Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A title that's not from a song...this must be serious. Kony 2012 - Finances

I originally started writing this as a Facebook status, but quickly realized it would be much too long for that. If you've seen my Facebook, or pretty much even been on Facebook at all in the last 24 hours, you've likely been bombarded by links, videos, pictures, and talk about Kony 2012. Well, here's another post to add to the list.

I'd like to say something about the Visible Children (henceforth referred to as VC) tumblr link and the "" link that have been going around in response to the Kony 2012 video (click the word video to go to YouTube and watch the film. It's worth the 30 minutes.)

I realize that what I am about to say in no way completely discredits either of these posts, but this is one point that i'd like to focus on. I have a feeling that I may be backing up IC on more than one point in the future, so this one is entitled Finances.

May I also say that my forthcoming words are in no way meant to be a personal attack or slight on anyone that opposes the Invisible Children-led Kony 2012 campaign. That is their decision to make. I simply would like to bring up a few things to think about after these links attempt to 'educate' you out of supporting Invisible Children (henceforth referred to as IC).

It seems today has ushered in an abundance of "We hate Kony, but we're also anti-IC" articles, letters, posts and other such things who seem to enjoy pointing out finances when trying to debunk IC and discourage support of the Kony 2012 campaign.

"Last year, the organization [referring to Invisible Children] spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services, with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production."

quote from VC post

I'd like to look at this logically.

-Any organization that is based in San Diego and has offices in Central Africa will spend large amounts of money on travel. IC falls under that category. Makes sense to me.
-IC is run by none other than human beings. Human beings who have families to provide for, bills to pay, and thus must have an income. Any charity/organization will have staff salaries on their books. Otherwise there would be no staff.
-IC is an organization that was created by three filmmakers who originally went to Africa just to make a film about their adventures in a new place. When they saw the horrendous condition the children were living in and the conflict surrounding it, they decided to make it a documentary to bring back to the US to "make the invisible, visible" thus the name of their organization, Invisible Children. As an organization that specializes in advocacy and awareness-spreading films, it is inevitable that film production would take a large portion of the spending.

Being upset that IC spends money on travel, staff, and film is like being upset that an independent doctor spends money on a building lease, nurses, and rubber gloves. Sure, those aren't the main things that bring you to the doctor, but they are inevitable expenses without which, the practice would become defunct.

And I know this next bit isn't really a good argument, but I had to say it. Even just 32% of that approximately 8.6 million is $2,776,516.48 - Please show me any other "fauxtivist fad sweeping the web", as the "" post so fondly describes this movement, that spends almost 3 million dollars on direct aid. I don't know about you, but if my main goal was to scam people out of their money and prey on their "white guilt", i'd be shoving that 3 million into my own pockets.

Lastly, i'd like to point out that IC DOES NOT claim anywhere that 100% of donations will go to direct aid. Many people have said they feel that IC is a scam and they cheat people out their money. If you are looking for an organization who has no money going to overhead, travel, advertising, etc...I wish you the best of luck. But don't feel like you are paying for IC to purchase yachts or convertibles when you see that there is another 68% not going towards direct aid. You're paying for the building, nurses, and rubber gloves.

PS - If anyone has opposing views, i'd love to hear them. In a civil manner. So send me a message on Facebook or something and we can have an open, non-name-calling discussion that would actually stay on point instead of getting out of hand. I can't stay on YouTube very long for that reason alone, it makes me angry.

*For the record, the video which was posted 2 days ago currently has over 11 million views* MAKE HIM FAMOUS

1 comment:

  1. Everyday I love you more. You put my exact thoughts into words!! Also, I think people are getting the wrong idea- IC's main goal is not to raise money, although they have apparently helped build schools and whatnot. If it's not obvious enough, what they're trying to do is MAKE HIM FAMOUS. And honestly, they are doing an excellent job. That's all.