The Canadian charitable sector has been a buzz for the past week by CBC’s report about fundraisers spending excessive amounts of coin on – GASP – professional fundraisers. As you probably know, AFP, Imagine Canada, Agents of Good, and – well heck – almost EVERYONE, has written a post or letter explaining why CBC’s shoddy and irresponsible reporting has tarnished us all.
Without prodding or poking, our very own Godfather of Good, Agent David Love, fired me this rant this afternoon and I share it with you now.
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
If you’re a certain age, you’ll recognize this anguished response. If you’re not, watch the award-winning film “Network” and enjoy a spectacular performance by the late Peter Finch.
I’m mad as hell too. And at a network.
Last week, the CBC decided to pillory Canada’s charities after taking a superficial look at the public forms charities are required to produce for the Canada Revenue Agency.
They found that there were “third-party” fundraising agencies charging such large commissions that little money went to the cause. Armed with this selective, non-representative fact, the network castigated all charities and all fundraisers.
I’ve been raising money for over 40 years and I’ve been called a lot of things. The CBC just called me dishonest.
And all because there are a few telemarketing agencies without scruples that have been fleecing charitable clients for many years. If the CBC had done two minutes of homework, they could learn from any fundraiser who these agencies are. And then they could have exposed these frauds.
But instead, they tarnish the entire sector and by doing so ensure that millions of dollars will not go to humanitarian aid, environmental protection, human rights, social services agencies and much more.
It’s an irresponsible and shameful act of sloppy reporting.
As for not taking it any more, I’m throwing my radio out the window to lie in the rubbish with Peter’s TV set. Where the CBC belongs.