Sixth survey stage of Managing in a Downturn series opens

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 11 January 2013 | News Tagged with: Charity Finance Group Individual giving recession Research / statistics Sixth survey stage of Managing in a Downturn series opens Caron Bradshaw, CFG Chief Executive, said that the research continued to be useful as charities faced further difficulties, including downgraded economic forecasts, continued austerity, and cuts to welfare. She said “as a sector, we’re still walking on very thin ice”.She added: “These surveys are invaluable in showing what’s really happening on the ground, and this year we expect to see evidence of bold moves from charities to tackle funding gaps, such as creative partnerships or tapping into reserves to fund new projects.”PwC Director Ian Oakley-Smith said that previous surveys had indicated that collaboration amongs charities was increasing. He expected the latest research to confirm that trend was continuing, and that charities were adopting “increasingly diverse ways of raising much needed funding.”IoF Chief Executive Peter Lewis added: “In last year’s survey almost all (93%) the charities that took part reported a tougher fundraising climate, and 1 in 5 of them said that they had considered merger as a means of survival”.The latest survey results will be announced at a pre-Budget breakfast debate on 15 March 2013 with finance and fundraising sector leaders.The closing date for submissions is 1 February 2013.www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZTNQYNScenter_img The sixth research phase of a survey to measure the impact of the recession on fundraising in the charity sector has opened.The Managing in a Downturn series, produced by PwC, Charity Finance Group (CFG) and the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), has been recording how charities have coped in the economic decline since 2008.Last year’s survey on Managing charities in the new normal – a perfect storm? received over 400 responses from charities. Advertisement  31 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

Lawyers Who Rock

first_imgLawyers Who Rock Lawyers Who Rock Musicians with good day jobs Associate EditorBack in the wild ’60s, Bobby Cox grew his hair to his shoulders, wore a wide-lapel jacket embroidered with roses over a chest-revealing unbuttoned shirt, and rocked out on keyboards with jazz-rock band Mandela and Tampa-based cover band Southern Comfort.Playing in rock-and-roll bands since he was 14, Cox made a deal with himself: If I am not a big rock star by 1975, I will go to law school.Reality hit with a discordant thud.He played his last concert and walked off stage. Afraid he’d be too tempted to stick to his rocker ways, he gave his keyboards away.Between hitting the law books, he doctored musical withdrawals by retreating to a lonely practice room at Florida State University’s music school and playing his heart out on a battered upright, a one-man show with a one-man audience.Today, nearly three decades later, he’s the respectable Robert Scott Cox, of Cox & Burns, P.A., a Tallahassee law firm specializing in serious personal injury cases.And he’s got his keyboards back.“Frankly, you have to have another outlet,” says Cox. “Otherwise, the only thing at the end of the rainbow of being a lawyer is Volvos and anti-depressants. Playing music gives you some balance. Think of the level of unhappiness in those charts about lawyers in the Bar News. ”Playing gigs for fun, he likes to call himself “a musician with a good day job.”With King Ed and the Family Jewels, featuring progressive blues a la Stevie Ray Vaughn and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Cox plays piano, Hammond organ, and synthesizer.With the Big Kahunas, Cox dons a Hawaiian shirt and plays bass with fellow lawyers Steve Metz, drummer and chief legislative counsel for The Florida Bar, and John Lovett, guitarist, Harvard-educated lawyer, and managing partner at the Katz Kutter law firm.Describing the Big Kahunas as “the British Invasion meets the Beach Boys,” Metz says: “The biggest thing for me is the reaction of people when they find out I’m a drummer in a band. ‘What?!’ I’m a fairly conservative lawyer during the day.”Cox ribs Metz by saying: “It’s pretty hard to screw up ‘Louie, Louie,’ but somehow he did it.”And Metz flings back at Cox: “Don’t believe a thing he tells you. He is a lying dog and is really Robin Williams as a lawyer.”This trio of serious lawyers by day and jamming fools by night agree that playing in a band helps take the edge off being lawyers, helps balance their lives, and forces them not to take themselves too seriously.“The word fun keeps coming to mind,” says Metz, who once played in a band in the style of the Swinging Medallions, with a Herb Alpert wannabe friend on trumpet, when he attended Choctawatchee High School, Class of ’67.