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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stanley McFarland on Charities

 Our guest blogger today is fellow GoFigureReads writer, Stanley W. McFarland his book
 Stan promised that he would be pithy and funny, but I can attest that the man has no funny bone, (I've hit him on each knee and elbow to check,) but as he’s let me crash at his place several times and graze on his Pop Tarts... I can’t really say no.
Charities
by Stanley McFarland


Charities have doomed me to living at my current address until 2114. I figure that’s how long it will take to use up all the promotional address labels they've sent me.
You may doubt that I’ll still be on the planet into the 22nd century. What I doubt is that there’ll be a post office that long.
So now I have address labels with flowers, Christmas themes, wildlife creatures, flags, a big M (I’m assuming that’s because of my name,) and even some with antique cars.
I like the antique cars labels. I may use them as wallpaper if I get enough of them.
I get all kinds of junk in these envelopes, bookmarks, calendars, notepads, a dream catcher, and even coins. My income from charitable come-ons is my greatest source of unreported revenue. I hope the IRS doesn't audit me.
The funny thing is that I haven’t sent a dime to any of these charities. It’s not that many of these causes don’t sound worthy, but I end up wondering how much of what I give will end up back in my mailbox in the form of address labels, bookmarks, calendars, notepads, coins, and dream catchers – and that’s not even figuring the cost of postage.
It turns out my suspicions are justified. According to Charity Navigator link  many causes spend twice, five times, even ten times as much money raising money as they do helping children, indigents, the sick, injured soldiers, or homeless pets.
Dan Pallotta argues that charities should spend more money on fund-raising, not less.
The best way to create a world that works for everyone is to start doing the same thing Apple did to create a world in which everyone wants an iPod: start building demand for the idea on a massive scale. If the New York Times every morning were full of ads for ending AIDS, eradicating poverty, and curing cancer, those causes might just stand a chance against Bloomingdale’s and Netflix. And make no mistake about it — that’s who the competition is.

As president of the contract fund-raising firm Advertising for Humanity link, you might wonder if he has an ulterior motive for his argument.
I don’t wonder. I assume the worst.
There’s a soup kitchen in Winston-Salem called Samaritan Ministrieslink. The only reason I know about them is word-of-mouth. They feed hundreds of people every day. I’ve never seen an address label from them – or bookmark, calendar, notepad, or dream catcher. I’ve just met people who've been helped during a hard time, and others who volunteered to help others.
I might be caving in to Bloomingdales and Netflix according to Mr. Pallotta, but when I have spare cash (even coins I get in promotional material from other charities,) I’m giving it to Samaritan.
I bet if each of us took a bit of effort, we could find such a place in each of our communities, and if we gave money there instead of to United Way or other top-heavy charity factories, we might just change the way compassion does business in this country and around the world.
Dan Pallotta might be out of a job, but at least I know of a place he can get a good meal.


Not exactly funny stuff was it?  Sorry about that.  It was just the Pop Tarts!  Hey, Homer gave up his soul for a doughnut.