How nice of you

“Come support the starving children of Somalia during our twelve course dinner gala at the Four Seasons Hotel” or “Help us provide micro-credits to the women of El Salvador by attending our red carpet/black-tie/white party”. Such examples abound.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm supported of having some fun while we do something good for others but it really doesn’t take much observation and intelligence to separate the ‘organizations’ that are really providing something to the cause they say they support and the ones that are just excuses to party in luxury.

I’ve been a Management Consultant in the United Stated for over 8 years and have worked for several organizations that have been designated ‘a 501(c)3 organization’ by the Internal Revenue Service, granting them a tax exemption on any money collected by the organization. Over half of them were just huge ego trips for their founders and over 80% of them have NEVER given any money or support to the causes they proclaim to support and about 99% of them did it to save on taxes.

These “charitable organizations” throw galas, black-tie events, auctions, wine tastings and multi-course dinners, charge money for the admission (a lot of tickets are ‘given away’ to bulk up attendance) have some sort of raffle or auction during the event and then give whatever money is “left over” (if any) to the original group of people that EVERYONE in the room was there to help.

The real issue here is that the original concept of throwing a luxurious party to attract high-end donors has been, traditionally, a valid and effective way to help important causes and now it has been prostituted and cheapened by imitators that just want to pretend to be high-end somebodies.

Celebrities and influencers alike are, surprisingly, leading by example. Lately we have seen a lot less luxury partying and a lot more action from the ‘trend makers’. I was pleased that recording artists everywhere got together quietly (no big galas or red-carpet extravaganzas) and put together a new version of “We are the world” to be sold worldwide and to be donated in its entirety to the Red Cross and its efforts to rebuild Haiti.

Additionally, other film and TV personalities launched a telethon that collected (and delivered) over $57 million to UNICEF and Red Cross International.

Brad, Angelina, Bullock, Clooney and many others just pulled out their checkbooks and made direct donations to the already-on-the-ground organizations assisting Haitians. Others, such as Sean Penn, Angelina Jolie and Wyclef Jean actually went to the disaster-ridden country themselves.

Maybe the IRS needs to begin looking more closely into these

Party on!

‘charitable organizations’ where people are drawing salaries, benefits, parties and experiences without giving a single penny to the causes they claim to support and in the name of which, these people pay no taxes.

I think that we need to demand to see open books from the ‘charities’ we support, that is, if our interest is other than just to have cocktails with the nouveau riche.

Be watchful of ‘charities’ that party all the time and have NO events (or photos/video) where actual money is given to the people they claim to represent.

Fewer parties, more action, no bullshit.

5 thoughts on “Your charity sucks

  1. SUSANITA: “Tendremos una fiesta de caridad donde comeremos jamones, pato al horno, pollos y pasteles. Recaudaremos dinero para comprar frijoles, arroz y maíz, y todas esas porquerías que comen los pobres.”

  2. uf! si que existen esas organizaciones que realizan eventos a cada rato y de toda índole mas su impacto social es paupérrimo… como me disgustaban esas cosas cuando aun participaba en la Cruz Roja de mi país, no soy un tipo ‘de coctail’, creo.

    “Fewer parties, more action” (+1)

  3. cf. Wilde
    “Accordingly, with admirable though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease.They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.

    But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim. Just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it, so, in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good; and at last we have had the spectacle of men who have really studied the problem and know the life – educated men who live in the East End – coming forward and imploring the community to restrain its altruistic impulses of charity, benevolence, and the like. They do so on the ground that such charity degrades and demoralises. They are perfectly right. CHARITY CREATES A MULTITUDE OF SINS

    We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, but the best among the poor are never grateful. Man should not be ready to show that he can live like a badly-fed animal. He should decline to live like that, and should either steal or go on the rates. As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg.”

  4. It’s hard to acknowledge, but the Third Sector is just another type of business. Even if people are -most likely- not turning rich by its operations, they’re not part of it exactly because of their kindness and love for humanity. That’s why there are people who would donate to any charity but would never give directly to the ones in need without getting anything in return such as a picture in the newspaper or a receipt for tax deduction.

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