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Did you mean to donate to that cause?

December 23, 2010

We tend to make carefully thought out charitable donations.  I don’t want my donations squandered so we donate to specific campaigns and sometimes to specific people.  As it turns out, regardless of what we intend a donation to be for, the money could ultimately be spent on something completely different.  Once a charity has your money, they can do with it as they please.


I was reminded of this when I read about the Adopt-A-Family for Christmas program.  This Saskatoon program matches people up with families to provide Christmas gifts and food to families in need.  Cash is also raised through donations, community fundraisers, and the sale of paper stockings at Sarcan and Wal-Mart.  The money raised is supposed to be used to buy gift cards for Christmas gifts and food for families who aren’t adopted.  This year, $5000 was given to a family who lost everything in a fire.  They didn’t have fire insurance.  (Sound familiar?)  Does the Adopt-A-Family program have a surplus of funds?  Or did some people go without Christmas to compensate a family who chose to not have insurance?


There are other examples.  Telemiracle just donated $1.5 million to the RUH Foundation for a cardiac treatment facility.  I’m sure that is a needed facility but I thought that Telemiracle helped people individually with things like travel out of province for care, adapted vans, and wheelchairs.  If people wanted to donate to the RUH Foundation, they can easily do so directly or participate in a fundraiser.  Would people contribute as much to the telethon if they knew that their donations were being transferred to a different organization?  And does Telemiracle have a surplus of funds as well?  Maybe they are actually raising more funds than needed to meet their primary objective.

Finally, the many people and companies in this province have donated to the Children’s Hospital Foundation because they want a children’s hospital in Saskatchewan (hence the name of the charity).  So why did the Children’s Hospital Foundation then donate $1 million to the “Future in Mind” campaign towards the new mental health facility?  Yes.  I do understand that the new facility has dedicated adolescent beds but people donated for a children’s hospital, not the Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health.

Speaking of which, isn’t it bizarre that the Dubés donated $6.5 million to the CHF and $3 million to the mental health facility?  I think that it all has to do with public perception.  Each group gets to announce huge donations when sometimes it is just the same money being shuffled between accounts.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 24, 2010 8:18 pm

    Merry Christmas!

    • Michele permalink*
      December 25, 2010 6:59 pm

      Thank you!

      And Merry Christmas to you, too!

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