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Collective Ideas for Raising Funds

Cambridge re-use simple 144 x 92

Collective Ideas for Raising Funds_bloglist

I had the meeting with Alan (Chairman) Paul (Financial Director) and Cara (Ops Manager) on Wednesday to go over our list of ideas and try to assign a priority to each items. The list I circulated to them is attached. Items in grey were considered as ones we should reconsider later/lower priority right now.

We concluded the meeting with the following ‘outlook’ which I am just about to echo to them for final conformation but I don’t expect to change much

  1. Some research into awareness of CRU among potential shoppers as well as potential donors would be very useful to help understand how aware people are, if it’s a problem and how much/what quality awareness work we need to do (although awareness is almost always good there may be some aspects we ought to concentrate on). Questionnaires, surveys for quantitive view,  but also case studies for quality.
  2. A number of ideas will require ‘collateral’ – posters (very useful) leaflets, brochures, web pages etc. so we need to be able to produce
  3. Online sales and promotion of our goods (and associated social awareness messages) a high priority – if its possible – because we are only reaching 12% of known target audience for our service and by far the most of these live at least one bus ride probably two away from Cambridge reuse so can’t come to us on spec (busfare £4.10). (Remember the difference between us and a ‘normal’ online shop is that each product is unique – we don’t have 6 of sofa x in stock so there is a good chance you might see something online and its gone by the time you come into the store which you’d have to do because there is no quick and easy system for providing credentials re low income online. We agreed this was a lesser evil compared to the wide awareness and convenience having the stock online.)
  4. Fundraising from businesses/corporates a high priority because potential high yield and relatively uncomplicated effort: both ‘aligned’ co’s and others.
  5. Raising awareness activities a high priority – some evidence to suggest potential shoppers don’t know us – but with so many ideas on this and no sure data to say which activities would work better than other (schools, fairs, eco/green circles, auctions, lotteries etc. etc.) we thought it best for the group of volunteers to decide which to do in which order based on preference and skillset. That’s you/us, right!
  6. Fundraising from charitable trusts/statutory bodies a high priority.
  7. ‘Habitization’ of some (dark wood) items: as it happens one of the current volunteers is about to start work on this. We agreed it would make sense to update our standard photos to include such stock.  Let’s review progress on this next year.
  8. Sell advertising space on our van – yes if we can.
  9. Conference re Dealing with Tough Times (financial difficulties, depression, mental health)– a good idea plus good to keep something in our agenda that focuses on this side of what we do.
  10. Ideas around reuse of the building (classes, meetings). The issue is that asking a landlords permission to use the premises will almost certainly get a ‘no’ (no incentive for landlord unless we offer to pay more rent). Going ahead without it probably OK but a risk. Therefore we thought that apart for occasional or one-offs this was better left for now, revisit next year.
  11. Dual pricing: I represented the case put very well by Lucy and Maria. The emotional/philosophical angles were fully explored (some have strong feelings that we are the ONLY charity really looking out for people on low income and it’s the core of CRU) and one major point arising from experience was that we could end up in a situation where increased sales led to a poor choice being left for those on low income (those with cars on good income more mobile, easier to visit, avail). We concluded that it would be easier to experiment with this once we have established an good online sales presence. This would make it easier to implement (when compared with preparing and circulating printed materials ) and easier to turn on and off, experiment with use for selected items etc. etc. Also we would need some research into what the non-low income pricing should be to be competitive with the other charity shops.



Party Name

Proposed Name for the new party.

Remembering that the main use of the name will be to present the party to voters in an election, I considered Left Unity and The Peoples Assembly as names – see below. I propose that Community would be a better name for the movement/party for the reasons given below.

Left Unity

  1. What does this mean to anyone who does not now about left-disunity. Since MOST people think of Labour when they think of the left what does this mean to someone who now about Labour bit not details re left sects  – some form of new labour perhaps?
  2. Accuracy and credibility. We are just as likely or more likely to divide the left and increase the dis-unity than we are to unite – especially initially. The headlines will be like this. “Left unity fails as left votes swing behind labour to keep out the Tories”, “Left unity accused of splitting the anti Tory vote at a critical moment in history.” What are we actually doing to unite the left? Nothing. We are putting our flag up inviting sects members to come to us. How many meetings a week can a working person go to?
  3. What does it say to average guy about what we intend to do for peoples if we get into power.
  4. What does it say about neo-liberalism.
  5. What does it say about materialism or capitalism? 

The Peoples Assembly

  1. Clearly about ordinary people getting together for their own cause – good
  2. Reminiscent of the diggers / levellers / Gerard Winstanley and later ‘assembly halls’
  3. But its antiquity also gives it a whimsical, light-weight tone – because of its associations with utopia many will not take it seriously enough – more for demos and 6the formers not parliament.


