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Child Sponsorships: Are they effective aid?

Friday, May 21, 2010 by Marianne Elliott

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Someone asked me this question this week. I sent her the answer that I could fit into 140 characters. But it deserved more. So here is more.

In preparing this post I had several very useful conversations with people who I cannot thank by name here, because they were speaking to me in their personal capacity and not as representatives of the organistations they work for – some of which use child sponsorship programmes and some of which use the ‘catalog’ approach which I’ll also talk about below.

But I wanted to acknowledge them because here’s the thing: I’m a human rights specialist. Although I’ve worked for development organisations like Oxfam, my role in those organisations has been either ensure that human rights principles are woven into development programming or to develop policy and advocacy positions on the other side of the development story.

It’s the part of the story that doesn’t take place in communities in Uganda or Afghanistan, the part of the story that takes place in the debating halls and back corridors of parliaments and senates all over the world and at various international organisations including the World Trade Organisation. It’s the part of the story that controls the overall economic landscape in which poor communities are trying to find their place. It is, in my opinion, at least as important to reducing gobal poverty as any work done on the ground in developing countries and it is, while we are on the topic, very hard to raise funds for this work.

Given my own slant on this topic, I called on some people who know a lot about child sponsorships and community development and I’ve summarised what they had to say into a few simple points.

1. A child’s life can only be improved if the live of her family and community are improved. This is true of child poverty in New Zealand and it’s certainly true of child poverty in Afghanistan. So the idea that individual children could be targeted and given sustainable development assistance was never sound and for a long time hasn’t been part of any kind of reputable development programming.

2. Child sponsorship programmes are entirely about you, that is they are designed to meet the needs of the person giving the money not the community or, for that matter, the child.

3. However, as a rule the money you give through a child sponsorship, assuming you are giving it through one of the reputable development organisations, will be being delivered through sound, community development programmes.

In other words – if you are giving to a reputable development organisation, the fact that you are giving via child sponsorship won’t detract from the fact that the money will be being delivered in accordance with good development practices.

As it turns out, the same is true for those catalogs of ‘gifts’ you can buy from many aid organisations. Buy your mother a goat for Christmas, the goat goes to a community or family that needs it. Oxfam was one of the pioneers of this approach. Organisations like Oxfam, and people like me, saw this as an improvement on the child sponsorship fundraising model because it had less potential to encourage patronising attitudes towards the recipients of the aid.

But at the end of the day, these catalogs fulfil the same function as the child sponsorship programmes – they are entirely about meeting your needs, the needs of the donor.

My boyfriend told me a long time ago that if I ever knew of a good cause that needed money I should simply tell him about it. He wasn’t interested in sponsoring people to walk 100km or paying for a dinner party to raise money for the cause. He didn’t need to get a card telling him that a goat had been given in his name or have a picture of a child on his fridge. All he wanted was to know where his money was needed and where he could do the most good.

Now if all donors were like my boyfriend, NGOs could shut down most of their marketing departments. But most people are not like him. Most people respond well to the marketing gimmicks used by aid organisations to raise funds.

And, to be fair, this is about something much deeper than marketing gimmicks. Or perhaps what I’m about to admit is that marketing is not really about gimmicks. Child sponsorships continue to persist because they tap into some deep human needs.

We need to feel we are doing good in the world. That is a fundamental driver of human action. It is also part of our nature as humans to relate to personal stories and I believe it is both natural and responsible to want to know where and how our money is being used. The people who work in the marketing departments of organisations like Oxfam know this. So they develop fundraising campaigns that are built around personal stories and they ensure that there is a strong and clear message about the direct impact that the donation will have.

The problem is that effective development progamming is complex. So those clear simple messages often don’t tell the whole story.

Here’s what one person said to me in one of those off-the-record chats this week:

There is an extent to which NGOs quite simply do not tell the truth about what they do. Not that they’re doing bad things. They just don’t tell their donors (those child sponsors) – I mean REALLY tell them – what they do with the money.

On the other side there is an extent to which those same donors, I think, kinda don’t really want to know the truth. They want to send their check, get some nice stuff in the mail, put a picture of little Chaiwat rescued from a life of sexual slavery on their refrigerator… and let it be that.

