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