  1. Community hall / Community services / community pub / community projects: gives immediate message it’s a party for the community – that its overtly committed to the community as opposed to the individual –the many rather than the few – the majority not the elite.
  2. Simple
  3. Clear challenge to neo-liberal culture
  4. Non-political coinage as such – e.g. not socialist / democratic / liberal / communist / progressive and all the baggage ambiguity and confusion that causes EG “Social Democratic Liberal Party (SDLP)”
  5. Arise from the ashes of “left Unity” to be a broad-left-based populist and electable party.

ATB, Gerry Cavander

proposed statement fm Kate Hudson

Statement for amendment and discussion:

Europe is plunging deeper and deeper into crisis. Its governments are continuing with their failed austerity policies which are destroying the social and economic gains working people have made over many decades. The economic crisis has increasingly become a social and political crisis as people face poverty, hunger and even death, as a result of the catastrophic and government-imposed failure of health systems and social services. A further manifestation of this crisis is the rapid development of fascism in Greece, in the shape of Golden Dawn.

However the people of Europe are fighting back. In Greece, France, Germany and elsewhere, new political formations have emerged, drawing together a range of left forces, posing political, social and economic alternatives, and challenging the capitulation of social democracy to neo-liberalism. Here in Britain we face the savage onslaught of the coalition government, destroying our hard-won gains, but Labour is failing to pose a viable economic alternative. It embraces neo-liberalism and does not represent the interests and needs of ordinary people. A successful response to the rightwards move of Labour has not yet taken place, yet we have equal need of a new political formation which rejects austerity and war, advocates a greater democratisation of our society and institutions and transforms our economy in the interests of the majority.

The strong support for Ken Loach’s appeal to discuss the need for a new left party shows that many share this view. Discussions are ongoing but there is a strong desire for a new party of the left which will present an alternative set of values of equality and justice: socialist, environmentalist and against all forms of discrimination. Its politics and policies would stand against capitalism, imperialism, war, racism and fascism. Its urgent tasks would be to oppose austerity, defend the welfare state, fight to restore workers’ rights and advance alternative social and economic policies, redistributing wealth to the working class.

Its political practice would be democratic, diverse and inclusive, committed to open dialogue and new ways of working; the mutual respect and tolerance of differences of analysis; the rejection of the corruption of conventional political structures and their frequent reproduction of the gender domination of capitalist society.

International solidarity is fundamental to the success of any resistance and the achievement of any political progress; such a new party will work with other left organisations and movements in Europe and internationally, to build coordination, strategic links and common actions.

From this meeting today, we call on the national coordinating group to organise a conference of Left Unity groups and members this autumn to discuss the founding of a new Left Party, to facilitate commissions to outline the principles and policies of such a Left Party, and to outline a timetable for a Founding Conference in 2014.

I agree with all of this as a statement for use but would want to change the way we talk when we make this a statement in the public domain representing us as a party or movement.

My own proposal for discussion is based on proposition that all in LU are either consciously or unconsciously on the spectrum of socialist utopia somewhere (even if in Labour party!). As such our statement needs to render what we as a party believe and want to promote for public vote is the next achievable junction on the road to a fairer society and what is the most effective / appropriate way to present it to society CLICK HERE



1+1 My own straw-horse to help find what we have in common …

Use the best old and the best new ideas and techniques to create and maintain a caring sharing community that strives toward a happy/fulfilling life for current and future generations – people and planet.

Community and democracy centric, supporting individual liberty, effort and enterprise while recognising that no man is an island, totally responsible for her or his own actions, successes or failures. Striving toward a secure and sustainable material habitat that enables a decent life for all, whatever gifts they inherit, without threat or harm from others. Let us make no war on anyone for material gain. Let us not suffer to know others suffer without making every effort to help and to remove the cause of that suffering.

*** POLICIES ***

1. Maximum earnings differential 12 (min wage 18K max wage 216K p.a.)
2. Community provision of universal services:

  1. housing
  2. health
  3. education
  4. travel
  5. energy
  6. research.

3. Employment for all – using all of the following when and if necessary:

  1. state investment / intervention in selected industries
  2. part-time work (work sharing without differential loss)
  3. state invested research and development.

4. Contribution-based welfare ensuring basic standard of living for all, as follows:

  1. ‘unable to work’ fully supported
  2. ‘prefer to work less’ supported with low end differential
  3. ‘prefer to work more’ supported with higher differential
  4. success in generating efficiencies/advances supported with higher differential
  5. elderly prefer to work /not work, full supported.

5. Personal Liberty

  1. Freedom of speech/expression fully supported
  2. Freedom of action supported except actions agreed by the community to be harmful to others/the planet
  3. Private ownership supported
  4. Private capital accumulations supported with appropriate tax rules that mandate reinvestment of company earnings into the business, cap non-business accumulation / offshore banking / financial tools used.

6. Political reform

  1. Business funding of political parties illegal.
  2. Personal funding of political parties capped to % of earnings.
  3. MPs and candidates paid by the community only (as MPs are today) .

Statement …