Consumed by saturdayxiii
Nov 30, 2021 • 2 min read • #charity #nonprofit #thoughts

Tuesday Giving

Charity at its core reflects a symptomatic problem with capitalism. There are individuals throughout the world that are desperate for the most basic necessities in life and have to rely on the generosity of others. The very idea of needing charity is a reflection of a capitalist society that promotes an ‘everybody for themselves’ ethos, leaving many people to fight for scraps.

Social media made it clear that today was “Giving Tuesday” and I felt stupid for not knowing about it in advance; especially since I work in social media for a non-profit. I was also surprised when Inclusive Canada directly posted that charities are a capitalist trap. Now, I have complained about the capitalist tendacies of the organizations that I have been involved with, but this is the first I’ve heard it said by someone else, let alone said on behalf of a non-profit organization. Or, I guess I should say “grassroots” organization. I don’t like that term. That is to say, “I don’t like hearing” it. I like saying it, because I know that my organization is grassroots, but I’ve already seen big for-profit fronts steal it. It’s like the term “natural”. You know what it’s suppose to mean in health contexts, but its technical definition extends beyond that and can be used by most anyone. However it seems that ideas are growing so we have need for some more distinguishing terminology. I’ll just have to wait and see what sticks.

I’m brand new to how others are viewing this topic. When I’ve complained about capitalism in my personal non-profits I’ve often described it as “Boomerism”. Old ideas of societal survival from archiac board members who may have lost touch with communial issues. However, I’m getting the sense that the public discourse is more aimed at the organizations partnered with your national chain grocery stores, asking for a buck or two as you try to rush through the self-checkout. That’s definitely a different vibe from my local foodbank and houseless-community focused thrift store, but I think a lot of the critiques will still apply to organizations at the seed level.

Particularily the point that people shouldn’t be made to depend on a service. That’s not a “no handouts” line from a right-wingers book of conservatism, that’s a progressive community POV that people should depend on each other. Neighbors taking care of neighbors, with out tupperware or sweetlegs providing the motivation. Maybe that particular point is actually the whole point. There’s a lot to build off.

My current mindset is that real chariety should probably always be done through free education. Any material benifit can be viewed as a by product to the more valuable experience that can be passed through the community.

Post by: saturdayxiii