“It energizes you. It makes you feel young again,” said Metz, who also drank Jolt cola when practicing in his garage with the Jolt Band and is billed in the Big Kahunas promo as a lobbyist with Metz Hauser and Husband who “misspent his youth playing drums in surf and rock bands in Daytona Beach.”Lovett — who plays a five-string banjo he bought from Earl Scruggs in a bluegrass band called South Georgia Grass, as well as in an Irish band called the Wild Rovers — put it this way: “In all candor, I’m not reliving my younger days. I’m living these days right now. This is life right now.”At 57, Lovett claims being a musician for 40 years, inspired in his youth by the Kingston Trio.“I heard them and said, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ I got a banjo and taught myself to play it. And the same with guitar. But I’m not good enough to only be a professional musician. My kids would starve on what a musician makes.”What Lovett gets out of his gigs is pure delight.“There is a joy I get from entertaining people and knowing I am helping people enjoy themselves. There’s a certain amount of ego involved in being able to play music: ‘Look at me and let me show you what I can do,’” Lovett says.Back at the serious law office, in the high-rise building with the only revolving door in downtown Tallahassee, Lovett says: “They all pretend they don’t know me. They’re all terribly embarrassed by the whole thing.”Not fellow Katz Kutter lawyer Kathi Giddings, who belts out vocals in her husband’s band, “The Diehards,” whose motto is: “Live Hard, Love Hard, Play Hard, Die Hard.”“My mother majored in voice in college, and I took piano for most of my youth. But I didn’t play music for a while,” said Giddings, chair of the Bar’s Appellate Court Rules Committee when she is her serious legal-eagle self and goes by Katherine Eastmoore Giddings.Then she met her husband, Travis “T.D.” Giddings, who worked his way through school playing in bands and forming his own, and nudged her to the mike, front and center, to sing lead vocals, harmony, and secondary percussion.“My mother had this gorgeous Julie Andrews voice, and I sound more like Janis Joplin,” Giddings says with a hearty laugh. “Had it not been for my husband, I wouldn’t sing. It’s an activity we do together.”They play gigs in North Florida, like Wicked Willie’s in coastal village Carrabelle.“It’s a wonderful stress release and keeps me grounded in the real world,” said Giddings.Jon H. Gutmacher placed this ad in the Orange County Bar Association newsletter, The Briefs : “Were you a rock musician in a former life? If you were, and you’d like to be one again, send in your name, address, instrument and experience, and we’ll see if we can put together one or more legal rock groups for bar gigs and charity.”The tentative name of the group that has gathered so far is Lawyers Rock, featuring Stephen Shaw on lead guitar, James Willingham and Mary Kogut on vocals, Gutmacher on drums, and Jim Basque on keyboards.For Gutmacher, a self-described high school band nerd, his main thrill is composing, and playing in the band is a chance to hear his compositions come alive. Asked if he would like to share a few of his lyrics for this story, Gutmacher turned very serious and said, “Absolutely not! The songs I write, in my opinion, are capable of being No. 1 hits.”Who else thinks that?“My family does,” he answers.As for Lawyers Rock, well, they’ve played once and, Gutmacher admits the band “needs work.”“Oh, yeah, it does need work, but it has promise,” says keyboardist Basque, 49, who has been a working musician for 30 years.“I come from a musical family and started tickling the piano at an early age,” says Basque, who was influenced by the Beatles, and now has his own trio, Spectrum, and freelances in a blues band, The Touch.“It’s a good release from lawyer work, and I have gigs primarily on weekends. I do gigs from black-tie parties to biker bars. And some of the black-tie people get as crazy as the bikers,” Basque laughs.“Most of my career I have been a corporate big firm lawyer. And there have been a couple of instances where I showed up at a function to play in the band, and there’s a client or two in the audience. ‘What are you doing here?’ That’s usually how the conversations start,” Basque says.“My clients get a kick out of it. They think, ‘he’s a lawyer and he’s human, too.’”Music keeps that very important human side alive in lawyers who fear they would be very dull boys and girls, otherwise.That’s why Cox starts his day playing jazz for an hour on his piano. That’s why he invites Metz and Lovett to take over the front porch of his house to practice for their upcoming October 19 gig at Tallahassee’s Paradise Grill to benefit the local animal shelter.“The music is worse, but the wine and accommodations are infinitely better” than his young rocker days, Cox says.Before, Cox admits, he tried not to let people know about his musical past.“I didn’t think people would take me seriously,” Cox says. “At this point, I’m old and rich, and I don’t care.”Rock on. September 15, 2002 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Gay rights in the Caribbean slowly coming out of the closet.

