You Can Kiss My Ice (bucket)!!!
I have had enough! I have had enough of, what I call, “Charity bashing”. There is always someone, somewhere who has a problem with how money is raised and what each organization does with said money. Well, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is no different. Some guy has posted a very cynical video spouting statistics and percentages for how much of the money donated to the ALSA actually goes to “research”. He goes on and on about administrative costs, raising more money, blah, blah, blah.
Let me put this all into perspective for you for just a moment. I don’t know a whole lot about ALS. I have heard of it and know the basic breakdown of how it works and what it does. I watched as a healthy mother in her 40’s died a very cruel death from ALS, but have never really done a ton of research on this particular disease. I say this because I want you to know that I am not coming to you from the perspective of a professional on ALS. I am coming to you as a mother, wife, daughter, aunt, cousin, and friend. I’m also coming to you as the mother of a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, medical professional, and someone who worked for ALSAC (the fund raising portion of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital). We hear it every time that a large non-profit or not-for-profit organization does well in raising funds for their organization: “They’re not using it all for ‘research'”. Well, of course they’re not!
This is my FAVORITE Ice Bucket Challenge YET!
Could you imagine if each organization had a staff of thousands of professionals with advanced degrees all working for free?! That would be amazing and it would leave them homeless! It takes an entire staff of trained professionals to run an organization as large as ALSA. Of course, they could stay small and have a staff of 4-5 dedicated people who work for free on the side. They may raise $5,000 a year, which would be a noble cause, but why not take the plunge and hire an administrative staff? Sure a much smaller percentage of your funds may go to actual research, but the dollar amount will be astonishingly higher! After all dollars pay for research, not percentages. What would do more good; 100% of $5,000 or 10% of $1,000,000? It really does come down to the math and what will be better, overall, for the cause.
I took the challenge!
Let’s talk about administrative salaries for a moment. Do you really think the organization sets the salary standards for administrators? I’ll give you the short answer: NO! Business administrators, and there are many areas to specialize in business administration; especially with advanced degrees, get paid very well. This is a standard that has been set WAY before ALSA came along. Do you think they’re going to take a pay cut because it’s a non-profit or not-for-profit organization? I’ll give you another short answer; NO! Not only is there an administrator for these large organizations, but there is also an entire administrative staff. They all expect to get paid on Friday, just like you and I do. This definitely sucks up the administrative costs.
Another thing this guy mentioned was the money spent on more fund raising. I don’t understand why this would be an issue other than this guy was obviously disgruntled about something, maybe just life in general. Of course these organizations need to raise more funds; i.e. the administrative staff salaries, publicity, flyers, billboards, T.V. commercials, etc. Money doesn’t just fall out of the sky for them! These organizations put a lot of time, effort and, yes money into getting the word out about their cause. Everything costs money. I don’t understand why this is such an issue for people when it comes to non-profit and not-for-profit organizations, but it is. I guess there isn’t enough negativity in the world and they need more (sense the sarcasm).
Finally, I want to thank ALSA for all of the amazing work that they do. I also want to thank everyone who has taken the challenge, whether you donated or not; you did something to further the cause and get the word out there. You did a good thing for a great cause!