“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
‘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.