Mind Your Memes: Research in the Giving Season.


“People should never be paid if they work for a non profit”

“You’re paying your people too much”

“None of your donations go where you say ”

We are full bore into the holiday season, which now appears to start on November 12th.

As we all know, this time of year is crucial for retailers of all types, and the it’s the same story for many charities.

Many smaller charities gather a significant amount of their support from now until the end of the year. 

And this time also heralds the arrival of internet memes about charity, fund raising, et cetera.

The one to your left has been circulating recently, and there are others which carry a very similar message.

United Way is the largest funder of social services outside of government, and as a non profit—-we get it.

You do have legitimate concerns about where, and how your donation is spent, no matter who is receiving it.

And you should do your research.   But memes like this one….aren’t research.   This particular  example is  full of inaccuracies ..and outright lies.

It claims to be from Snopes, a well known fact checking website. (Spoiler alert–It’s not)

This is a report  from Snopes on a similar meme. 

On a wider scale, here’s a link to an article from Imagine Canada —an organization which builds bridges between charities, and the private sector—about the issue of paid employees in the non profit sector

There are more than 86 thousand registered non-profits in Canada, and, quite honestly, with that number, there will always be some bad apples.   The Canada Revenue Agency has an online tool which allows you to search out any organizations registered with them, and their status.

At the end of the day, your donation is about YOU and the causes in which you believe.   False memes are only hurting the thousands of legitimate charities who are working every day to make lives better.   Sharing them—even if you add a note such as  “I don’t know how much of this is true…but”  isn’t doing anyone a favour.

Next week is Giving Tuesday, and hundreds of good organizations in our region will be looking for your support.    We hope you will stay generous.

If you have questions about the work of United Way Waterloo Region Communities, feel free to contact us by telephone or email.  We’ll be happy to talk.