bac wrote:Those who are thinking of donating thru the red cross might want to first do a google search of "red cross" +oversight, and look at the articles about how they have a habit of diverting donated money to future unrelated causes instead of the one you thought you were donating to. Also I see a lot of 9/11 specific gripes with them in particular.
In my view these concerns were unfounded. Yes, I understand that people may wish their donations to go only to the one specific cause they have designated, but I personally don't presume to know exactly where and how disaster funds should be best spent. I rely on the organizations that distribute the funds to know how best to manage them. To me, that is the point of such organizations and the value they add. If we as individual donors could know all the details of how to distribute aid, then why wouldn't we write checks directly to individual victims?
I see the people who complained about the Red Cross' distribution of disaster funds as being akin to the people who once a year rush to volunteer to serve food to the homeless on Thanksgiving day and are upset when they are turned away by the local soup kitchen because all the volunteer slots are already filled. These people, while well intentioned, are missing the point that there are many needs that need to be met throughout the year in a variety of circumstances. Instead of being upset that their generous offer is not applied to the one particular event they wished to sponsor, they should be glad to extend that offer to other people with other needs at other times.
So do I care if "my" dollar goes directly to disaster B instead of disaster A? No. As long as the needs of A and B are both met, I am satisified that I could do my little part to help. And frankly, once funds are co-mingled, who is to say whose dollar went where anyway? They aren't marked. Perhaps having your dollar go to B allowed another's dollar to go to A. How is that any less effective than having your dollar go to A while someone else's goes to B? Unless a charity is fraudulently diverting donations or wastefully mismanaging them, I am happy to let them decide where the funds can do the most good, subject to their overall mission and goals.
Having said all that, I absolutely respect your right to choose to whom and how you donate your dollars, and have no problem with you deciding you don't wish to give through the Red Cross or any other organization you decide doesn't meet your criteria. But please don't let that serve as an excuse to avoid giving at all.
Along those lines, and in the spirit of being productive, why don't you please recommend some other organizations through which to give, ones that you are personally comfortable with? Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.