The author of Tales from the Hood, an excellent blog about aid work that I highly recommend to anyone interested in this topic, wrote a series of posts about this complexity and the challenges it poses when it comes to talking to ordinary people who might be interested in making a donation. In the first post, he acknowledges that aid is complex, but insists that this shouldn’t be an excuse for aid organisations to neglect their ‘third audience’ (the first two being the recipients of aid and institutional donors):

It’s not that we think donors are somehow stupid or incapable of “getting it”. But understanding aid, how it works, why it has to be done the way it has to be done takes time and concentration.

I think that as an industry we have basically neglected our “third audience”. We have all fallen down on the side of communicating to our private citizen constituent donors about what we do, and how, and all of the “whys” that invariably follow the “whats” and the “hows.”

More than anything else we need more, new and better ways of telling the public what we do… because right now they don’t know.

In his second post, he addresses a controversy that was raging at the time about Kiva loans. There was an accusation that the loans were not necessarily going to the actual person whose photo and profile the lender had chosen. This is especially relevant to our discussion today, because the same accusation could be leveled at most child sponsorship schemes. Your money isn’t going directly to that child, at least it shouldn’t be if any kind of aid best practice is being followed. Is this dishonest? Here’s what Tales from the Hood had to say:

The recent blogosphere fervor around Kiva is almost exclusively focused on the way that they market their product to donors online. The issue boils down to, “is Kiva dishonest? Did they withhold facts from their donors?”

I won’t answer for Kiva. But I will answer for the entire aid industry:

We do not tell the whole truth to the general public about what we do with their money.

We don’t. We just don’t.

There are some very good reasons why we aren’t and probably can’t implement policies of total transparency, but if you think about it, they all boil down to this:

We don’t really trust them.

We have to take seriously the changing role of the public – that Third Audience – in our work. We have to recognize that, just like our more traditional donors, our Third Audience has an array of “rights” and perhaps also obligations in their relationships with us, the deliverers of aid.

We also need to do it because like it or not our Third Audience really are increasingly stakeholders in what we do.

We need to be able to tell them what we do.

And we need to be able to trust them…

I found this post very compelling and I wondered whether there were more people out there who, like my boyfriend, would be very happy to bypass the child sponsorships, gift catalogs and fundraising events and just give their money where it was most needed, trusting the professionals to make responsible calls about where that would be. Is the aid industry under-estimating it’s third audience?

What do you think?

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24 Responses to "Child Sponsorships: Are they effective aid?"

  1. Rachel says:

    Thanks Marianne. You have answered some questions that I had and I really value what you have to say. Cheers.

  2. ash says:

    i have always wondered about child sponsorship in this way. it’s hard to believe that if i give say $24 a mo. that the kid is going to actually see a dime of that to buy his/her next pair of shoes. rather, it makes for sense for an organization to use the money toward community betterment or programs w/in the area improving it. but it’s also true that an organization may use that money for it’s administrative needs.

    actually, the charity, i sponsor now does not target children, but openly targets communities w/ insufficient water. their called “charity: water.” and after extensive research about the founder and the organization itself, i am confident every single time i give where my money is going – what effort or what team or even what community. the founder has found a way to pay for his administrative needs w/o taking it from his public contributors- that way, 100% of their contributions go toward better water, wells etc for varying communities. i even hope, soon, i can join a team in an aid trip.

    i agree w/ you bf on this one: i want to help someone or something that i know is truly helping the poor and needy. random and distant causes, though note worthy, can seem impersonal. but i also understand your point that the avg person isn’t like your bf.

  3. Useful, thoughtful post. There is also the question of media coverage, too. Some people like sponsorships, some don’t. But the media loves a good fight. And that helps no-one, as the third audience loses confidence, the aid organisation loses money and prestige, and the people aided just lose. You’d think transparency would help, but sometimes it just doesn’t.

  4. Lubna Kably says:

    Hi
    Let me just deal with my tiny experience as an illustration. There is this tiny school in the slum area of Bangalore, which really does good work.
    Children are provided with nutrition, good teachers, a great infrastructure – in terms of a school building, computer labs, science lab etc. But this school lacked story books. Would my donation go towards story books? The answer is no! It would go towards “essentials”. Yet to me, story books were essential for growth.
    So the next best thing, was to donate my money and let the school use it as it thought fit and also to collect story books (after having discussed an appropriate list with the teachers).
    If you trust an organisation, just simply donate money and leave the utilisation to their judgement. But sometimes, do try and bring some joy to those for whom this donation is meant, in some other way – is how I would go about it.
    Best,
    Lubna

  5. Bessie says:

    Thanks for the thought provoking comment.

