Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Hand That Feeds.

Well now, the best laid plans and all!

New plan: one post a week on whatever's floating around in my strange mind; and another each time I interview a new victim from the writing world for amusement!

Today's topic: charitable giving for authors.

When I'm not scribbling down novel ideas on fragments of paper, I'm advising clients on their finances for a large UK banking group (snore!). Each year the bank nominate a charity to benefit from fundraising activities for the whole year (last year British Heart Foundation, this year Save The Children); and I saw my chance to do something selfless by donating profits from my debut crime novel to the children's charity for the first few months; with Tim Roux at Night Publishing agreeing to not only donate the publisher share of profits, but also offering to encourage other Night authors to do the far so good.

Cue a stream of e-mails from the charity about 'protecting their brand', 'looking into corporate commercial logistics', and 'signing an agreement to outline the necessary steps that need to be adhered to' cut a long story short; the representative from the charity is quite happy to take the money, but bordered on accusing both me and Night of looking at angles to trade off their name (in fact Tim had already stated to them that he'd prefer not to be named publicly if they preferred - although from my own perspective more publicity meant more money raised for them)! Talk about biting the hand that feeds!

The good to come out of all of this embarrassment and awkwardness (Night have now graciously agreed to give the proceeds to me to be donated anonymously how I choose), is that I'm looking into founding a charitable organisation of my own in order to make a difference without all of the commercial crap. The lesson for anybody else out there is simple: charitys are first and foremost businesses; the majority of the donations that they receive cover costs (including salaries), and they therefore behave just like any other faceless corporate entity in their dealings with others - donate by all means, but expect suspicion about your motives at the very least.

Drew x

1 comment:

  1. Giving back is the one of the most rewarding things anyone can do. Good luck with your new book and foundation venture!