Profiting From Charity

It seems, recently, there has been a terrible glut of natural disasters. With them, a corresponding call for aid and a generous outpouring of charity and help.

Twitter plays it’s part too. Red Nose Day in the UK utilised and entertained via twitter, the uprising in Egypt in particular used twitter to spread information within Egypt and to show the atrocities to the outside world.

A new trend on twitter seems to be, in my view at least, profiteering from the charity appeals. Particularly, the most recent, in Japan.

How many times have you seen tweets like:

for every celebrity follower/retweet/reply I get, I’ll donate 10p/£1 to charityname

My interpretation of this is; I want more followers, bigger ego, something for my money. I’m not giving to charity for nothing, I want something back. Sort of, the opposite of the point of charity.

It’s not noble to promote how you are giving to charity. Doing a nice thing is made considerably less nice if you profit from it and/or tell people and therefore, possibly profit in goodwill.

Now despite my natural cynicism, I guess when individuals do this, to suppose there is ulterior motives is unfair to them.

When organisations do this, however, it is profiteering from the ill fortune of others, trading to benefit from the kind will of whomever reads your ‘offer’.

If I choose to give to charity, I will do so. If you want to, I suggest you do. If a company wants to, it should and it should not expect something in return.

Otherwise, it’s just cheap publicity on the back of someone’s misfortune.


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