first_imgNewsRegional Gay rights in the Caribbean slowly coming out of the closet. by: – June 12, 2012 A recent poll in Jamaica suggested that 61 percent of the population would have a negative opinion of government should it repeal the law.GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday June 12, 2012 – Over the past six months, governments in two influential Caribbean trade bloc member states – Jamaica and Guyana – have floated political test balloons on the question of whether colonial-era laws criminalising homosexuality should be amended in keeping with trends in most Western states.The climate for gay people in the two nations is very different.In Guyana, where many gays and lesbians live openly, the move has not made headlines, although some Christian churches have vowed to fight the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to the very end on this issue.The administration of President Donald Ramotar says that it is preparing to take a motion to the 65-member parliament as early as this week to begin debate on the abolition of buggery and cross- dressing laws, corporal punishment in schools, and capital punishment by hanging.“The idea is to have the special select committees of parliament convene and begin public hearings on all three of these issues as we have indicated to the United Nations Human Rights Council,” said government legislator and presidential adviser on governance Gail Teixeira. “These should dealt with shortly.”Government has already sounded out the Christian church, and is aware of its continued and obvious opposition to the move. Crunch time will come when the public is invited to have its say, as opposition remains fairly strong to legalised homosexuality and cross-dressing, even though gays and lesbians are not usually attacked or shunned for who they are.Joel Simpson, an executive member of Guyana’s umbrella Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), says it is appalling that the colonial-era laws are still on the books and can be enforced at the behest of any policemen.“We can be jailed from between two years to 25 years for buggery even if it is consensual sex between two adult men, and cross dressers can be fined and jailed for up to six months. We want these laws changed,” he said.More than 1,000 miles away in Jamaica, widely considered one of the world’s most homophobic societies, the government of Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller says there could be a parliamentary conscience vote in the near future as to whether or not the so-called buggery laws should be amended.In contrast to the open hostility toward gay people of her predecessor, Simpson-Miller has also said that ability rather than sexual orientation should be the main criteria for political appointments.In the land of Bob Marley and reggae, this is music to the ears of a gay community that has largely existed underground because of Jamaica’s culture of often violent homophobia.Many officials in key governmental positions across the Caribbean might be reluctant to admit it, but Western governments have been upping the pressure on them to initiate change, even linking aid to the laws being removed from the statutes.Going even further on the issue, the Simpson-Miller administration said recently that “the People’s National Party (PNP) president remains committed to her pledge to make appointments to a cabinet led by her on the basis of competence” and that legislators will be allowed to vote their conscience when the issue hits parliament in the coming months.A recent poll in Jamaica suggested that 61 percent of the population would have a negative opinion of government should it repeal the law, down from 82 percent last year, but some Christian fellowship groups are leading a so far relatively successful fight against any amendment to the laws.Last year, Guyana’s then health minister Leslie Ramsammy said it was high time governments face the issue head-on.“The laws and policies that we want to legislate need to address stigma and the social risks of (HIV) testing, anonymity, confidential testing and recognising that there are vulnerable groups such as women, children, indigenous populations, prisoners, commercial sex workers and MSM (men who have sex with men).”Clearly emboldened by the recent signals from officials, a regional LGBT advocacy group this week demanded that some of the four million euros the region will get from the European Development Fund (EDF) for vulnerable groups in the Caribbean be set aside for protection of gay rights.The funding, intended to boost the capacity of civil society groups, covers 15 Caribbean Forum countries, including the Dominican Republic.Ian McKnight and John Waters of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition say they are unhappy with the rather narrow definition of which groups are considered “vulnerable”, and believe that sex workers, prisoners, at-risk youth and others should included as well.“We are asking the press to partner with us on this,” said McKnight. “There is an emerging threat to civil society that might have the strong possibility of excluding those who we call vulnerable population from a very large grant that will benefit the Caribbean region.” (IPS).Caribbean 360 News Sharing is caring! 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