    I’ve always thought it unreasonable for donors to restrict donations to an area w/in an organization. In my opinion, it makes what should be a selfless act of helping another into something that’s massaging your ego.

    I think I’d side with your boyfriend in that I’m happy to support an organization and have the money used for their administrative costs, marketing, or whatever they deem appropriate. I would assuem unicef, oxfam, irc, could use assistance paying the people that keep their offices running.

    I read an interesting blog post yesterday (link below) about specifying how a gift should be used transforms it from being a “gift” to entering into a “contract.” It just seems like a selfish way to give gifts.

    http://dwaynephillips.net/workingup/2010/05/gifts-vs-contracts/

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ian Thorpe, Linda Raftree, David Cook, Solar Sister, Keshet Bachan and others. Keshet Bachan said: on child sponsorship, check out: http://tinyurl.com/2vrqjuy RT @meowtree RT @ithorpe RT @zenpeacekeeper: blog post http://bit.ly/ah68JD […]

  7. Thank you for this post. I appreciate the sense of “It depends” about organizations that use a sense of child sponsorship. Particularly if an organization has a strong presence in a community with resources to support schools and other vocational programs, then I think a sense of child sponsorship can be quite valuable. Additionally, many child sponsorship programs that I am familiar with ask donors to make a regular, enduring financial commitment that extends for years. There is some truth in an organization that claims the best way to provide teachers (or really any occupation) is to educate children from the ground up. That said, many aid organizations (from places like the UN to the IMF to USAID to assorted NGOs) do not take a more holistic approach to the work that they do.

  8. Lisa says:

    Great post! Thank you for this valuable information.

    I’m totally in line with your boyfriend’s thinking.

  9. Laura says:

    I don’t work in aid but I’ve worked in social services, social marketing, and currently in hard-core single-bottom line advertising.

    In either case – and bear with my being reductive here – most organisations are prone to focus their marketing strategy on ‘selling” a one off emotionally relatable story, or product benefit, over building trust in the overall brand or organisation’s philosophy. There are many very understandable reasons for this seemingly missing the forest for the trees, but generally without the later, they need to work much harder on the former.

    Then it becomes hard to step off that treadmill, take a step back, defragmentise, and take the risk to bring their public audience ‘up’ rather than stick with the perceived safe thinking: most of the money will come from most of the people, and most of the people are used to their consumer mindset – they just need to know what’s in it for them.

    This may be true. It depends on the organization and it would take time, research, thought leadership and consensus to put dollars behind the notion everyone has sense of: that there is a fast- growing public audience (represented your bf) that needs to know what they are doing is working.

    Unfortunately the public is trained in the consumer mindset. We are also trained toward “outrage’ when the media pushes our buttons. This scares organizations who feel they must compete with these emotional compulsions. Where complex issues come into play, however, more owness is on the public to grow their intelligence, do their own research and synthesise many divergent points of view.

    In this case this one simple, fundamental statement you’ve shared cuts through all of that:

    A child’s life can only be improved if the lives of her family and community are improved.

    This one powerful idea bridges the personal story targeted to people who need to know what’s in it for them (and their money is as good as anyone’s) with the people who need to know that what they are doing is working.

    It can also allow breathing room for the reputable organizations who come under scrutiny because they haven’t said up front “here is a case in point, but generally we are committed specialists who know what to do with the money based on development best practice and direct experience of what’s happening on the ground” Personally I, like your bf, just want to know what organizations hold the values to make the best decisions they can based on the resources they have and the problems that arise.

    Thanks Marianne for laying this out and asking the questions.

  10. Swirly says:

    I think it can be incredibly overwhelming for individuals the world over to know how they can best make a difference. There is an endless need for resources of all kinds, all over the world, for a myriad of different reasons. Is it an altogether bad thing to create structures that personalize aid a bit more? Am I going to refuse to sponsor my friend’s participation in a breast cancer walk? And what are some of the ways the general public can be educated – truly educated – in the world of YouTube and a 140 word limit on Twitter? (My point being attention spans are appallingly short these days and only getting shorter.)

    I think it is complex, and I think things get especially murky when criticism is aimed at people trying to do something positive. My guess is that for the most part, people are sincere in wanting to make a positive difference, and I’m not sure it is such a bad thing to have so many different opportunities available for people to contribute resources where they are needed.

