Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Open Letter to A-List Bloggers
The A-List bloggers also didn't have enough courage to talk about how wrong it is to convict folks in the court of public opinion. Maybe I could get you to dedicate just one day to talk about philanthopy instead mindless idiots such as Paris Hilton, Anna Nichole Smith or Don Imus.
Maybe you could consider amplifying an interesting article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal entitled: The Charity Gap (April 4th, 2007) where Sheryl Sandberg findings stood over against what most of us believe about American charitable commitments and concerns. Sandberg's report cites a study underwritten by Google.org that reveals less than one-third of the money individuals gave to nonprofits in 2005 went to help the economically disadvantaged.
The analysis, carried out by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, concluded that only 8% of donations provide food, shelter or other basic necessities. At most, an additional 23% is directed to the poor -- either providing other direct benefits (such as medical treatment and scholarships) or through initiatives creating opportunity and empowerment (such as literacy and job training programs).
When folks drop big checks into the offering plate on Sunday morning, I bet they have in mind my congregation's outreach to the homeless, but the fact is less than 20% (in most churches far less) of every dollar given in church benefits the poor in the United States or anywhere in the world. For individuals and families earning below $100,000, church giving accounts for the majority of gifts offered up.
Really wealthy donors target education and health care in their giving. Sadly, less than 9% of these dollars go for scholarships to low-income students and only about 10% supports health care initiatives for the poor. If you truly care about not only Kathy Sierra but those unknown abused women who will never have a platform where their pain and sorrows will be heard, you will make a honest, swift, deliberate effort to get others to talk about charity. Maybe you may even consider making a small donation to Rainn which is a charity that aligns nicely with fighting abuse. I am sure that the first contributors will be folks such as James Robertson and Tim O'Reilly...