Letter to the Editor

Great news, the Globe and Mail now features a section dedicated entirely to “Giving”! The section is a weekly feature dedicated to  giving back and socially conscious living…again…high time.

After scanning the articles this morning, one feature titled Make small Changes that do a world of good caught my attention:

My issue is the limitations that continue to be placed on Charities by society. Why wouldn’t you support a charity that spends money on ad space or t.v. commercials? Is there a correlation between spending on advertising, telemarketing, or canvassing, and failure to deliver Mission? No, this notion is imposed upon charities unfairly by us.

Doesn’t it make more sense to evaluate a charity based on accomplishments and achievements rather than judge it on the business practices it employs? Practices which may even generate  more good than had they not been implemented.

By all means hold a charity to account and evaluate the means which it uses to achieve its ends, but don’t as the Editor in the article suggests, look for charities that avoid spending in certain areas. Did the ad campaign work? Charities need to be held to account for the decisions that they make as any organization would be, but a charity shouldn’t be punished (which you are doing by withholding your donation) simply for making a decision that it feels is in the best interest of the organization.

Its time to change rules of the game.

Dear Editor,

First off I would like to thank you for creating the new sections “Live Better” and “Giving”. I am not sure how long these will be featured in your newspaper, but I think it’s high time that the issues relating to the non-profit and social sectors were covered in greater detail, beyond the typical semi-annual feature.

I would like to voice my concern relating to one of the “tips” you have gave in the section “Make small changes that do a world of good”. In tip number three you recommend:

“Look for charities that avoid spending your donations on ad space, TV commercials, street canvassers or telemarketers.”

In my opinion this “tip” is limiting and rather short-sighted. For some reason, charities are forced to play by a different set of spending rules when compared to organizations in the for-profit sector. My question to you is why?

Charitable organizations tackle all of the greatest challenges facing our world, and depend on charity to allow them to do so. My point is this; before you decide to give of your own time, talent or treasure, evaluate a charity based on its results, impact and achievements, rather than scanning an operating budget looking for stats and figures on advertising spending. By no means am I suggesting that we shouldn’t hold our charities to account, I am simply questioning the standards by which we have traditionally done so, and suggesting that we reevaluate the process.

Best Regards,
Alexander von Kaldenberg



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