    • Marianne Elliott says:

      Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments.

      I just wanted to respond to @Swirly, to say that I’m not suggesting that the different ways of raising money are all bad. I’ve done sponsored walks myself and found that as well as being an effective way to raise money and awareness for a cause, they were also incredibly rewarding events in their own right for me.

      I’m just observing that there is an assumption in the marketing model of most not-for-profits that we need all these mechanisms to raise funds. I guess I’m asking, do we? Are our third audience, private individual donors, actually ready to give money without the mechanisms?

      It’s certainly not bad to have lots of different ways for people to give, but I do insist that being sincere isn’t enough – isn’t an excuse for doing something that is harmful – in this sphere any more than it is in any other. I also think that critical feedback should be offered even when people are trying to do something positive, meaning well isn’t a reason not to accept critical feedback from professionals who understand how and why what you are proposing to do may be harmful.

      How can people be better informed? I think Laura makes a very good point, sometimes there are straightforward ways of explaining quite complex aid challenges.

      “A child’s life can only be improved if the lives of her family and community are improved” might be one example, an example that would even fit in 140 characters! Any other thoughts?

  11. I work as a volunteer English teacher in a small Buddhist center in Mongolia – and right now we are broke. I’m not even sure we can keep our doors open till September. Much of our funds came from overseas donations but with the world-wide economic crisis, those donations have dropped 90% and the poverty level is too high for the Mongolians themselves to give all the support we need for both the spiritual programs but also the social service programs like teaching English.

    We are trying to put together a website that will inform our donors what their money is going for, hoping it will inspire them to give a little more. The difficulty is perception.

    For example, last night we showed a movie and about 100 people came. If I report that, to most, that would seem like we must be doing well if we can put on a function like that. But it’s difficult to explain all the details that show its not all what it seems – the dvd was donated by someone in Australia, the donated projector is so old I’m afraid the bulb won’t last much longer, no proper screen so we used a whiteboard, sound system was a portable cassette player, and everyone sat on the floor. There was a power outage before we started but luckily it didn’t last long. We didn’t charge but did ask people to donate after the movie if they liked it. Average donation was 30 cents which I considered was what our viewers could afford. In fact, our staff was surprised we raised that much in donations, they thought it would be much much less.

    But how to say that in a web update.

    Buddhism says that the biggest problem we have is that we are not ‘awake’. We see only what we want to see, including myself. But we are very intelligent people in the west, and it shouldn’t be hard to read between the lines of the information that various aid organizations put out. No matter how much they tell you, there is so so much they don’t tell you. Things that make the work they are doing very very difficult – like corrupt government officials, power outages, mail undelivered, cultural differences, theft and violence, poor infrastructure, uncooperative government workers, etc. The list goes on and on.

    I guess I’m trying to say that no matter how bad you have it, there are always people in the world who have it much, much worse. Open your wallets and give, but don’t stop there. Follow up, ask questions, take an interest, and get involved. Find out what happens ‘between the lines’ of the normal reports. Just don’t be a statistic in someones donor sheet. You might be surprised how much you get back from your ‘donation’.

  12. MoreAltitude says:

    Thanks Marianne. This is a clear and balanced post, and I think you tackle the issues really well.

    I think that aid agencies tend to aim for the low-hanging fruit- that is, those people we can get on board with a minimum of investment and with a simple hook (like, give, and this child’s life will get better). This is because it takes less effort, because (as has been mentioned) we’re frightened that if we tell the whole truth people will either not want to give, or lose interest before getting to a point of making a decision, and because (as is also implied above) donors want low ‘overheads’, and it’s simply cheaper to market a product en-masse with a simple tagline.

    None of this is ‘bad’ per se, but as you’ve shown via your b/f, constituents are increasingly well educated about the developing world and the aid sector, and we should credit them with more intelligence than we do.

    For me, the biggest ‘crime’ is as @TalesFromthHood mentioned, the fact that we neglect our donors. For me, the potential that a hook like sponsorship brings is, rather than a one-off donation, you create a relationship- albeit a virtual one- between donor and ‘recipient’- but in essence, a relationship between donor and organization. Organizations should then take the opportunity to use this channel to educate the donor as to what aid is really about, and so improve the awareness of donors so that hopefully, over time, more and more will adopt the attitudes that your b/f demonstrates.

