Weighing in…

This post is totally not wedding related, but a  grassroots movement and a little question of legitimacy has got me thinking.  Is bringing awareness to a region or crime against humanity outweigh the possibility that a charity is less than it says it is?  There is a movement happening…Stop Kony 2012Its a good one.  Its getting young people involved in this global world, giving them an outlet and a voice.  The premise of the campaign is brilliant, make this evil man as famous as our movie stars…make sure everyone knows his name and face and what he has done for decades (abduction, rape, torture and murder) and continues to do today.  Its simple, its grassroots and it seems to be viral.  That said, the organization, Invisible Children, that is spearheading this campaign is in question.  According to “The Daily What“…

The organization behind Kony 2012 — Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called ”misleading,” “naive,” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes.” They have also been criticized by the Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards.

Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going.

By IC’s own admission, only 31% of all the funds they receive go toward actually helping anyone [pdf]. The rest go to line the pockets of the three people in charge of the organization, to pay for their travel expenses (over $1 million in the last year alone) and to fund their filmmaking business (also over a million) — which is quite an effective way to make more money, as clearly illustrated by the fact that so many can’t seem to stop forwarding their well-engineered emotional blackmail to everyone they’ve ever known.

As someone who doesn’t always believe what she reads, I plan on doing more research, but I go back to my original question.  Is awareness and goal of helping save hundreds and thousands of children outweigh the shakiness of an organization?  I wonder.  I weigh this every time I donate to a political organization or healthcare cause.   Where is my money going, and does it matter as much as bringing awareness?

UPDATE: Invisible Children released a rebuttal to all the “negative press” they’ve been getting.  Its definitely worth a read.


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