Transcript: Chasing Charity | Aug 24, 2017

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a gray blazer over a pink shirt.

A caption on screen reads "Chasing charity. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says SUMMER IS PRIME TIME FOR ALL
THOSE CHARITY RUNS, RIDES,
FESTIVALS, AND CHALLENGES.
WITH SO MANY OPTIONS IN PLACE
FOR YOUR HARD-EARNED DOLLARS, IT
CAN BE TRICKY TO KNOW WHERE TO
PUT YOUR PLEDGES.
JOINING US NOW WITH SOME ADVICE
ON HOW TO NARROW DOWN THE
OPTIONS AND UNDERSTAND HOW
CHARITIES NUDGE YOU TO DONATE
MORE, ANN ROSENFIELD, PRINCIPAL
AT CHARITABLY SPEAKING...

Ann is in her sixties, with gray hair in a bun. She's wearing a bright blue dress.

Nam continues AND NICOLA LACETERA, ONE OF THE
CHIEF SCIENTISTS AT BEHAVIOUR
ECONOMICS IN ACTION AT ROTMAN AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

Nicola is in his early forties, shaven headed, with a stubble. He's wearing a gray shirt.

Nam continues WELCOME TO YOU BOTH.

Ann says THANK YOU.

Nicola says PLEASURE.

Nam says BEFORE WE START, ANN, WHAT IS
CHARITABLY SPEAKING?

The caption changes to "Ann Rosenfield. Charitably Speaking."

Ann says CHARITABLY SPEAKING IS MY BLOG
AND IT'S MY SMALL CONSULTING
FIRM BUT IT'S REALLY A WAY FOR
ME TO TALK OUTSIDE OF MY FORMAL
EMPLOYMENT AS A CHARITY EMPLOYEE
SO I CAN TALK MORE
INDEPENDENTLY.

NAM SAYS AND NICO, WE HEAR
CHARITY, CHARITY.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A CHARITY?

The caption changes to "Nicola Lacetera. Behaviour Economics in Action at Rotman."
Then, it changes again to "Why bother?"

Nicola says WELL, A CHARITY IS ANY
ORGANIZATION, INSTITUTION THAT
COLLECTS MONEY FOR SEVERAL
CAUSES ESSENTIALLY, THROUGH
DIFFERENT STRATEGIES THAT THEY
IMPLEMENT.

Nam says WE'RE GOING TO TALK MORE ABOUT
THOSE STRATEGIES BUT ACCORDING
TO STATISTICS CANADA...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Why Canadians donate to charity."

Nam reads data from the slate and says
ONE OF THE
REASONS PEOPLE GIVE MONEY TO
CHARITY, THE MOST POPULAR
RESPONSES WERE, THEY FELT
COMPASSION TOWARDS PEOPLE IN
NEED.
TO HELP A CAUSE IN WHICH THEY
PERSONALLY BELIEVED.
NICO, ARE THOSE THE REAL REASONS?