    It comes back to the do-no-trust attitude, and agencies are reluctant to do so (much like the ‘how much money do you spend on overheads’ debate). There are changes. I know the org that I work for is wanting to develop a much more open space for discussion of aid, quality and transparency to reach a more critically thinking segment of donors, using things such as social media, and the vision is very much that it should be free for all kinds of dicussion and honest discourse (rather than protecting the interests of the organization or painting everything in a nice pink light). I hope we (and other orgs) can also pick up our game communicating with and transforming the mindsets of other donor segments too, as I agree that we’ve really dropped the ball on this, and our marketing simply doesn’t reflect the advances that have been made in field program quality over the last two decades.

  13. Swirly says:

    I totally agree that if a certain mechanism is harmful, these issues must be addressed, and whoever is making the donation/contribution would likely want to know this and be more informed. But isn’t such education & clarification the responsibility of the organization collecting the funds more than the individual donors? Is this what you are saying?

    I see evidence of people being willing to donate with less of the “mechanisms” in times of great tragedy – the outpouring of money to Haiti, after Katrina, etc. People want to help, and they do it without there being any structures in place such as fundraising walks, gift catalogs, etc. Maybe there is something that can be learned from those events.

    As always, wonderfully thought-provoking.

  14. A says:

    It uses a few more than 140 characters but Peter Singer discusses the psychology of giving in his book ‘The Life You Can Save’ which I found very interesting.

  15. As a person who works in marketing/fundraising/public engagment for an international development agency, I would have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with this post.

    We try really hard to communicate with integrity and respect, and yet there are always pieces of the story that we leave out because they don’t “play well” in a North American audience. That’s not to say that we aren’t truthful (sometimes we are truthful to a fault and have lost donors because of it), just that we try to find a balance between what people need to know and what will effectively communicate the need.

    One of the things that is VERY important to us is that we honour the dignity of the people we serve, so we use positive language and positive images to portray the energy and effort the people we serve are putting into ending their own hunger. It may not be as effective to say “this community is working hard to end their own hunger, and could use a little support from those of us who have more resources” as it is to say “this community cannot SURVIVE without your help” or “you have an opporunity to RESCUE this child”, but we insist on being true to our values and that means honouring and respecting people and not feeding into the power imbalance that already exists. To me, that’s one of the greatest dangers of child sponsorship – it places us as donors into superior positions as “The Great White Hope” and does not serve to resolve the endemic problems (power imbalance, exploitation, trade issues, etc.) that exist.

    Though we know that both child sponsorship and gift catalogues are drawing the most monetary response from people (over half of the donations made to Canadian international development agencies go to child sponsorship programs), we have adopted neither approach and are still striving (mostly successfully, so far) to fundraise with less “one-to-one support” mechanisms. One of the reasons that we do still have some measure of success is that those people who are sceptical of child sponsorship recognize how high the admin. costs are and prefer to donate to an organization like ours with very low admin. costs.

    We are trying to grow our public engagement/advocacy programming along with our fundraising, and as you suggest, it’s a lot harder to get people to support those kind of “asks” than it is to get them to give money so somebody can eat.

    (By the way, the NGO I work for is Canadian Foodgrains Bank.)

  16. Mary Beth says:

    Wow! Thanks Marianne for this post and thanks everyone, especially Heather, for comments. We were having this conversation at our Marketing meeting yesterday. I work for a church agency. We do not promote child sponsorship but have recently started caalogues. I think people want to give, learn and do. Each begets the other. http://www.mboudal.wordpress.com

  17. Danny says:

    While I find your post very honest and informative, the overall attitude toward donors comes across a little disrespectful and perhaps a little stereotypical.

    I’m not a rich person. I’m a father of two young teens who wants to teach them that they have the power and responsibility to make the world a better place in many different ways. Sponsorship of a child, which I plan to do after typing this comment, will be step 1 as a tangible way to show my kids they can be part of the solution. It’s not about our egos, but instead about trying to establish the idea within them that actions of charity make a difference.

    While you or others in your industry may feel the average donor does not trust the organization to implement best development practices, I would react two ways to that. First, my individual mistrust is not with the expertise or judgment of the organization, but instead that the funds will not be used fraudulently. If you need a good portion of my child sponsorship dollars to build a community well, great. As a donor who knows next to nothing about your organization or the industry in general though, all I really need to know is that my dollars aren’t being diverted to make some executive director rich. Secondly, as an industry the responsibility lies with you to earn my trust and prove you are using sponsorship dollars appropriately.

