But is it charity?

June 28th, 2011 Posted by Uncategorized 8 thoughts on “But is it charity?”

I’ve been supporting Sparrow Schools for close on 4 years now, through their Educate-a-Child program.

It’s simple: Your sponsorship money is used to keep the school fees affordable for the learners. Many of the children are from places of safety, child-headed households or disadvantaged homes where parents can’t afford the special care their children need. Sparrow Schools receives a minimal 10% government subsidy per child and a minimal 30% school fee from the learners. The remaining 60% per child needs to be funded.

That’s where you come in. You help support a particular child, and in turn you get to see their school results to see if they’re doing well, and help in any way you can.

Now, to be honest, the “big brother” element to the program is a bonus for me, I just feel like that by sponsoring a child monthly to help with their school fees, I’m doing something cool, ‘cos I was fortunate enough to have my folks pay my fees all through to matric. Lucky me. So now I’d like to help someone else until I have my own kids. Why not?

So it bugged me when I saw an initiative on Incredible Connection’s Facebook page that is asking for people to tag photos of logos of selected charities (of which Sparrow is one of them), and once any particular charity gets 500 people tagged on their logos, they’ll win a laptop. Simple enough. Incredible Connection obviously wants to see which charities people support more, or which they feel deserve the prize the most.

But, there are other ways of doing this. An anonymous poll, perhaps? Easy, can check your IP address so you can’t vote multiple times, transparent.



Now, being able to tag a photo on a Facebook page requires you to “Like” that particular page before you can tag any pics, which in this case gets Incredible Connection more Facebook fans added to their page, which is of course what everyone with a Facebook page wants, so that they can feel so fucking important that people actually like them and whoever is running their page gets a solid fuckin’ chubby when the count tips over every little milestone and then has to grab a tissue to clean the keyboard. But it’s for a charity, so that’s okay, right?

Don’t get me wrong, a laptop to a charity organisation is awesome, but this is just bizarre.

So I’m thinking, and go with me here ‘cos it’s not rocket science, would it not be more “charitable” for Incredible Connection to just give the selected charities a laptop each, and find other ways to get people to actually, and I really mean actually like their Facebook page?

8 thoughts on “But is it charity?”

  1. @The_Fake_Ryan says:

    I couldn’t agree more. If you want, I’ll go kick their asses.

  2. Greetings,Thank you for your feedback. There is some validity to your comments. Indeed we get excited and take pride in being involved with promoting charitable behaviour. As you mentioned in your reasons for donating – “It’s Cool!”Incredible Connection has donated over R30 000 in cash to Sparrow Schools and several PC sets for their computer classes. As mentioned, it is not rocket science that we want people to "like" our Facebook page, but what you don’t mention is the fact that without corporate sponsors for this and other charities, many of those struggling out there wouldn’t get any support. We receive numerous requests daily from various charities and it is not possible to help everyone. We prefer to work in consultation with the charity and use the social media opportunities at our disposal to encourage spend that will benefit both the charity and our business. We also believe it is important to involve our customers and give them the opportunity to choose a cause that is close to their hearts. Nobody is asking that you "LIKE" us to go donate to these charities in a personal capacity. Incredible Connection is a responsible, ethical business and uses Facebook as a social networking tool to engage with our customers that choose to “like” us on whichever platform they choose to do so. We donate directly to charities without asking for any personal involvement, but we ALSO choose to listen and respond to our customers through a variety of channels – hence this response. We trust that you will be able to recognise the good work Incredible Connection is doing, not only through participation from followers, but also benefiting many charities each month with or without a customer “like”. You are able to see our charity update notes when you visit our Facebook page.Terry (Incredible Connection Facebook administrator #3)

  3. Mongezi Mtati says:

    Not only is it stupid, but I suspect it contravenes Facebook T’s & C’s, and also opens up people to hundreds of email notifications. Those also get chubbies I guess.

  4. Don Packett says:

    Thanks for your reply Terry.Again, though, I commend you for being a charitable organisation and giving to charities, I think it’s awesome that you do. We, as a business and in our personal capacity, also work with a select few charities and raise money for them, from organising a comedy night which raised about R20k to winning a charity poker tournament and handing over a R70k cheque. There’s a special feeling about doing good for people in need, but that isn’t what I was talking about. It was purely about working on a way to:1. Get people to choose their favourite charity using another method, or2. Not use a charity initiative to get more page likes.Keep on the giving, it really is cool. Awesome.

  5. Karen Lancaster says:

    Hi, I’m one of the fundraisers from Sparrow Schools and while I appreciate all that has been said, and appreciate all of your support to Sparrow Schools, I value the help from Incredible Connection. As Terry said, this is part of an ongoing relationship, not just a once-off "donation". Incredible Connection have helped us with contributions in the past and are planning to help us in different ways in the future.Obviously, they are trying to increase the following on their Facebook page, however we were fully aware of it from the beginning.Thanks Don, for your support of our Educate a Child Programme, which is truly a huge help to transforming young lives.

  6. Thanks Don,I guess in this situation we may need to agree to disagree. Unfortunately it became apparent that many people "like" (pun intended) to put their hand up to get involved, but don’t want to, or can’t actually afford to give. This is where the "like" a charity option becomes a successful way of getting those people involved and aware the charities out there and their needs. So in summary – Yes we do and will continue to, involve charities in our Facebook drives and conversely we accept your suggestion, continue looking at other methods to involve and engage our customers in social responsibility drives. It is in this spirit I invite you to meet with me and join forces with us for the “GO GREEN” champagne we will be running at the Kolonnade shopping centre from 5th -10th July, and help raise awareness for the Ewaste crisis in South Africa?! You have my email address….

  7. Don Packett says:

    Hi Karen, as mentioned to Terry, I have no issue with the "giving", it’s purely in the "how". Extremely glad you guys have sponsors to help out, it’s fantastic.

  8. Louisa says:

    Don, I totally agree with you here. I’m not sure if Incredible chose to do the competition this way to increase likes, and I hope not. It just made me dislike them more because it feels unethical. In the end I "liked" the page because I wanted to support Sparrow but I would never have chosen to like it otherwise…

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