Charity Is Not A Business (Part 1)

By Andy Savage | ClickForAfrica | 17 Jul 2019

This is my fist post, so please excuse any mess! Thanks.

Making charity into a business harms all the people involved in it. When charity executives defend their high salaries, they point to people who are doing similar work in business as the sole justification. It's assumed that the executive salaries in the businesses are in fact justified and that the justification naturally carries over into the charity sector.

This is incorrect, and here is why.

Giving Is Not The Same As Selling

How many times do you hear some businessman justify high prices, or laying off staff after installing new technology by saying "This isn't a charity, you know."? It seems like business people know the difference, even if charity people don't. (Though some are able to switch sides very easily and even hold both opinions at the same time.) Charity is the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need. Business is a commercial activity, i.e. the activity of buying and selling.

If you're selling me some apples in exchange for euros, you want more euros and I want more apples. We negotiate. If I think you want too many euros I can either haggle with you or go to someone else and get them for less. Either way, you're under pressure to lower your price or increase what you'll give in exchange. If you're giving me some apples, there's no negotiation. There is no "business". I either accept or decline. At this level, the difference between charity and business is clear.

The Middleman

Things become a lot more complicated when a middleman tries to insert himself into a charitable venture. When I help someone to do something, it's not really a one-way transaction. I get something too; that warm, fuzzy feeling. That's why most people do altruistic things, and the reasons are too much to go into here. So the big charities are selling you a warm, fuzzy feeling. That's 100% of their operation. The recipients are just there to provide the feeling. They become a product, because there is no other way for a business to express itself. And then it gets even worse:

The middleman also destroys personal human contact. The donors and recipients don't know or even see each other. Human interaction is replaced by a robotic corporation following a set of rules. Even the workers on the ground are bound by those rules. The priorities of the corporation they work for are paramount, because that's who is paying the mortgage. Wouldn't it be better if the aid workers themselves were paid by the recipients they should be working for, instead of an impersonal corpotate entity? That's actually quite easy to achieve now, with new digital technologies. 


Peer-To-Peer Charity

Imagine if, instead of sending money to a corporation, you could send it directly to recipients with whom you have personal contact, so that they can then hire whatever skills they need to achieve their goals. This is how charitable deeds have been done throughout human history. Until recently, this was only possible on a local level. Internationally it was just impossible to send small amounts of money to an individual, Even if you could find someone you were able to communicate with, in Kenya for example, the bank would charge you three times as much as you were sending. This is why the big charities emerged, and since they began they have grown into a monster that soaks up all the goodwill of people and turns it into an impersonal transaction no different t buying a pizza.

If you think charity should be a business, then there's no problem, but if you think you'd prefer your money to go to a charitable purpose without a business taking its cut and controlling the direction of the recipients' lives, then you need something else. is the worlds first peer-to-peer charity system. It's in beta at the moment but fully working. We need people to help try it out, and to help with coding etc. You don't need any money, just your clicks on the free crypto sites, though you can send crypto from any source so there is no need to do the clicking if you don't want to. 

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Andy Savage
Andy Savage

Lead cobbler-together of - Interested in how cryptocurrencies can free us all to live in abundance, if we seize the opportunity and defend ourselves against those who have kept us from our full potential.


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