Sharing Our Story of an Energising Year (published on our website today, 15 June) is a punchy, visual round-up of 2020-2021. Intended as an easy-digest for busy people who have lent support – or who might do so – it demonstrates the charity’s effectiveness and efficiency in challenging times. I urge you to take a look and to consider making a gift to support our work with children and families.

As a Chief Exec with a fundraising background, I know that treating donors as investors and providing impact reports, as described above, is good practice. And yet, something else is profoundly important – generous, unconditional philanthropy.

Recently, I requested a meeting with a couple who have been generous donors to Teapot Trust since the charity’s early days. Ten years on, I felt it was important to ask whether they intended continuing to lend support – to aid our future planning. Their response was beautifully gracious. It reminded me of a quote from Sir Tom Hunter whose father had told him that true philanthropy is about giving generously without ever expecting to know the impact made in people’s lives.

As a child, I learned important lessons about philanthropy through people’s actions, not words. One event, at the age of just seven, that profoundly shaped my outlook, was the gift of a car to my dad from people at the church where he was minister. He had only a modest motorbike. But they showed great love in gifting him a car – not a ‘make do’ one but a brand new mini.  

Charity is, as CS Lewis describes in The Four Loves, the greatest love of all because it is the means through which we contribute to the good of society. Without it, our other acts of love are at risk of becoming self-absorbed.

So, as we approach the summer months, when our fundraised income usually slows down, Teapot Trust will be launching its 2021 appeal – Be Part of Our Story. We’ll be inviting people who care about our work with children and families to show great love and to give generously to enrich the lives of others they might never meet.

Please may I ask you to consider this carefully and to choose philanthropic action when the time is right.  

Thank you for your kindness.

Sarah Randell, CEO, Teapot Trust, 15 June 2021