Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, June 24, 2008
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I've just had a letter from the University of Cambridge alumni office saying the university is about to celebrate its 800th year. That was nice as I didn't know.

Although they didn't ask for money thus time, I just suspect it's the start of a fundraising push. The trouble is fundraising has become a veritable industry these days. I think I almost get more junk mail asking me to donate to some cause or other than trying to sell me some unwanted product. I do donate but generally not to campaigns which mailshot. Firstly it's such a blunt tool and secondly, like all junk mail, it tarnishes the 'brand' of the charity concerned.

My preference is to contribute to smaller charities that find it harder to compete for funds. Charities like Transplant Sport UK for instance. A worthy cause but a charity that's rather low profile. And personally I'd rather support niche charities like that than great big national monoliths.

So, to be honest, even though I loved my time in Cambridge and have very fond memories, this time around I won't be putting into their bowl.