For many of us we look at charities as corporate machines that constantly ask for money via annoying callers trying to make us feel guilty with 90% (whether real or not) of the money wasted on wages for the few and very little money getting to those that need it.
From my personal experience (which a lot will be mad at me I am sure) I have seen a wide range of results, with their faults listed below, and I truly believe it is about time to replace these charities with projects that are self sustaining.
Following the rules of this site I will not mention the projects I work on that require a fraction of the money raised by charities to actually make a difference but let me say that there is no reason why local businesses can’t be started to serve the needs of many – this includes food production, housing, clean water, medical aid and much more.
So why does this not happen today – besides the obvious answers (greed, self interest, oppression) lets look at some of the faults of charities:
1. Many organizations are major corporations with global branches. Like any large corporation they are bloated with their own bureaucracy and are slow to accept change.
- they have no interest in actually being efficient or changing the status quo – even if it would dramatically improve the level of service they provide the people that they are trying to help.
2. Many groups are associated with nothing more than logistics companies who make a lot of money delivering aid to those in need. The trouble though is there is so much corruption along the way that the upfront cost uses up most of the money. In addition a lot of aid has some sort of string attached to it so those who should benefit don’t really have a say and in the case of some food aid what is given does more harm than good – but the politicians can be seen as helping. – Just look at the waste around the world (Canada, India, USA just to name a few locations where food is dumped).
3. Competition – look at how many organizations are competing for dollars and many are helping the same groups – does this make sense? Should some of them merge – of course. It is understandable that organizations would want to continue but with many of the charities the whole point of their creation was to solve a problem – now they find themselves perpetuating the problem – there are thousands of examples of this – just look at some of the organizations that block aid that would end their existence.
These are but a few examples – there are many more disgusting examples that have led to horrible deaths and years of suffering.
I know there is no single solution and as a promoter of green technology I know that every location is different but that being said how long are we going to stand back and let organizations abuse their power, prevent groups from ending their suffering and god forbid actually deal with the situation themselves.
I am no saint, I have made a thousand mistakes, but they pale by comparison when you see aid groups running around discussing or planning when people are dying because of unclean water or a lack of food.
So to my title – I truly believe that people are basically good and that there are many people who would gladly donate significant funds if they were confident change would happen – I think these people are far more engaged today and they want to see results that are long lasting – and why not – why support a business that can’t do its job!
As a final note – I currently support the creation of firms that provide support to NGO’s with the hope that the NGO’s will no longer have to focus on life saving activities.