So That’s Why Bono Calls it the ONE Foundation

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Re: So That’s Why Bono Calls it the ONE Foundation

Post by PhilHunt » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:09 am

A little question for you Dante. In your opinion, who is qualified to talk about the situation in the Balkans?
Signature: That which we cannot speak of, must be passed over in silence...or else tweeted.

Re: So That’s Why Bono Calls it the ONE Foundation

Post by dante » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:56 pm

We'd better stick to the topic of this thread Phil.
The logic that you insisted on in this thread that people who have money need a push to loosen out their wallets is to say the least,debatable.How I understood the gist of your discussions,people who have money are greedy and can't care less about the poor,and it's Bono whose humanity is supposed to save those poor people by pushing the rich ones to give money.
Let's say that you're right and Bono's and similar organizations who advocate and raise awareness are an inevitable channel of raising funds and distributing charity money,I still have a problem with the fee they charge for it.And I'm still not ready to accept that 53% of the annual fund of an humanitarian organization is spent on salaries.Even if the organization's salaries are so evenly distributed as Phil took them to be (I warn people here that average figures are highly deceptive indicators for many reasons), five millions divided on 120 people is still a hefty sum.
However strange it may sound,I think that non-profit organizations in this field are better to be replaced by profit ones.Such organizations wouldn't look so noble as non-profit ones true but they wouldn't be so pathetically hypocritical either.And that would introduce real parameters into the whole thing,and remove a great deal of illusions,factors of celebrity and so on.The amount of donations organization would be able to raise would depend on the parameters like effectiveness,costs they incur,transparency of their business,their previous ability to raise funds,their overal capacities and so on.Which is essential,they would compete.To be able to stay in business they would need to do what profit organizations normally do.They would need to cut down their costs,to improve their services,outsource or whatever to keep their customers.
I mean the whole prevailing logic in this humanitarian actions worldwide seems to be that it takes a rock star or similar celebrity to be human,or to give money to charity.And when that rock star is a half-wit(as it often happens:),a lot of money can be lost along the road to Africa.
I'm not saying that humanitarian business is always a murky business,but it is always a business and a source of good living for many people obviously and since it is,it should be regarded the same way.People simply should try to be as effective in it as in any other activity they undertake.

As to my negative atittude towards Bono,it's not about him personally,it's about millions exactly the same as him who are famous worldwide,whose global engagement has a bigger impact,and who therefore have a greater responbility for their words and actions.

Bono's personal engagement in solving highly contentious questions in this part of the world, with no objective knowledge whatsoever was a huge mistake.I can't help but think,that in his case it wasn't more than,conscious or unconscious,sick desire for showing off in a Superman's suit.A psychological disorder.
From my standpoint,knowing that Bono comes from pretty tough place for living,a poor suburb of Dublin,stricken with poverty and drug addiction,it would be a good idea and a big undertaking for his lifetime if he tried to improve lives of his relatives,neighbours,the community he was brought up in,doing things he must know a lot about,and therefore can help a lot in solving problems related to them.He can let solving Balkans issue,plugging ozone hole,global warming etc to other people,since he's strikingly incompetent to give a meaningful contribution to solving those problems.If he feels that those problems are most urgent,he can give a donation,help the cause,but leave the discussions to others,at least until he comes to know more about the problem.

Even if he can't help but engage in solving the issues as the Balkan's is,he could do that in open debates and discussions,explaining his findings in a dialogue with people who may have even a bit different views on it.Using the political clout he obviously has,to judge people in the place he's just set his foot on,and without allowing them to defend themselves is a dishonest and immoral thing,not a thing Superman would ever do.He should know that when he's so eager to play his role of Superman.

Finally,it's about communication.If people want to solve a problem,people need to be willing to communicate.We can't agree who is competent to solve which kind of problem until we open a discussion on it.When it's about solving social problems,specially contentious ones,monologues in the form of interviews given to unknowledgeable journalists,personal blogs or any other mono-form of communication are of no use really and can be misleading source of information to the people interested to know about the subject.

The discussion in this thread contains contrasting views on the subject and it will certainly help people who read it consider the various aspects of the subject.However heated,incompetent,malicious or whatever my or other discussions were characterized by the participants or people who read it,it was still a communication.If my opinion on this topic,for example,is wrong,it can only help highlighting righteous opinions of others.People can only benefit from discussion as long as the whole purpose of the discussion is the subject in question and not insulting other participants,which wasn't the case here in my opinion. No worries Phil,that thing about sniffing newspapers I don't consider an insult,maybe because I didn't understand it :)

Re: So That’s Why Bono Calls it the ONE Foundation

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:26 pm

I thought pro bono meant provided free of charge.

Re: So That’s Why Bono Calls it the ONE Foundation

Post by longstockinggirl » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:49 pm

Hello. This is my first post, but I have been a "guest" on this site for many years.

Because my career, thusfar, has been in the public service sector - both internationally and nationally - I want to thank those who championed my and my colleagues' service and acknowledged that we often work for a small percentage of a private sector salary. Many times, extremely talented people leave the public sector to work in the private sector because, quite frankly, we need to make more money.

Mr. Dante, losing talented individuals who provide direct services for or advocacy on behalf of those persons you argue should be receiving the dollars does not help alleviate poverty status. I do not know how you feel about Mr. Bono, nor do I beleive those feelings relevant to this discussion. However, the ONE Foundation and many, many others like it raise funds (often through government, corporate, or millionaire pledges as already mentioned) so that I and others like me can make a living wage working in some of the poorest parts of the world.