Nicola says THEY CERTAINLY PLAY A BIG ROLE.
I MEAN, PEOPLE, LET'S SAY, NEED
TO FEEL THAT THEY'RE HELPING AND
SOMEONE OR SOME ORGANIZATION,
SOME POPULATION IS BETTER OFF
BECAUSE OF DONATIONS.
THERE ARE MANY OTHER REASONS.
MANY OTHER MOTIVATIONS THAT
RESEARCHERS HAVE FOUND LEAD
PEOPLE TO DONATE SO WHAT WE JUST
MENTIONED ARE WHAT WE NORMALLY
CALL PURE ALTRUISM.
ALL WE CARE ABOUT IS THE
WELFARE, THE WELL-BEING OF
ANOTHER PERSON OR POPULATION,
CAUSE, AND SO ON.
BUT SOMETIMES THERE IS ALSO WHAT
WE CALL... MAYBE IT SEEMS LIKE A
NEGATIVE CONNOTATION... IMPURE
ALTRUISM.
I PREFER TO CALL IT WARM GLOW.
SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME, MAKES
US FEEL GOOD ABOUT.
I DONATE AND I FEEL PERSONALLY
BETTER ABOUT AND THIS HAS
IMPLICATIONS FOR WHAT WE SHOULD
EXPECT PEOPLE TO DONATE AND HOW
TO ADVERTISE A PARTICULAR, FOR
EXAMPLE, DONATION CAMPAIGN.
OF COURSE, WE WANT TO TELL
PEOPLE DONATE TO HELP SUCH AND
SUCH BUT ALSO DONATE TO FEEL
BETTER WITH YOURSELF AND ALSO,
IT HAS AN IMPLICATION FOR HOW
MUCH I WANT TO DONATE.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF I KNOW THAT YOU
DONATED A LOT OF MONEY, SAY,
MAYBE DON'T FEEL COMPELLED TO
DONATE THAT MUCH BECAUSE I KNOW
THAT YOUR DONATION IS HELPING
SOMEONE BUT MAYBE I WANT TO BE
THE ONE DONATING AS WELL BECAUSE
THAT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD SO AT
THE END OF THE DAY, WE END UP
DONATING MORE JUST TO MAKE
OURSELVES FEEL BETTER BUT WE
ALSO HELP SOME PEOPLE MORE.

Nam says IS THERE A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT, A
SPECIFIC AMOUNT THAT YOU NEED TO
DONATE IN ORDER TO GET THAT WARM GLOW?

The caption changes to "Nicola Lacetera. University of Toronto."

Nicola says I DON'T THINK THERE IS ANY
SPECIFIC RESEARCH ABOUT THAT BUT
YOU KNOW, MAYBE IT DOESN'T HAVE
TO BE A LOT.
BUT DEFINITELY PEOPLE LIKE THE
IDEA OF DONATING THEMSELVES
RATHER THAN SOMEONE ELSE EVEN IF
THE EFFECT IS THE SAME.

Nam says AND I GUESS SOME PEOPLE ALSO
DONATE BECAUSE THEY DO GET TAX
BREAKS RIGHT, ANN?

Ann says WELL, YOU KNOW, INTERESTINGLY,
YOU KNOW, AS NICO WAS JUST
TALKING ABOUT YOU KNOW, THE WARM
GLOW, CONSISTENTLY WHEN YOU LOOK
AT RESEARCH, YOU KNOW, FOR THE
TOP REASONS, PEOPLE ARE
MOTIVATED BY RELIGION.
PEOPLE ARE MOTIVATED BY
REPAYMENT.
"CANADA'S TREATED ME WELL AND I
WANT TO GIVE BACK."
PEOPLE ARE MOTIVATED BY THE
SENSE OF REALLY WANTING TO HELP
OUR COMMUNITY.
TAX REASONS IS VERY, VERY LOW ON
THE LIST.

NAM SAYS REALLY?

Ann says LIKE NUMBER 6 AND FAR BELOW
NUMBER 6.
WHERE I SEE TAX REASONS HAVING A
BIG IMPACT MAYBE IN THE SIZE OF
THE GIFT OR THE TYPE OF THE GIFT
SO THE PERSON HAS DECIDED
THEY'RE GOING TO GIVE BUT I
DEFINITELY HAVE OBSERVED THAT
FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN THERE WAS A
CHANGE IN TERMS OF GIFTS OF
SECURITIES AND THE CAPITAL GAINS
TAX, SIZE OF GIFTS I FOUND, EVEN
SMALL SOCIAL SERVICE CHARITIES,
WENT UP DRAMATICALLY.
AS AN EXAMPLE, I WAS WORKING AT
A VERY SMALL SOCIAL SERVICE
CHARITY, WE GOT OUR FIRST
25,000 dollar GIFT FROM AN INDIVIDUAL
AS A GIFT OF SECURITIES SO TAX
REASONS ARE, ACCORDING TO
STATISTICS CANADA AND OTHER
RESEARCH, ARE VERY LOW MOTIVATOR
BUT THEY CAN INFLUENCE THE WAY
IN WHICH THE PERSON GIVES AND
ALSO MAY INFLUENCE THE SIZE
THEY'RE ABLE TO GIVE.

