Monday, February 12, 2007

Your Money Ain't No Good Here

This is pretty sad. Apparently, the Breast Cancer Society of Canada can't take donations from a group of strippers because some of the Society's other donors object. Other blogs I've been reading about this issue seem to mostly focus on and blame the Society itself, but I don't.

I've worked in the non-profit world. Sometimes you have to do stupid things to please your donors. This is the unfortunate truth of working with other peoples' money. Sometimes you have to sacrifice something in order to reach your overall goal. If the goal of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada is to support breast cancer research with funding, then accepting a $3000 donation from strippers and losing, say, $100,000 from another donor does not help achieve the overall goal. Like all nonprofits, the Society has to make deals with the Devil all the time. You don't think the Cancer Society knows how idiotic it is to refuse a donation because the source is "controversial?" They do. And do you think they don't want women, no matter what walk of life they're in, to support this important research? They do. But they are caught between the proverbial rock and hard place, and the people who will suffer if the Cancer Society stands up for the strippers and thereby loses funding for research will be those suffering with breast cancer, and that is against their mission.

No, I blame those idiot-ass freakin' other donor(s) who objected. Why do they care who else donates to breast cancer? Is the goal of those other donors not to find a cure for breast cancer? If not, then stripper money is as good as any other money in reaching that goal. But no, it's not just about that, it's never just about that, it's about feeling good about themselves and feeling entitled to exercise power over others through the money they supposedly give out of altruism and charity.

Blech. Did you know that Mother Teresa was a hard-ass control freak? She was. She helped a lot of people, but she also indulged her own need for control while doing it. Sometimes I wonder if humans ever truly do anything altruistically, or if all charity is given selfishly. Most of the time, of course, the distinction is irrelevant as long as the charity is given. But sometimes the needs of those giving become more important than the needs of those they are supposedly helping, and that's when the question of whether there is true altruism or not becomes relevant, as in this case.

I can't help but think of the religious organizations that advertise how you can "help a child for only pennies a day" but only help children whose parents are willing to force the organization's religious beliefs on the child, or all the money being given to faith-based organizations for charitable work under the Bush regime that is actually being used to proselytize.

Ah, me. I wonder how many of the donors who objected to the strippers' donations buy diamonds without thinking twice about whether they are "blood" or "conflict" diamonds or not. I bet they care a lot more about the "morality" of those donating to breast cancer than the morality of those supplying them with goods. I just bet.


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