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Problem – When it depends on marketing and not reality…

So I have an issue with the problem of charities, causes and companies who make a difference yet their success depends on their ability to market.

If you’ve read Freakonomics, you can get a bit of a sense for what I’m talking about. For example, people are more afraid of guns killing children than children drowning yet way more kids drown in swimming pools than are killed by guns.

In a similar (but much less morbid) way, a company like the Canadian Red Cross’s success for blood donations doesn’t depend on the actual impact it has on our lives but rather on the Red Cross’s ability to inform the public about donating blood. However, their tagline “Blood – it’s in you to give” is such an accurate line that I wish more people would realize just how important it is to donate and go on a regular basis; not simply when they feel compelled after seeing a commercial.

As well, when the earthquake hit Haiti, the world came together in a huge way and sent a ton of aid to those in need; however, what about all the people in our own country and cities who need our help? Why don’t we help them out instead/as well as?

I’m all for helping causes that matter but I think instead of being influenced by marketing and being told that “for less than a dollar a day…” etc, we should instead really think about what we care about and support those causes – either with our time or our money. There are so many reports about how organizations don’t allocate the money they receive very evenly (ie too much goes to administration costs) or how a lot of the money never reaches the intended target due to legal issues so instead I think we should think more locally where we can be sure that our help will have a real impact.

We see so many commercials but if everyone wants our money perhaps don’t give it to anyone; instead why not give them our time? Just a thought.

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