New Charities vs. Old

KidGoatsIn her December 18 editorial “In the charity world, cash is the new goat” Margaret Wente compares two charities, one which sends cash to Africa and another (unnamed) group that provides goats.  Here is my response:

Ms. Wente’s support of the charity GiveDirectly is to be applauded.  Her demeaning of other charities is not.  All charities face the same challenges of minimizing administration costs, whether they are providing goats or deworming pills.  It may seem easier to send money than goats to Africa but in reality both types of charities are sending money.  They don’t ship goats to Africa, which are sourced locally.  Both programs require people on the ground to ensure the money gets to the intended recipients and that it is spent appropriately.

If we truly want to increase charity efficiency we should support innovation in existing charities rather than jumping to people who claim they have invented something new. There are over 86,000 charities registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.  Last year, the CRA added over 2,000 more.  When do we say enough is enough?


Image courtesy of nuchylee at

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