Why I Don’t Believe in Charity*

Finding real solutions to benefit people & the planet

Generally speaking, I love working with non-profit organisations. It’s how I started in Documentary Film and it’s something I’ve always been passionate about — working with people 100% purpose driven.

But over the last 10 years or so, I’ve witnessed a massive shift in the non-profit sector. I’m not sure exactly when this happened, but I feel like alot of traditional charity organisations have started to change, and a massive communication gap between the local grassroots organisations & big multinational organisations is growing.

I’ve seen non-profits shift into multi-million dollar marketing machines. They have started to hire advertising agencies to promote their cause. Millions of dollars were being spent to aquire millions more donations.

Don’t get me wrong — there is nothing wrong with becoming a full scale profitable business while supporting communities in need, if the business is building an oppertunity for sustainable development. That’s the definition of a “Social Enterprise”. There is also nothing wrong with being a non-profit organisation dependant on fundraising (presuming it has a financially sustainable model) if you are helping empower communities through incubating new businesses & innovating new solutions. But coming in with rich resources & “authority” is a major global problem.

About 5 years ago, I started to feel uncomfortable by these “non-profit” entities, when I could see the real benefit was actually in the hands of the much smaller grassroots groups.

I believe that real change only happens when we work underneath those that need support, as apposed to side by side, or even worse, coming in to “show the way”.

Aside from emergency response aid, which would be needed in any country (not just those in poverty), I no longer really believe in the concept of charity. Even in the case of emergency & natural disasters, I still believe that small-scale local solutions work best longterm to benifit the society in need. Giving without empowerment, is not only ineffective, but it can actually be detrimental.

The world is starting to realise this, and hence inspiring campaigns like#endinghumanitariandouchery and #AfricaforNorway go viral.

If you want to make a difference in the world and volunteer with a local organisation, take some time to read the toolkit provided on this website.

The most important things to remember are:

*My dream is that one day, every organisation will #discoverpurpose and become more ethical & responsible towards people and the planet. We will not need to donate our money to those in need, but instead, use our heart & mind (& our companies time!) to come up with inspiring solutions.

Collecting radiators –
Shipping them over there –
Spread some warmth –
Spread some smiles –
Say yes to Radi-Aid.

Article by Jacqui Hocking, Creative Director

Laura Allen

Firm believer that companies can unlock great business opportunities in tackling social and environmental challenges in their communities. Outside of the world of social business, Laura is an avid cyclist and rock-climber, and is passionate about topics such as the FutureOfFood (she co-founded a community farm in Singapore) and mindfulness.

No Comments

Post A Comment