It saddens me that you find this so distasteful; it saddens me enough that I created a login to respond to this thread. I believe that the work accomplished by those of us committed to working on these issues is very valuable and worthy of a decent wage. If you do not think it should come from charitably-minded "rich folks" from where do you suggest my salary originate? Surely the poverty-striken peoples for whom we provide services cannot afford to pay us - they often cannot afford shelter or food.

Just a response from someone "in the trenches..." Thank you all for much wisdom and knowledge over the years.

Re: So That’s Why Bono Calls it the ONE Foundation

Post by Phil White » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:28 pm

Welcome and thanks for posting.
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: So That’s Why Bono Calls it the ONE Foundation

Post by dante » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:40 pm

I don't know on whose behalf you're speaking Mrs.Longstockinggirl,but whoever it is don't let yourself be saddened by the opinion of an anonymous net character.First and foremost, cheer up :) It's a good thing you've joined the forum and I'm glad it was my discussion that provoked you to join the forum you have a respect for.

However my discussion in this thread sounded bitter (Phil White even characterized it as "malicious"), it wasn't my intention to libel anyone. I guess that the term "theft" I used in my discussion is a problem so I'll take back my word and say that the morality of incurring such costs is doubtful.
Because my career, thusfar, has been in the public service sector - both internationally and nationally - I want to thank those who championed my and my colleagues' service and acknowledged that we often work for a small percentage of a private sector salary. Many times, extremely talented people leave the public sector to work in the private sector because, quite frankly, we need to make more money.
I don't know why you have misinterpreted my discussions here but you've done it. I must say that and don't feel saddened by it please :)
You obviously felt free to edit my discussions and replace the name of organization "One" and Mr.Bono in my discussions with "public sector.
I was discussing the situation which involved organization "One" in this thread, I think it's obvious from my posts. Since the organization "One" is not the only humanitarian organization whose humanitarian work practice I find unacceptable, for the reasons which I stated in my previous posts, I felt it was appropriate to mention that fact in the course of the discussion. I haven't used the term "public sector" at all and I'm not sure if it can be aligned with "humanitarian organizations". Whatever we call them, the organizations which collect donations were the subject of my discussion specifically.

You've made me read my posts again (not that I enjoy reading what I already know:) to find out if there's a part of my discussion that might have left impression similar to yours and after reading my posts carefully I still don't see any foundation for your critics. Here's what I said in one of the posts on the first page:
4.Truly human people do not charge so much money for humanitarian work. I'd like to make clear that thing,for the sake of many truly human people who lived their worthy lives to help other people,those who volunteered to help others,those who did humanitarian work with the real warmth in their hearts for their mission.The work of those people has to be set apart from the "humanitarians" whose services are so expensive.If they wanted money they should have worked something else.

One can agree or disagree on the significance of "raising awareness",and they could have raised a billion dollars and gave it to charity as a result of "raising awareness",it won't change the fact that they could have charged their "raising awareness" less at least.To work in such organizations is a noble work when it's done in a noble way,and one need to be clear with himself if he's ready to curb his greed for the sake of doing such a thing.
You will find in my other posts that I explicitly say that my critics do not apply to all humanitarian organizations and people working in them.

A net article about a large amount of money spent by this humanitarian organization on non-humanitarian purposes made me open this thread. The answer offered by the organization to the question raised about the enormous salaries was not satisfactory at all in my opinion.

The point with salaries in such organizations is sensitive for the simple reason that the salaries there are paid arbitrary . In profit business your salary will be limited by the results that business has made.If you're in the business of selling apples, buying apples for one pound a kilo and selling them 1.20 won't allow you to give your employee 60 cents for selling that kilo of apples because you won't be able to buy another kilo to renew your business cycle.Not even if that employee is your brother in law :). Not that the business cycle will suffer a lot in the case of One organization but there's still question of morality. I think it's improbable that the sum of 5 million pounds divided on 120 people can reasonably match the efforts done on raising any amount of funds.In my understanding even really talented people would have to work hard to earn 40 thousand pounds a year anywhere in the world nowadays. From my standpoint, if anyone's personal goal is to earn a fortune they should find them a job other than humanitarian.

Anyway, a bigger problem than that is that no financial report is offered which would explain either work done or expenditures or funds raised for that year,or the funds planned to be raised, or anything.It was quite normal to me that the enormous money spent by the organization raised questions about the costs incurred and salaries paid. The total sum raised exceeded 10 million pounds, the half went on problematically high salaries and the other half? Who knows. Phil Hunt's guess is that it's costly photographers.

The purpose of "advocacy & raising awareness" was touched upon in this thread and I'll repeat that the whole concept is unclear to me. I understand that it is synonymous with "fund raising" and my idea is that raising large amounts of donations needs to be organized some way, institutionalized, politically and otherwise regulated and monitored and so on.There are numerous UN bodies formed to deal with the problem of poverty worldwide and the political pressure could be directed that way for example. Maybe closer monitoring of humanitarian organizations is to be focused on or something else, I don't know. Even thinking of the possible solutions gives me a headache simply because I don't know much about either UN system in this field or about a myriad of fund raising organizations in the world and their practice.

Looking at the problem with "One" organization in broader context, it seems to me that a number of murky organizations and individuals appear in that chain of raising donations. They're "fund eaters" and one could range their activities on the scale which starts with "morally doubtful" and ends with "clear embezzlers".
Surely the poverty-striken peoples for whom we provide services cannot afford to pay us - they often cannot afford shelter or food.
Well I'm afraid that I will completely disagree with you in this part longstockingsgirl. I discussed this problem in many threads before on this forum, including this one. I believe that more often than not you will find poor countries ruling regimes paying lavishly for services like lobbying and advocacy.

I hope you have nice time here on the forum.

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