I don't know anyone who is without compassion for the plight of people less fortunate than us in the West. But the calls on our time, money and emotional energy are so many and so varied that it is quite possible to do nothing because deciding is so difficult. In Ireland we had a couple of high profile scandals in the charity sector - CRC [traditionally Fianna fail] and Rehab [trad. Fine Gael] - where the managers were sucking at the teat rather more vigorously than the donors were allowed to believe . . and the beneficiaries were not getting their fair share. The consequence was a massive fall-off in donations.
I was on my high-horse a few years ago about the iniquity of paying a €100k+ salary to a VP for Fund-raising at [enter your favourite charity here]. A pal of mine, who is a Grand Fromage in Amnesty International, raised her hand "How much did you give to the dispossessed last year?" she asked, and continued "at Amnesty, we find that the VPFR takes €100k, yes, but s/he brings in €500k for the charity". VPFRs are the sprat to catch the mackerel or the reculer pour mieux sauter for the charity sector. But I still baulk at cunning plans for fund-raising that involve shipping a bunch of
Young chap I know at The Institute is raising money for Concern, one of the more effective Irish 3rd World charities. 93% of their income goes on aid, advocacy, development and education while 7% is diverted to fund-raising to keep the money coming in. Only 0.4% is ear-marked for Governance. As the annual throughput is about €150 million, the Governance comes in at €600,000. ANNyway, the young chap and two of his pals is doing two things towards raising awareness and money.
1. Live on $1-a-day for 5 days during Lent
2. Going to bare-foot for 24 hours.
We won't allow him in any of The Institute labs without appropriate PPE [personal protective equipment], of course, but we are generally supportive. I think those two ideas are rather fine: not sexy, not easy, and effective in their purpose . . . I hope so anyway. I mentioned this scheme to The Beloved and she promptly gave me some folding money to pass on. Not me, I'm too