The Nonprofiteer may not be able to tell if a charity is worth her/your support, but she’s pretty sure she can tell when it’s not. Consider the following e-mail, and her advice to its author:
GIVING PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOTHING A STEADY INCOME FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE – FOR FREE!
- [The Nonprofiteer:] If something isn’t a scam, you should make sure it doesn’t sound like one. In fact, even if it is a scam, you should make sure it doesn’t sound like one.
PRESS RELEASE : PROJECT CHERUBIA LAUNCHED
Project Cherubia is a charity organization which aims to help the less fortunate people of this world by providing them with an income for the rest of their life. . . .
- [The Nonprofiteer:] How?
Poverty and hunger leads to many desperate choices. Project Cherubia will put an end to these desperate choices through social entrepreneurship based on simple ideas and a vision for how the world can be healed.
- [The Nonprofiteer:] Again, how?
– PROJECT CHERUBIA WAS ESTABLISHED BY ONE PERSON.
– PROJECT CHERUBIA IS RUN BY ONE PERSON.
- [The Nonprofiteer:] So this isn’t a charity, then. Charities require Boards of Directors to assure accountability for the funds they raise and provide roots in the community they serve.
– PROJECT CHERUBIA IS ABOUT ONE THING ONLY:
GIVING THE LESS FORTUNATE OF THIS WORLD AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE THE DESTINY OF THEIR LIFE
The Website explains that Cherubia’s founder will collect your money through the site and then give it to someone who needs it. There’s no definition of "need," no explanation of the process for identifying recipients and no account of the system for distributing funds. For all we learn from the site, this could be the famous charity for which one of the Nonprofiteer’s childhood acquaintances canvassed door to door: MMFM, "More Money For Me." The Website fails to make the very basic case that there’s some benefit to transmitting your money to it rather than to someone you identify yourself–the guy on the street asking for a bus transfer, say.
Cherubia seems almost like a parody of all those people whose assumption is that poverty hasn’t been cured yet because the people now working in charities are stupid; but the Nonprofiteer suspects it’s merely a self-parody. And, she trusts, an abject failure.
If not, it won’t be because she didn’t warn you: there’s no there there.