So this weekend while listening to the TED Radio Hour on NPR (interested? there’s a podcast!), I heard portions of a TED talk by Dan Pallotta, who claims we hold our charities back with our expectations of low overhead.
Pallotta’s argument is that while we reward start-ups for taking big risks with other people’s money, when non-profits do the same to achieve their goals, we call them risky. He proposes that spending money on overhead is not necessarily a bad thing. It depends on the results generated.
We don’t like charities. They play on our guilt by harassing us with non-stop phone calls, emails, and tear-jerker videos our other guilt-ridden friends share on social media. So we avoid them by not answering their calls and muting the friends that can’t let it go. After I gave blood to the Red Cross, they called me no less than 5 times to thank me for my donation. I logged into my account and removed my phone number.
We look for reasons to hate them so we can not feel guilty anymore. That’s why Richard Berman’s HumaneWatch campaign against The Humane Society of the US was so damaging. We already wanted to stop feeling guilty about eating chickens and cows, and Berman gave us an out. Never mind everything he said was a lie. We bought into it… because we wanted to. Kinda like we did in electing our next president. But, I digress…
During the holiday season we are feeling generous (and we’re looking for a tax deduction), so we are far more likely to give at this time. I challenge you to rethink who you give to and why.
There are plenty of non-profits out there. Give to those who stoke your passions.
One of the reasons why I love Big Cat Rescue in Tampa is not only do they care for big cats, but founder Carole Baskin advocates for big cats at all levels of government. Rescue is good, but if you’re not doing anything to stop the need for rescue, you’re simply enabling the industry to continue.
Grey2K USA helps facilitate the adoption of retired racing dogs but, more importantly, they advocate for an end to the dog racing industry.
Faunalytics is a source for research on animal care and animal welfare from all over the world. It’s an excellent resource for those of you looking for science to back up your arguments against animal cruelty (not that we believe scientists anymore).
These charities have lots of people on staff, people who are doing good work for the welfare of animals. Help them keep doing that good work. Give to help these good people have a decent living wage too. Why should they live in poverty because they want to help others?
Today is an opportunity to redeem yourself. Voted for the guy who lied to you but told you what you wanted to hear? Today give to a charity that will hold him accountable, such as HSUS.
Threw away your vote on a protest candidate? Redeem yourself by giving to a stable, reputable charity such as the 150-year-old ASPCA.
Couldn’t be bothered to vote at all? Then you just make a donation to my PayPal account and let me donate your money for you.