Unconditional Giving

When we donate money to an NGO, are we allowed to have an opinion as to how that money is spent? Or does the transaction end when the giver gives or when the benefactor can sleep better at night because of this act of giving? Or, does the transaction only end when the NGO achieves what the giver expects it to?

In the last few weeks the giving policies of Pink Ribbon in the Netherlands have been widely criticized in the media. As always, the media attacks first and then gives the organisation the opportunity to defend itself later. Read more about how Pink Ribbon spends your donations on the Pink Ribbon blog (Dutch language).

Whether Pink Ribbon’s defence is sincere or not, is quite honestly beside the point. The organisation has now been brought into question and in to doubt, in the minds of many…..myself included.

How much damage is the press allowed to do? And, how much damage has Pink Ribbon felt by the media’s scathing articles? And, who pays for this damage in the long term?

So, to my first comment? Is the philanthropist allowed to have an opinion as to how their money is spent? Or, is that entirely up to the NGO?
All opinions are welcome!

2 thoughts on “Unconditional Giving

  1. Dear Helen,
    Nice point of discussion indeed. Although we’ve grown accustomed to have a say in how our money should be spent, I firmly believe that unconditional giving goes hand in hand with unconditional trust. What is left if we give without trust? Or better, what would your response be if somebody gives you something without trust? You would probably react suspiciously and act accordingly. Before you know it, you will actually be led by somebody else’s expectations. And that is not what purity of intent is about. It is not an extrinsic motivation, but stems from within; following your own beliefs, your own ideals and shaping your own path. The philanthropist should honour & stimulate that.

    PS And yes, Pink Ribbon could’ve communicated this a little earlier, but come on, they were busy doing the truly important stuff, not with peripheral distractions.

  2. A great point for discussion Helen, pink ribbon was clearly not equipped for a quick response to these allegations as most NGO’s would not be. They believe, and in fact are doing the right thing, spending wisely and not picking up big salaries and bonusses. It’s the image you and i, the people who donate, have of where their money is going. Up until last year I also believed all the money I gave to any charity/cause would go to finding a cure! Pink Ribbon is an awareness fundraising charity, it has always communicated this and has never been secretive of this fact. The media and private bloggers have done their very best to find out where the funds are going and to their surprise most of it is going to… Breastcancer awareness. It just shows that the public has a certain image because that suits them and that Pink Ribbon should communicate their main goals even better!
    I don’t think this answers the question but I hope it gets the discussion started!

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