NAM SAYS NICO?

Nicola says YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT.
I MEAN, AS WE SAY, THE MARGIN,
YOU KNOW, IT MEANS SOMETHING,
THAT YOU CAN SAVE SOME MONEY ON
YOUR TAXES BUT I GUESS MOST
DONATIONS ARE ALSO VERY SMALL
AMOUNTS SO AT THE END OF THE
DAY, IT'S NOT GOING TO MAKE SUCH
BIG OF A DIFFERENCE.
BUT EVERYTHING MIGHT AFFECT HOW
YOU DONATE AND WHEN TO DONATE.

NAM SAYS WHAT ABOUT BUSINESSES?

Nicola says WELL, BUSINESSES I GUESS IS A
LITTLE DIFFERENT BECAUSE THERE
ARE, YOU KNOW, THE WRITE-OFF MAY
BE BIGGER BUT EVEN IN THAT CASE,
I WOULD SAY IT'S DEFINITELY NOT
THE ONLY REASON BUSINESSES DO IT.
THERE ARE MANY OTHERS.
YOU KNOW, IT'S... THERE MAY BE
SOME SPECIFIC WILL OF THE
ENTREPRENEUR, THE FOUNDER, THE
COMPANY BECAUSE THEY CARE ABOUT
SOMETHING.
THEY WANT TO GIVE BACK.
THAT'S DEFINITELY A BIG REASON.
IT'S ALSO A VERY POWERFUL WAY OF
ADVERTISE YOUR COMPANY OR EVEN
TO DIVERSIFY YOURSELF FROM
COMPETITORS, RIGHT?
SO THERE ARE...

NAM SAYS SO IT COULD BE LIKE A
SELF-SERVING...

Nicola says IT COULD BE SELF-SERVING WHICH
AGAIN, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG
WITH IT TO THE EXTENT THAT IT
ALSO HELPS OTHERS SO IF YOU BUY,
YOU KNOW, PAIR OF SHOES FROM MY
COMPANY, ANOTHER PAIR OF SHOES
GO TO A POOR KID IN LATIN
AMERICA OR SOMEWHERE ELSE.
IT'S A NICE THING.

Nam says AND WHAT ABOUT LEGACY?
I'M CURIOUS TO KNOW BECAUSE I
KNOW SOME PEOPLE WHO DO HAVE A
LOT OF MONEY AND THEY CAN
DONATE, GIVE AWAY MILLIONS AND
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE THEN
THEY HAVE A BUILDING WITH THEIR
NAME ON IT.

The caption changes to "Ann Rosenfield, @AnnBRosenfield."

Ann says SO THE REASONS PEOPLE GIVE ARE
MANY AND COMPLEX.
LEGACY'S INTERESTING BECAUSE IT
CAN TALK ABOUT THINGS LIKE A
NAME ON A BUILDING.
THERE ARE JUST AS MANY
PHILANTHROPISTS I HAVE MET WHO
WILL NAME THE BUILDING MAYBE
AFTER ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE
FAMILY, MAYBE AFTER A PARENT OR
A GRANDPARENT BECAUSE THEY
ACTUALLY DON'T WANT THE HIGH
VISIBILITY SO THERE'S A LOT OF
MOTIVATIONS FOR WHY PEOPLE GIVE
BUT THE OTHER PIECE WHICH I
THINK IS ALSO INTERESTING IS
PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT ALSO AS
WELL, THEIR OWN LEGACY IN TERMS
OF GIFTS IN THEIR WILL.
THAT'S AN AREA THAT'S VERY
UNDER-DISCUSSED IN TERMS OF
CHARITABLE GIVING BUT IT'S
ACTUALLY A QUITE SUBSTANTIAL
AREA FOR ALL OF US.
IN CANADA AND THE U.S., IT
VARIES FROM YEAR TO YEAR BUT
IT'S ABOUT 4 percent TO 7 percent OF
CHARITABLE GIFTS SO IT'S QUITE A
LARGE AMOUNT BUT IT'S NOT
SOMETHING WE REALLY TALK A LOT
ABOUT.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Nam says WE'VE TALKED ABOUT WHY SOME
PEOPLE GIVE.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REASONS WHY
OTHERS WON'T GIVE TO CHARITY?

