This week was an amazing week for us at TGF. Not only did our first Candidate, Operation Underground Railroad, make for a great choice, they inspired us in making us understand just how amazing our freedom is. Please google Operation Underground Railroad and see just a glimpse of what these guys are doing. We were lucky enough to meet the guys in person, and hearing Tim Ballard speak changed our view’s on a lot of things. When you meet a guy like Tim who has dedicated his life to the noble work of rescuing children from the sex slavery trade, he is giving his “everything”. Imagine if we all had the type of intellect that Tim had on what really goes on in these horrific scenarios in third world countries where sick perverted adults will look for prostitutes to pleasure them at their bachelor parties, but not just any prostitutes, CHILDREN! I’m sure Tim has seen too much, because when you see him speak about what his world is, he can’t help from tearing up, and this is as tough a military man as you will ever meet. WE simply have no clue in the public how critical this issue is and how many millions of people this affects.
Anyhow, when we say giving means “everything”, we truly mean everything. We think its great that individuals sit with their accountants and understand their year end taxes, what makes sense as a charitable contribution, and writing a couple checks to the local Red Cross or some other well known non-profit. The question I pose is, with the ability to give, whether its $1,000, $100,000, or millions of dollars, why wouldn’t you take the time to understand where your money is going? Further, why wouldn’t you give your “Everything” in making sure the money goes somewhere tangible? For instance, we have the ability to write checks every week to whomever we want, including the Nation MS Society. MS is a disease that affects millions around the world and is something that has hit my own family, so it sounds noble to give to this Non-Profit….
Lets take a step back and understand the breakdown of the MS Society. We have no real gripe to pick with this non-profit, it should simply serve as eye opening (or eye gouging) that this kind of filth exists in the world of “Charitable Giving”. The MS society has, in fiscal year 2012, been able to raise over $100 million dollars (this according to Charity Navigator Rating via Public Record), an incredible feat, yet according to these reports, there are nearly $82 million in expenses called “Program Expenses”, then there are nearly $7 million earmarked for “Administrative Expenses”, and finally, $12.5 million for “fundraising expenses”. What on Earth are “Fundraising Expenses”? Are these like brokerage fees? Anyhow, when we add all this up, the MS Society is doing just about nothing for research and the betterment of individuals afflicted with the disease as every dollar of expenses for fiscal year 2012 seems to be completely wasted in paying salaries. Maybe I’m missing something, but if I am, I know I’m not off by much. Even if 10-20% went to research I’d call it a sham. I’ve seen the mini-marathons that these guys use to raise millions, I just don’t ever remember seeing a disclaimer reading “Most of this money is going to fund suburban mortgages, private school tuitions of our executive team’s families, and fancy dinners in Manhattan to try to social climb with the legitimately wealthy.” Its all filth!
Now, lets have this go full circle. Let’s bring in our friends from Operation Underground Railroad. When given the opportunity to support a “Jump Team”mission, including all expenses such as as airfare, food, etc, so we wrote a check for $20,000 so Tim Ballard and his jump team could have an all expenses paid trip to the beautiful slums of Cartegena, Columbia in search of a vile and violent Child Sex Trafficking Ring. We are so amazed with their efforts, and even more amazed that with $20,000, Tim has gone overseas with an entire jump team of military men, used technology that has been donated to him, and effectively saved the lives of 27 young children, effecting each and every one of their parents and relatives, multiplying the number of effected people for this one gift in the thousands. Why on Earth would I give millions of dollars to The MS Society when I can clearly open my eyes to the world of giving and realize there are more noble causes than the filth I described? Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to say that children being abducted and used as sex slaves isn’t worse than one of the most debilitating diseases in the world, they are both terrible, they both need attention, but at The Giving Fund, we are focused on making the right choices with how we spend our money. In this case, could anyone imagine what Tim Ballard would do with $100 million dollars? Would he eradicate child prostitution altogether? I wouldn’t be surprised. Anyhow, this is very important to us, and its important that even if one person reads this, think about what you do and how you do it. Don’t give money to pad the wallets of CEO’s of multi-million dollar non-profits, they are simply poorly run scams that don’t exist of people that could raise money in the real world on a real business, so these pseudo C-level executives make us feel like we are donating to a worthy cause by supporting them at our local Starbucks, but at the end of the day, find a Tim Ballard. If not Tim, find someone that really needs the money. Make a difference in someone’s life and make sure you do something that gives you the inspiration to not only do it again, but to spread the word in getting your friends and family to do the same. We can all make a difference, but giving deserves our “Everything”, giving is something we should spend time, effort, debate, and then money. Thanks for listening…