If anything seems clear-cut, it is that charity is a good thing. Presumably it does something to improve the human condition, and it makes us feel good. But, like almost anything, a closer examination reveals it isn’t as simple or pure as that. Terrorist organizations use their charitable efforts in the community to recruit suicide bombers. Many charitable organizations spend more of the money they receive on empire building and paying themselves sumptuous salaries than ever actually gets out there to the intended recipients. Celebrities polish their image by their very publicized and often dubious charitable donations—which they can easily afford. Politicians and robber barons buy getting their names attached to public institutions with their ‘charity’. But then how many of us refuse that little poppy sticker, that public label of our generosity and patriotism, after tossing a few coins in that old guy’s collection box outside the liquor store?
GIVING LOUDLY AND STUPIDLY
“Then stop fucking clapping!” (…yourself on the back.) About the rise of the celebrity ‘humanitarians’.
GIVING QUIETLY AND GENEROUSLY
“…attempts were made to immortalize him by placing the museum in his name, Rosenwald refused.” About a great humanitarian whose name should not have been largely forgotten, despite his own reticience.
A website about which charitable organizations are open about how their money is spent and which ones actually funnel most of their donations to the intended recipients.