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Fundraising Strategy

Ethical Fundraising

Is it ethical for a not-for-profit to accept:

Stolen goods or money?

  • Yes/No

Donations from laundered or unsourced money?

  • Yes/No

A donation from a company that charges onerous interest rates on low income individuals?

  • Yes/No

A donation from a company that charges above-market rent, for substandard housing?

  • Yes/No

Donations from low income individuals, who fund the donation on their credit card?

  • Yes/No

The last cash in a family’s bank account, delivered to the charity via their involvement in a casino fundraising initiative?

  • Yes/No

…and there lies the gray line.

Like most, you likely answered with an unequivocal and emphatic “NO” to the first 5 questions, but waffled a bit on the final one.

Charities have become reliant on casinos, and choose to look the other way on ethical issues, choosing instead to believe that the funds are ‘free money’.

It’s simply not true.

At best, it’s ‘lazy money’ – cobble-together a team of volunteers, and a few months later a cheque arrives.

In reality:

  • They consume massive volunteer hours
  • They produce limited funds per volunteer hour

Ethically, it’s clear – when you visit a casino operating with volunteer staff, that the funds generated for the charity are sourced from the losses of regular, working-class people, retirees, and new immigrants in the community (definitely not the rich).

So here’s our challenge to Boards: raise your fundraising game, and consider the macro impact of your actions.  You can do better.