Ann says SO, PEOPLE DON'T GIVE TO CHARITY
FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS.
SO WE'VE TALKED ABOUT KIND
OF... YOU KNOW, I TALKED ABOUT
PEOPLE WHO ARE REPAYERS.
YOU'RE ONLY TALKING IN TERMS OF
DONATIONS, ACCORDING TO STATS
CANADA, YOU'RE ONLY TALKING
ABOUT 20 percent-ISH OF CANADIANS WHO
DON'T GIVE ANYTHING TO CHARITY
SO IT'S A RELATIVELY SMALL
GROUP.
SOME PEOPLE MAY FEEL THAT THEY
DON'T BENEFIT AT ALL FROM
CHARITIES.
SOME PEOPLE MAY NOT BE AWARE.
YOU KNOW, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
CHARITY, PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE
CHARITIES ARE AS LARGE AS
UNIVERSITIES AND HOSPITALS.
THEY ARE ALSO AS SMALL AS
PERHAPS YOUR LOCAL GIRLS' SOCCER
TEAM SO I BELIEVE OFTEN PEOPLE
MAY NOT EVEN REALIZE THAT EVEN
IF THEIR MOTIVATION IS JUST,
WELL, "I DON'T GET ANYTHING SO I
DON'T FEEL THAT I NEED TO
CONTRIBUTE ANYTHING."
THEY MAY NOT REALIZE THAT THERE
ARE CHARITIES TOUCHING THEIR
LIVES IN LOTS OF WAYS OR
CHARITIES BEING A BIT OF THAT
RESERVE FUND SO THAT, YOU KNOW,
WHEN YOU NEED BLOOD, YOU
CERTAINLY ARE GOING TO BE HAPPY
THAT CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES IS
THERE.
WHEN YOU MAYBE HAVE A PARTICULAR
ILLNESS OR DISABILITY, YOU'RE
GOING TO BE GLAD THAT THERE ARE
THESE VARIOUS CHARITIES THAT CAN
REALLY HELP YOU WITH YOUR CAUSE
THAT HAVE BEEN DOING RESEARCH
THAT MAY ALLOW YOU TO RECOVER
MORE QUICKLY OR LEAD A HEALTHIER
LIFE.

Nam says WE SHOULD ALSO MENTION THAT TVO
ITSELF IS A CHARITY.

ANN SAYS YES, YOU ARE.

Nam says AND OUR MISSION IS OBVIOUSLY TO
EDUCATE PEOPLE THROUGH LEARNING.

ANN SAYS EXACTLY.

Nam says ANYWAY, I'M ALSO... SOMETHING I
SEE A LOT, ESPECIALLY ON SOCIAL
MEDIA IS KICKSTARTER.
DOES KICKSTARTER... SOMETHING LIKE
KICKSTARTER... DOES THAT COUNT AS
A CHARITY, NICO?

