Friday, March 9, 2012
Have you seen the video or heard chatter about the Kony video? The tape by Invisible Children is compelling, for sure, but brings up a bigger issue.
Their plea is one of thousands vying for your dollars. But before you donate to them or anyone else, make sure to do your homework. Is what they say true? How are they spending their money? Are the indigenous people prioritizing their needs or is a foreign agency trying to decide what's best? While money for direct aid is needed in some situations and for a limited time, look for agencies whose goal is empowering people to be sufficient over the long haul. I love Faith Alive for many reasons, not the least of which is because we invest in human lives by providing holistic care and skills-training.
It's hard enough to decide which quality organizations and people to support. Let's not add to the frustration by reacting to those who aren't fully transparent and helping well. Click here to read my recent post about Faith Alive's "seal of approval" by the highly respected Mennonite Central Committee.
For non-profits, I highly recommend that they study the book When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. I just ordered the book Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It) by Robert D. Lupton; I plan to post my reflections.
Back to Invisible Children. Click here to read their statement of validity. Please note that I am not "for" or "against" their campaign. I'm simply pointing out that donors need to do their homework. You be the judge.