    I hear your frustration and imagine people like you have a lot of dedication and expertise, and likely get tired of defending yourselves and your integrity to the perceived individuals who throw their $30 a month at a child and return to their comfortable lives. It is, however, the nature of nonprofit, donation-collecting organizations, so keep trying to communicate and explain through posts like this and be a little more respectful to those (unlike your boyfriend) who don’t get it.

  18. Maree says:

    I have to admit that I am now so suspicious of aid agencies that I don’t donate to anyone anymore. Like your boyfriend I would welcome someone just being straight with me and telling me exactly what they need without dressing it up as a chicken or a bike or a kid. I think there are a lot of people out there like me who have donated to “reputable” (whatever that means) aid agencies and have ended up with an avalanche of snail mail begging us to donate more (RSPCA, Amnesty, Rainforest Rescue – I’m talking to you) and trying to make us feel bad if we don’t (starving dogs, dying forests, people languishing in prisons). I just don’t want any part of it anymore and that’s sad because I believe in humanitarian work, and I want to believe in donating to humanitarian work.

    I’d have much more respect for stripped down truths than glossy brochures presenting what agencies think I need to see to feel gratified from donating. I know the answer isn’t to stop donating all together, but that’s where I’m at.

  19. Francisco says:

    As someone who sponsors several children through ChildFund and Compassion International, I can’t say that I’m the least bit put off by the lack of transparency. I realize that when I send them money, they will spend it as they deem fit and that my donation isn’t earmarked in such a manner that ensures that my donation helps my sponsor child. My sponsor kids, do, however, tell me that they receive the birthday presents I send them (donations) while ChildFund and Compassion both tell me that anytime I send a Christmas gift, it goes into a pool to ensure that all children get something.

    I guess I’m halfway between your boyfriend and the person who sponsors kids and puts their picture on the refrigerator; I enjoy reading their letters, exchanging photos and gaining the perspective of their experience. Maybe my sponsor kids are just humoring me, but I get the sense they like hearing from me and getting my photos as well. For this reason, I can’t really accept that child sponsorship purely addresses my needs. The human connection you discuss is actually important to many of us.

    Balanced transparency is needed; I obviously wouldn’t support these organizations if I thought they were investing in small arms to support one tribe against another in the Horn of Africa. That said, my assumption is that my donation goes into their bank account and they cut checks according to the needs they have. Maybe the project in Medellin has some public funding support, so instead of giving all $32 to Braian, they siphon some of that to help build up the project in Chennai so the girls school will be built more quickly and Indumathi can start earlier than so be it. I’m sure some of the money is spent getting the word out, providing health insurance for employees and perhaps even village elders to support education for young girls. It is what it is…important work, important goals and it’s not all to set to the tune of a Sara McLachlan song.

  20. Am working at Hope children’s foundation in Uganda East Africa the country poorest children, orphans, street kids who are parent less. we have been getting funds from donations all over the world to make these kids live but due to global financial crisis about 85% of the funds is cut off and we don’t know how we can live after January 2013, we have run out of food storage.
    But the main issue for my writing is, as we have run out of funds am requesting for people to sponsor these children, you can sponsor one all two or more depending to the capability, visit our site http://www.hcfuganda.org please sponsor a child to give him/her a second chance, please save the Africa children. A child needs $ 2 usd a day for feeding and school dues.
    Kayemba Kalema

  21. […] we reproduce an article by Marianne Elliot that speaks of the challenges, efficacy and  transparency of such sponsorship far more eloquently […]

  22. Adam says:

    I know I’m late to the discussion, but here goes.

    I don’t want to give my money nebulously to ‘aid projects’. I understand those do a lot of good. But I want to measure what I’m doing.

    When I die, I want to say, I built a 100 wells. Or I took a 1000 kids all the way from primary to masters degrees. And I want to pass on a shitload of money to my heirs with the condition that they must improve on my achievement by at least 2%. Not necessarily wells or degrees. Whatever the world needs. 10,000 condoms maybe. But I want measurement.

    Why? Because I want every generation to have that sense of giving. Because without a little ego, I know for a fact that they won’t be able to sustain it.

    I know that NGOs and agencies can’t run on just my type of donations. But I do believe this type of giving is both in demand and can deliver miracles of supply. Millions of people will save one child. If they really can. Very few will give if they can’t see and measure their impact.

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