Montreal Radio Blog

Monday, September 27, 2010

Selling Misery Like Fast Food

There was a story that made the news a few days ago about how marketing firms are making tons of money off of charities. It kind of bothered me, as it should bother most rational thinking people. I find it hard to fathom that there are people getting rich off of the suffering of others, but I guess it shouldn't really be a surprise.

I used to donate to this foundation for many years. It seemed like the right thing to do, after all... Then, about ten years ago, they started sending me stuff in the mail. These were little things like personalized letters, calendars and notepads. I didn't think much of it at first, but it then hit me that these things were surely being paid for out of donation money. It angered me to the point that I stopped donating to that particular charity - for a year. But that didn't stop them from sending the stuff in the mail!

I was involved in a fundraiser a few weeks back, but all the work was done by volunteers. It's a lot of work, and I can understand why some charities turn to the professional "marketers". Still, it seems to have gotten out of hand.

Have you noticed that they now market diseases with the same methods they use to promote sneakers or fast food? It's pretty distasteful when you come to think of it. They've got fancy logos, catch phrases and over-hyped PR events for just about every cause imaginable. What they don't tell you is that a far-too-sizable portion of the money raised will go to pay the "geniuses" behind the campaigns. There has to be a better way - or is there? Like I said at the beginning, it disgusts me to think that there are opportunists out there making their fortunes off of the misery of others.

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