Tuesday, July 17

SMUCF Camp 2007!

Hello all! Our annual SMUCF Freshman Orientation Camp 2007 is upon us again!It's gonna be held from 23 to 26 July (Mon-Thurs) and will held at SMU's School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS). Sign up from now to 8 Jul and pay only $30! Camp fees will be $35 thereafter.

Doesn't matter if you're a freshman/sophomore/junior or senior. If you're a fellow brother and sister in Christ, or if you want to find out more about God's plan for all of us, sign up now for great time of learning about Da Word, fun and games, and friends. (and lots of late night suppers) =)
If you have any questions, and if you want to sign up RIGHT NOW (please do!) drop Evangeline a mail at evangelineh.2005@accountancy.smu.edu.sg

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Monday, July 2


This article by David Pitchford echoes what I feel about Bono's Product (Red) project.

"TODAY'S REPORTS about the RED campaign make no sense. They say $100 million was spent on promoting the RED campaign, but that this only generated $18 million for charity. As if $82 million was wasted, or unethically squirelled away by the companies involved.

Amex Red cardBut the journalists have confused commercial investment with investments in fundraising. Most of the investments in RED are commercial - and the charity of choice has benefitted enormously.

Someone tell me - please - if I'm over-simplifying:

The input
$100 million was spent (mostly in America) by Gap, Apple, Motorola, AMEX to advertise their RED-franchised products. This represents large advertising budgets allotted to products. If they weren't spent on these particular products they would have been spent on others. The companies wouldn't have dreamed of donating this amount of money to charity. That's the job of their CSR departments with their tiny, separate budgets.
Cost to charity: Bono, Oprah, Christy etc's expenses

The output
$18 million - a fraction of the profit generated by those advertising campaigns - has gone to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria - five times the amount given to the Fund by the private sector in four years. This amount effectively came out of thin air. It's any charity's dream. Only tsunamis and hurricanes usually stimulate such donations. And HIV/AIDS, especially in Africa, is a cause that's mighty hard to sell.

There's also the fact that a handful of world-class companies were forced by RED contracts into more ethical and thoughtful practices, with Motorola for example printing the packaging for its phones in Africa.

And not least, millions more people have been made aware of the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS problem in Africa.
Benefit to charity: $18 million, and awareness-raising across the entire Western world.

If you really care
It's just a shame about the charity...

* If you like RED products, buy them, but don't pretend you're giving to charity. We're talking pennies here.
* If you really honestly care about HIV/AIDS in developing countries, you should know this: there are question marks over the expense account of the Global Fund's departing CEO (who allegedly spends $376 on average on taxis every day) and, by extension, the ethos of the whole organisation when it comes to looking after donors' money.
* I prefer what I read about the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (profiled here), which happens to get funding from the Global Fund - or other aid agencies, like Oxfam (profile) which have HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. Make out your direct debit to them - and chuck the Mail in the bin."

You can read more of his articles at intelligentgiving.com