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bbc 6music

For more information please read this extract from an interview for BB6 by Richard Foster: 

What is main objective of KTF?

The main objective is to fund raise for people in need. This may be through a disaster ( such as the tsunami and earthquakes), or as recently, to local charities who have ongoing projects within the community.

Something that was our objective right from the start was to give money to small structures who were operating in the areas we proposed to target. For instance, when the tsunami struck South East Asia, we did not send money to the main funds based in the UK, but rather to a locally-sourced charity, SOS; a charity already set up in Indonesia to help orangutans. They were already there and were able to allocate resources to help people in the affected area. In this case, the big organisations for one reason or another were unable to arrive quickly to this badly hit part of Indonesia. 

Burma also illustrates well the benefits of the KTF. The place is very hard to operate for foreign agencies who were struggling to be allowed in during the terrible flooding.  Through a local contact we managed to get money there safely and directly into a project that was already in motion. This project had been set up as soon as disaster struck by a company called Pandaw, who turned their two river cruise boats into hospitals.

In essence when people come to our gigs they will be helping very specific projects: help building a school, a mobile library, a boat turned into an hospital. 

These were very conscious choices. We wanted to maintain a link between a very local fund-raising effort with a very local action. This provides a clear link and it helps to build a sense of identity for everyone who attends our gigs. Local  to local if you like. 

We avoided the large funds – which can be pretty abstract   - because the large structure can also have its pitfalls in a moment of crisis. Besides, given that we don't raise huge amounts,  we also didn't want to pay for all the bills that these structures have. Instead of paying for the job of a top executive in these organisations, we are helping people who are already on the ground often without any payment. They deserve all the help they can get. 

The large organisations do brilliant work and have an infinity of urgent projects in crucial areas but there are gaps open for small set ups such as the KTF. 

What is your view of "donation fatigue" - is it genuine or just an excuse for not giving?


I can not have an answer and it's hard to make a judgement on that. We all develop 'fatigue' with many things in life. We acknowledge that there's a time for everything, including fatigue. Equally there's a time to get involved. People will get involved at different times in their life's according to many factors including personal ones. Nevertheless, people tend to respond to emotional stimulus and will be moved into action -  more so if the right energy is there and gathers pace, people will want to do something about it. 

One factor that maybe is at the centre of any sense of fatigue is the lack of awareness on the actual predicament of the other. The other is always far way while our pressing needs and desires are with us all the time. Our culture encourages that and increasingly so regardless of how new or caring politicians may appear to be. In any case we can not do everything for everyone. 

I'm more concerned on how social networks such as Facebook have to some extent diluted awareness. The social networks can of course have a tremendous positive effect on campaigns and create critical mass, but they can also develop a sheer amount of neglect too. I get the impression that an increasing number of people feel a great deal of relief by joining a cause but not ever doing anything else about it – not even reading the info that is put out. I think that's the real problem. They create a sense of being part of something when in fact they're not. It's a very superficial engagement. The contradiction is frighteningly  obvious: it's simply too easy to be part of something by doing nothing. The ramifications of this can be scary.  

In our case, we have been pretty successful at raising money and getting the artists  and production to play and work for free. Certainly being a very local group has helped and by now people do know about us because they had real value for money, great fun, top quality performers, and causes that people identify with. The energy becomes somewhat contagious and grows as the events are eminent. 

What has been favourite band?

We have been lucky enough to have excellent performers right from the start. Many of them will surely be recognised by a wider audience soon enough,  and we've just been lucky to have them contributing their talent to our gigs before they make it to the big time. 

What plans do you have for the future?

I think we have become more concious  that 'charity begins at home' and we have started donating some of the money to UK charities. We will probably be moving more towards a 50-50 split between charities who operate in the UK and those whose work is overseas. 

We are also considering larger venues where a bit more effort will raise far more money. We are looking the  options and crucially, venues in West London that may be able to join us on this.

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