Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Idol Gives Back

Ellen's suggestion a few minutes ago that kids donate a dollar and ask their parents to match with $9 more was a terrific moment.

Both my kids silently watched as Simon and Ryan talked about a woman with 14 kids, many of them with AIDS living in a room the size of a tent.

My older girl asked me what HIV was.

There are 2 ways to look at this the CMO of a major NGO Aid agency who is not directly benefiting from Idol Gives Back.

The first way isn't worth spending much time on and was totally out of our control. I've gotten at least 10 emails from board members, colleagues and others lamenting that Save the Children is one of the beneficiaries, but we're not. What can I say, they didn't pick us - there are probably a dozen reasons - we simply didn't make the cut.

The second way is my way. My way celebrates abundance and places a bet that this could be a tide that raises all boats. I don't have the stats at my fingertips, but I am sure I read recently that international aid giving is very low in comparison to other types of charities. I also know from my research that developing new donors to support international issues is an extremely difficult task.

Relatively speaking, getting someone to donate to a cancer charity when their dad got diagnosed is a walk in the park vs. trying to help someone understand the issues in Darfur, let alone getting them to open their wallets.

So here's to Save the Children, Boys and Girls Clubs and America's Second Harvest (and the rest of the bunch)!

P.S. Ryan just announced that they've raised more than $30 million.

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