I have just been to an event organised by ALVA, which represents a weird and wonderful mixture of organisations from the British Museum to Canterbury Cathedral and anything in between which attracts more than a million visitors a year, including the Royal Academy. Bernard Donoghue, its Chief Executive, gave an admirable short speech summing up his experience of the issues of the day in which he said what a great pleasure it was to be holding a conference in an institution (the RA) which treated its friends not just for transactional purposes, but to widen and deepen their enjoyment and participation in the arts. I found this deeply interesting because we have just undertaken a survey which suggests that 83% of our Friends join the scheme for specific benefits and only 17% as a gesture of philanthropic support for the organisation. So the question is: is membership for pure benefits, an essentially commercial transaction? Or is it underpinned by a deeper value system ? As the argot goes, is it about value or values ? I would be grateful for any advice on this question.