Nicola says THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.
THERE IS SOME DEBATE ABOUT IT.
SO IN PRINCIPLE, IT'S NOT, IN
THE SENSE THAT YOU ARE SOME SORT
OF INVESTOR, A VERY SPECIAL
INVESTOR INTO AN INITIATIVE OR
SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE ARE TRYING
TO DEVELOP AND SO ON, AS WELL AS
ANOTHER, WHAT WE CALL
CROWDFUNDING INITIATIVES AND
PLATFORMS AND SO ON.
TO A LARGE EXTENT HOWEVER, IT
ENDS UP BEING SOME FORM OF
DONATION.
SOMETIMES YOU GET SOMETHING ELSE
IN EXCHANGE.
LIKE YOU GET THE PRODUCT BEFORE
OTHERS, FOR EXAMPLE.
BUT YES, TO A LARGE EXTENT, IT
LOOKS VERY MUCH LIKE DONATIONS.
DO YOU THINK THAT IT TAKES, WHEN
PEOPLE GIVE MONEY TO SOMETHING
LIKE KICKSTARTER OR GO FUND ME,

Nam says THAT THAT MONEY IS TAKEN AWAY
FROM OTHER CHARITABLE... OTHER CHARITIES?

Ann says I THINK THE BIGGER QUESTION, I
THINK THAT'S AN IMPORTANT
QUESTION AND THERE IS SOME
RESEARCH THAT SAYS GENERALLY,
CHARITABLE GIVING IS MORE
CLOSELY TIED TO THE... OR
CORRELATES TO THE TSX SO WHEN
THE TSX IS HIGH, PEOPLE TEND TO
GIVE MORE AND WHEN IT'S LOW,
THEY TEND TO GIVE LESS SO IT
SEEMS TO BE MORE RELATED TO THE
ECONOMY.
INTERESTINGLY...

NAM SAYS REALLY?

Ann says YES.
INTERESTINGLY, SOME RESEARCH
JUST CAME OUT LAST WEEK FROM
GIVING USA SO IT'S LOOKING AT
GIVING IN THE U.S. IN 2016.
AND GIVING WENT UP BY
4... ALMOST 4 percent IN THE U.S. AND
THAT'S ALL THAT ACTIVITY
WE'RE SEEING.
ALL THOSE MARCHES AND ALL THOSE
EFFORTS ARE REALLY DRIVING WHAT
IS, YOU KNOW, FOR SOMETHING
THAT'S FAIRLY SET IN TERMS OF
RELATIVE TO THE ECONOMY, THE
AMOUNT OF MONEY PEOPLE ARE
GIVING, WE'RE SEEING IN THE
U.S., A 4 percent INCREASE AND THAT'S
MOSTLY 25 dollar DONATIONS.
LIKE, IT'S SORT OF A
DEMOCRATIZATION OF PHILANTHROPY.
SO CUSTOMARILY, I WOULD SAY TO
YOU THAT, "SURE, GIVING TO A GO
FUND ME OR A KICKSTARTER MIGHT
DECREASE THE PIE A LITTLE BIT."
WE'RE IN AN INTERESTING TIME AND
I'M NOT SURE THAT SOME OF THE
RULES ARE STILL GOING TO BE
APPLYING AT LEAST FOR NOW WITH
THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT WE'VE GOT
DOWN SOUTH.

NAM SAYS AND NICO?

Nicola says YEAH, I MEAN, THE ISSUE OF
SUBSTITUTION THAT YOU ARE
RAISING IS IMPORTANT.
IT'S REALLY BROADER THAN JUST
RELATED TO CROWDFUNDING.
DEFINITELY, WHEN I DONATE, YOU
KNOW, EVEN SORT OF MENTALLY, I
MIGHT DEFINE A BUDGET FOR HOW
MUCH I WANT TO DONATE THIS
YEAR, SAY...AND...

NAM SAYS DO PEOPLE ACTUALLY THINK
LIKE THAT?
LIKE THEY HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT?

