Recently Wounded Warrior Project rejected the effort of a Liberty Baptist Church to raise money for their Charity.
While I believe WWP to be a valuable Charity which I would recommend supporting… this is when Shame should be appropriately and liberally applied. It is also the correct function of media. A function that they sadly most often ignore or avoid.
First however, let me explain how I look at Charity.
The most important Charity in your life should be you. If you can’t provide everything you need for yourself first then you have no business donating anything to anyone. If you are deficit in any area of your life that requires someone else to subsidize you… your family, your neighbors, the government (read: your family, neighbors and complete strangers) or… a CHARITY, then you need to spend all your time working to achieve self-reliance, not maintaining your status of mortgaging others people’s lives by perpetuating your dependence.
Now let’s assume you are in a place where charitable donations make sense. Excellent! Pick out the ones you think help the most and go for it.
Which brings me back to Wounded Warriors Project.
This isn’t the first time we have witnessed a Charity whose stated mission we admired and stated goals was delivered through their actions. As we would hope it to be.
It is also not the first time a successful charitable endeavor has drifted away from their originally stated mission and been influenced by reading too many marketing books on Brand Equity and listening to too many branding guru’s. As it should not be.
They begin to forget that the only equity they should enjoy… and the only equity they should desire is that which is derived from their actions… in this case helping wounded military veterans with medical and re-assimilation concerns.
What appears to have happened here is some marketing folks found their way into/onto the board of WWP and took the ship off course. They have decided to chase the dollars that could be gleaned from “lending” their name to organizations for a fee. I’m still okay with this until they completely lose sight of what their original mission was… to help wounded warriors.
In other words…
WWP shouldn’t care if the money came from Al Jazeera, Atheists United, the local Satan’s Disciples Motorcycle Club or the Jesus Christ himself. The mission of Wounded Warriors is to help… our Wounded Warriors.
(After the offending parties are removed, the new board members are welcome to steal the above line for their fundraising materials.)
The system of Shame works… because it allows the rest of us to know where to apply pressure to organizations that we care about who have lost their focus and thus their value.
Let’s hope that Wounded Warrior Project will find their way back.