Saturday, October 31, 2009

Raising Madonna?

Anonymous Guest Post (edited):

The charity 'Raising Malawi' (PR firm) founded by Madonna AND TWO OTHERS over three years ago held fund raisers for over two years before finally getting registered as a non-profit. In other words, Madonna and the others were free to squander the lion's share of that funding any way they saw fit for those first two years while she pleaded with her fans worldwide for donations along the way.

In the meantime, she toured the world to promote her latest CD and raked in another $280,000,000 gross in just over 12 months. To date, the basic financial info for 'Raising Malawi' still hasn't been posted on the website or anywhere else. The 'progress' page only tells of the collective works by over 20 separate charities, each of which has their own sources of funding and may have received some sort of promotion or support from 'Raising Malawi' in order to be considered 'partners'. But there is no indication is made how much of their funding came from 'Raising Malawi' or how much of their progress if any could be directly attributed to 'Raising Malawi'.

The fans/donors have no clue how many millions of dollars were raised in that first two years, no clue how much Madonna herself chipped in, and no clue how the money was spent before they finally registered as a non-profit. No clue what fraction of funding or works listed on that 'progress' page could be directly attributed to 'Raising Malawi'. Nothing to go on but the vague and very misleading word of Madonna.

For example: She states in her latest promotional video that she will match any contributions made to her charity (PR firm) "dollar for dollar". However, there is a disclaimer posted on the website for 'Raising Malawi' that Madonna's total contribution will not exceed $100,000. And that is not per donation. It's a maximum of $100,000 TOTAL. Less than a single day's pay for Madonna. Also much less then she will surely rake in by promoting her own CDs, DVDs, and 'for profit' merchandise through this massive worldwide publicity stunt.

I called the office of 'Raising Malawi' in an attempt to verify some sort of efficient financial operation (310) 867-2881 or (888) 72-DONOR). These details are ALWAYS made available by legitimate charities to their potential donors. But not in this case. I got nothing but recorded messages and hangups. So I did some research on my own. 'Raising Malawi' still hasn't been given any kind of rating by ANY independent charity watchdog like The vast overwhelming majority of 'celebrity' foundations never are. In general, they are inefficient and riddled with corruption. Like the promotion of CDs, world tours, commercial websites, entire lines of jewelry (not just the single piece from which proceeds are donated), and high end fashion retail flagship stores. Celebrity foundations are also notorious for squandering much of their funding on private jet rides and super high end accommodations for their managers, PR crews, and celebrity figure heads. Such practices are not illegal even for a non-profits but not ethical, noble or efficient by any stretch of the imagination.

In general, 'celebrity' foundations are a twisted inefficient mutant of charity, self-promotion, exotic travel, and PR crap -- or at best poorly managed. Still, they compete for funding with more efficient legitimate charities who do more work with less money. The celebrity figure heads often disregard the primary donors, co-founders, and managers, take personal credit for any collective work done, and seek maximum publicity shortly before or after the release of their own commercial projects. Its a sham. So if its not rated, then don't support it. Instead, support a top rated charity like any of those given high ratings at

Remember Sting's big concert from back in 2006 that was supposedly to help raise money to save the rainforests? According to GreenDaily the concert certainly raised money, but the several million dollar profit made was not given to charity as it should have been.

Charity watchdogs did a review and less than half of the money from that concert ended up going to rainforest saving charities.


Anonymous said...

Some more selling out of 'good will': From '04' to'05', Bono, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Chris Rock, other well known celebrities, and major coorporations like 'Apple' and 'The Gap' managed to raise about $18,000,000 for 'humanity' through their very well publicized 'Red Campaign'. Which basically involved the promotion and sales of various commercial products like T-shirts, computers, cell phones, and I-pods. A portion of the profits were to be shared with an effort to fight AIDS in Africa. The entire promotion was hailed in the name of 'good will'. The merchandise got sold. Every celebrity involved got their 'good will' kudos plastered all over the media worldwide. Here is the problem. THE AD CAMPAIGN ALONE COST ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. IT WAS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT A MASSIVE SALES PROMOTION DRESSED UP IN THE NAME OF 'HUMANITY'. In other words, that 'good will' would have done a lot more 'good' if they would have just donated the ad money to begin with. Then again, it was never about 'humanity', efficiency, or effect. That was just a ploy to get people to buy more over-priced CRAP. Here is another example: In the fall of '01', Jennifer Lopez was invited to take part in a music video for charity. The effort was hailed as a benefit for victims of AIDS and 9/11. Well, Jennifer Lopez doesn't do ANYTHING for free. She DEMANDED AND RECIEVED the following for her exclusive use: A 45 foot trailer with a TV, VCR, stereo, an assortment of CDs, a white dressing room with lavish all white decor, all white furniture, and an assortment of exotic fruits and desserts. All of this was necessary just to get her sorry ass in the studeo for 30 minutes. FOR CHARITY. Of course, the organizers are partly to blame for selling out to a 'diva'. In fact, I have my doubts about the entire project. Charity just isn't what it used to be. Most of it has gone commercial. SOLD OUT.

AdoptAuthor said...

Yes, it is indeed despicable that people would use charity as a front, nd we as consumers have to be very aware and careful. Always check what percent of your dollar goes tot he actual charitable work. SOS Children's Village is very good and also Save the Children.

But Madonna has taken it one step further and actually taken children from their families to promote herself, and that's far worse than taking money, IMHO!

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