Should staples and sticky tape be paid for by donations?

When Oxfam and PayPal launched 100% Giving back in January it sparked a huge debate on my blog. Well it’s back this September, PayPal is paying Oxfam’s admin costs on all donations made through PayPal. ‘100% on seeds and schoolbooks. 0% on staples and stickytape’ reads the tagline.

Is 100% Giving a good thing or does it skew the public’s views on what are ‘essential’ costs in running a charity?


Oxfam Humankind Index for Scotland Survey


Everyone needs enough money to buy life’s basics, but few really believe that, on its own, cash is enough.

That’s why Oxfam Scotland wants to create a new way of measuring what makes a good life: one that takes money into account, but also recognises what Scottish people know – that it takes more than just economic growth to make a prosperous nation.  The Oxfam Humankind Index is about valuing the things that really matter to the people of Scotland. This might include their social relations, their health and skills, their physical environment and natural context, and their financial assets.

To do this, Oxfam Scotland want to ask the Scottish people about those aspects of life that make a real difference to people.  Public participation in creation of the Humankind Index is absolutely central.  It means that the Index will be based on the values of a society rather than the views of an elite. 

This will, in turn, enable government to focus on what really matters, and to take more informed decisions about where society wants to go.  Oxfam Scotland want to ensure that policy makers make policies that serve the real prosperity of Scotland, and are not simply policies that try to advance economic growth, regardless of the cost on communities or our environment.  It is about remembering that the economy should serve the people, not the other way around. 

In the longer term, Oxfam Scotland also wants a change in the way we judge ourselves as individuals, moving away from seeing the ‘stuff’ we have as a sign of how well we are doing to a wider sense of what makes us feel OK in our lives.

You could say that the Oxfam Humankind Index is about creating a context not where people sacrifice their relationships and environment to keep up with the Jones’s… but where they celebrate and nurture their relationships with the Jones’s and the environment impacting on them.

  • You can have your say by taking the Oxfam Humankind Index for Scotland survey. There’s the chance to win a £50 M&S voucher! 
  • Third Sector Lab are also getting involed in the Oxfam Humankind Index, we’ll have more info on that early May.


Voluntary sector aims to bring people together online – The Herald

Voluntary sector aims to bring people together online

  • Lauren Currie
  • Feedback: Lauren Currie, co-founder of Mypolice social networking site.

Stephen Naysmith



26 Oct 2010

Police who tweet, charities using Facebook or taking on citizen journalists – these are just three ways the third sector is embracing social networking.

Online tools are changing the way the public and voluntary sector interact with supporters and the public and an event in Edinburgh tomorrow night will explore advances in the field.

Be Good Be Social will feature talks and workshops from third sector social media experts including Oxfam Scotland, OneKind (previously known as Advocates for Animals), and police feedback website Mypolice.

Ross McCulloch of Third Sector Lab, organiser of the event at The Melting Pot, said, “This is a chance for charities, non-profits and social entrepreneurs to get together to share ideas about how to make the world a better place using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging. This isn’t just marketing – it’s about bringing people together in online spaces to make a real difference.”

Oxfam Scotland is pioneering the concept through its citizen journalists scheme, which launches this week. The charity is recruiting supporters to be active on the internet, posting comments, blogging and rebutting critics.

When they advertised the roles, there were more than 100 applicants. Contributors will be given guidelines on how to represent Oxfam and help the charity amplify its views.

Spokeswoman Rosie McIntosh said, “For busy people who don’t have time to come in and volunteer or work in our shops, they might re-tweet something or write their own blog. Oxfam and lots of other charities love speaking about themselves, but that is not what social media is about.”

Meanwhile Lauren Currie, co-founder of Mypolice, said many police forces understood the need for a conversation with the public, but found some social network sites too much of a free-for-all. “Mypolice is designed for the public, but the police still have an element of control. The site will help police understand why the public feel the way they do much better and help them target resources more efficiently on the problems that really need it.”

Mr McCulloch added “Some people are worried about the technology element of social media, but that’s really not what’s important. We’re interested in looking at how we can use the internet to give people a voice.”