Nicola says YEAH, YEAH.
I MEAN, THERE IS THIS WHOLE
THEORY OF MENTAL ACCOUNTING SO I
SET SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR... IT
COULD BE CHARITY.
IT COULD BE, YOU KNOW, CLOTHES
OR GROCERIES AND SO ON AND I
STICK TO IT, EVEN IF IT'S NOT
OPTIMAL AT SOME POINT.
MAYBE, I REALLY WANT SOMETHING
TO EAT BUT I ALREADY SPENT A SET
AMOUNT FOR TODAY TO EAT SO I
DON'T SPEND IT, WHICH IS THE
BEST THING TO DO.
BUT IT APPLIES TO CHARITY FOR
SURE AND SO I THINK THERE ARE
TWO EFFECTS.
ONE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF
SUBSTITUTION, RIGHT?
WHICH IS NOT NECESSARILY OPTIMAL
SO ONE CASE, I THINK IT
WAS... WHAT KIND OF CROWDFUNDING
PLATFORM BUT SOMEONE SAID,
"I NEED SOME MONEY TO
DO A SALAD," RIGHT?
AND THIS PERSON WAS ASKING FOR
25 dollars I THINK, AND THEY COLLECTED
20,000 dollars, RIGHT?
SO ONE MIGHT THINK THAT'S A
WASTE OF MONEY.
THAT 20,000 dollars COULD HAVE BEEN
USED FOR SOMETHING.
DEFINITELY MORE USEFUL THAN...

Nam says BUT ALSO KIND OF LIKE A MOCKERY
OF THE...

Ann says IT BECOMES ALSO A MOCKERY ON TOP
OF IT BUT AT THE SAME TIME,
THESE PLATFORMS ALSO ATTRACTS A
LOT OF INTEREST SO THE PIE GETS
BIGGER, RIGHT?
AND SO MAYBE SOME SLICES ARE TOO
BIG BUT THE WHOLE PIE OF PEOPLE
INTERESTED IN DONATING BECOMES
SO MUCH BIGGER THAT AT THE END,
EVERYBODY BENEFITS FROM IT.
SO IT'S RELATED TO WHAT YOU WERE SAYING.
THERE IS MORE INTEREST, AS YOU
WERE SAYING, AND SO AT THE END
OF THE DAY, THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF
DONATION WILL GO UP ANYWAY.

Ann says I THINK ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT
YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT IN TERMS
OF THESE KIND OF CROWDFUNDING
CAMPAIGNS, SURE, ABSOLUTELY
THERE'S THE CASE WHERE THEY
RAISE THE 20,000 dollars.
THE THING I THINK YOU NEED TO
BEAR IN MIND IS, THESE ARE
PEOPLE PUTTING THEMSELVES
FORWARD SO NO ONE IS CHECKING
THE STORY SO SOMEONE CAN... AND
I'M NOT SAYING YOU KNOW,
PROBABLY YOU KNOW IN EVERY SCALE
OF THE UNIVERSE, THERE ARE ONE
PERSON THAT'S AN IDIOT AND 999
PEOPLE WHO ARE AWESOME, RIGHT?
BUT NO ONE'S DOUBLE-CHECKING
THOSE STORIES.
IS THAT PERSON REALLY AN
IMPOVERISHED UNIVERSITY STUDENT?
IS THIS PERSON REALLY A WIDOW
WITH TWO SMALL CHILDREN?
LIKE, NO ONE'S DOUBLE-CHECKING
ON THAT.
NO ONE'S SCREENING THEM IN ANY
WAY, SO ONE OF THE THINGS YOU
JUST HAVE TO BEAR IN MIND, AS IS
THE CASE IN ANY TIME YOU SPEND
MONEY IS, HOW MUCH INFORMATION
YOU HAVE AND HOW MUCH
ACCOUNTABILITY DO YOU HAVE.
SO YOU JUST WANT TO BEAR THAT IN
MIND IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT
GIVING TO ONE OF THOSE KINDS OF
EFFORTS.

