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The Good GlowCharity and the Symbolic Power of Doing Good$
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Jon Dean

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340027

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340027.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

The Kids aren’t alright: the collapse of Kids Company

The Kids aren’t alright: the collapse of Kids Company

(p.97) 5 The Kids aren’t alright: the collapse of Kids Company
The Good Glow

Jon Dean

Policy Press

This chapter details the 2015 collapse of Kids Company, a leading charity for disadvantaged children in London. It examines the role of charisma within symbolic power, applying Max Weber's notion of charismatic authority both to charities as organisations and to charitable leaders. The collapse of Kids Company revealed its over-reliance on its closeness to people at the top of government, symbolic power, and the charismatic authority of its founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh, rather than good governance and strategic planning. Kids Company challenged those who would talk it down, and used its access to prime ministers in order get special treatment. The chapter then explores the notions of passion and professionalism within the charity sector; how these two concepts are often thrown into opposition; how charity leaders reflect on bridging this divide; and what the collapse of Kids Company has meant for their work.

Keywords:   Kids Company, charity, charisma, symbolic power, charismatic authority, charities, charitable leaders, Camila Batmanghelidjh, charity sector, charity leaders

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