I said.

"You are right," he replied.

I said, "Never mind, I'll give you some money anyhow."

"Not good English," he said, "but good at fundraising."

Giorgi - that was his name - knows that any reason, even an illogical one, is better than no reason if you want people to cough up. He understands the power of likeable persistence, and knows that people like to play games.

He knows a lot more than many people who get paid good money for charity fundraising

A good man.

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