‘Donate to charity for cash prizes!’

Kate Sahan, The Ethox Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford

Said one breathless charity rep who knocked at my door on a peculiar evening in late September. A grubby pamphlet was unfurled, designed to dazzle with pound signs, money fans, and testimonials. The charity reps, propping themselves up on the dodgy adjoining brick wall, were clearly at the end of another punishing day of pounding Oxford’s mean pavements. So my resistance to their win-win money-making idea was treated as just another of their usual street-side heckles: I blurted out something about perverse incentives, about how it would encourage gambling. I screwed up my face in a don’t-get-it-and-feels-icky kind of way.

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‘Donate to charity for cash prizes!’