Did we stop you beating your wife?

Probably not.

Speaking personally, I was only vaguely aware of The White Ribbon Foundation through seeing a poster in the kitchen area of an office in which I was recently working.

Some male colleagues had signed their names on the poster under statements pledging to not hit their partners and to speak up should they see someone they know committing domestic violence or abuse.

My reaction was to think it was a pointless exercise but also a good scam; trick and bully corporates into paying the White Ribbon “protection fee” to have a representative come in and give a day’s awareness and have the company name added to the online register of organisations that don’t encourage their staff to beat up their spouses.

Domestic violence and abuse is one of those unopposable causes isn’t it? “What, you don’t agree we shouldn’t beat women up? What kind of a monster are you?”.

I’m somewhat surprised therefore by the financial collapse of the charity. Prima facie, this was a business model that should have been simplicity itself to maintain and earn a good living from.

Bill’s Opinion

In recent years, the corporate world has become a target for charity shakedown operations of which the White Ribbon Foundation seems to have been one of the more obvious.

The model seems to work along the lines of;

  1. Define a worthy cause and frame it in terms that are incapable of being opposed without risk of catastrophic publicity,
  2. Offer corporate “training” at an inflated fee,
  3. Request “donations” in return for being named as a partner/ally/supporter.
  4. Rinse and repeat.

Examples I can think of operating right now include all our favourite subjects; climate change, LGBTQptanyangkipperbang, indigenous businesses, gender equity, etc.

The credit for the original idea seems to be due to the infamous American race-baiting politician, Jesse Jackson, as described in the book “Shakedown” (the customer reviews are entertaining).

One wonders whether Jackson has ever thought to claim royalties from the numerous copycat charities operating around the world these days? Perhaps that’s a level of chutzpah too far even for him.

5 Replies to “Did we stop you beating your wife?”

  1. Just like disciplining your children, the extent of corporal punishment that you decide to meat out on the missus, is a private and personal matter.

    I have now changed my view of millenial fads and trends, irrespective of the level of nonsense, we Boomers need to see them for what they are, a huge source of future earnings.

    I have a nifty 11 page, corporate governance training program, policy, procedure, regulatory compliance and board and senior management awareness training that all prudent high end millennial entrepreneurs need to tick off on.

    It has the usuals 7 or so variables, company name, thresholds for disclosing of gifts, donations and potential fraud and a Shred everything in 5min button.

    I’ll licence it to you for 15% of all revenue raised by it.

    Nice poster, dude.

    1. I don’t know whether it was ever shown here, but in the 80s there was an Alan Bleasdale series on Channel 4, called GBH.

      There’s a great scene (which I’ve tried to find on YouTube previously) where the corrupt Mayor (played by Robert Lindsay) is trying to shred the evidence before the police get into the building. The line is something like, “God, why did I have to save money getting a cheap shredder!”

      1. Emergency Preparedness 101

        There are many other massive value adding and readily implementable techniques in the training package, I know that your clients will love our instant Whistlerblower silencing cloud chamber as well.

  2. In my rainbow country, abuse of women and children is big and very real. Our beloved government has pledged to put a billion Rand into stopping it (about 17 dollars in your money). I expect this to be spent on massive salaries for corporate executives who chose the right person to back in party leadership contests. Nothing will change.

    1. I’m very cynical about any charity handling large sums of money. The temptation is too great for it to become a wealth transfer exercise to people holding the purse strings.

      I did a little consultancy for a large charity here and was gobsmacked to learn most of their revenue comes from various government grants.

      If the public knew how much their favourite charitable cause had already received via their taxes, I suspect they’d be far less generous with their residual income.

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