Nam says I WANT TO FOLLOW UP WITH HOW
PEOPLE CAN DETERMINE HOW TO GIVE
MONEY BUT I WANT TO JUST TOUCH
ON SOMETHING THAT YOU JUST SAID
BECAUSE INDIVIDUALS MIGHT
MISLEAD THE PUBLIC AS TO WHERE
THE MONEY IS GOING BUT
CHARITIES, LIKE BIG
ORGANIZATIONS HAVE ALSO KIND OF
DONE THAT IN THE PAST.
SO HOW DO YOU... IS THERE LIKE A
REGULAR... LIKE A BODY THAT
REGULATES CHARITY?

The caption changes to "Show me the money."

Ann says SO CHARITIES ARE REGULATED,
SUBJECT TO REGULATIONS BY CANADA
REVENUE AGENCY.
WE'RE ALSO SUBJECT TO
REGULATIONS UNDER THE PRIVACY
ACT SO WE'RE SUBJECT TO THOSE
TWO AREAS.
I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS TO
THINK ABOUT THOUGH, WHEN YOU
THINK ABOUT THOSE ADMINISTRATIVE
COSTS, LIKE SO HOW MUCH OF MY
MONEY IS GOING TO THE CAUSE?
A REALLY GOOD EXAMPLE OF THIS
IS, I HAD A COLLEAGUE WHO WAS
WORKING FOR AN INTERNATIONAL
CHARITY AND THEY WERE REALLY
PROUD OF THE FACT THAT ONLY 10
CENTS ON YOUR DOLLAR, 90 CENTS
WENT TO THE CAUSE BUT 10 CENTS
THEY KEPT FOR, YOU KNOW,
BOOKKEEPING, ALL THAT STUFF YOU
NEED TO DO.
WHEN THEY WENT AND DID SOME
RESEARCH, THIS WAS A HEALTH
CHARITY AND THEY FOUND OUT THAT
BECAUSE THEIR PARTNERS WERE NOT
DOING GOOD INFECTION CONTROL,
THEY WERE ACTUALLY CAUSING MORE
HEALTH PROBLEMS THAN THEY WERE
SOLVING.
SO I WOULD CAUTION PEOPLE WHEN
THEY LOOK REALLY HARD AT HOW
MUCH MONEY THAT CHARITY'S
SPENDING ON ADMINISTRATION, YOU
SHOULD BE AS CONCERNED ABOUT A
NUMBER THAT IS TOO LOW AS YOU
SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT A
NUMBER THAT IS TOO HIGH BECAUSE
YOU DON'T WANT TO BE IN A
SITUATION WHERE... YOU WANT TO
HAVE A CHARITY THAT'S DOING SOME
EVALUATION.
YOU WANT TO HAVE A CHARITY
THAT'S MONITORING.

NAM SAYS WHAT'S A HEALTHY RANGE OF NUMBERS?

Ann says WELL, I THINK ONCE AGAIN, I'M
GOING TO SAY, THIS IS AN APPLES
AND ORANGES COMPARISON AND I'M
GOING TO USE AN EXAMPLE THAT WAS
ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED BY THE
MACKENZIE FOUNDATION AND THEY
TALKED ABOUT, IT'S VERY HARD TO
COMPARE CHARITIES EVEN IN THE
SAME AREA.
SO FOR EXAMPLE, YOU HAVE AN
ANIMAL SHELTER.
WELL, MAYBE IN TORONTO, WE'RE A
BIG CITY.
MAYBE THAT ANIMAL SHELTER ONLY
TAKES CARE OF DOGS AND THERE'S A
DIFFERENT ANIMAL SHELTER THAT
ONLY TAKES CARE OF CATS.
AND IF THEY HAVE TOO MANY DOGS,
MAYBE THERE'S ANOTHER ANIMAL
SHELTER NEARBY SO THEY CAN MAYBE
KEEP THEIR COSTS LOW.
THEY CAN TRANSPORT ANIMALS EASILY.
THERE'S A LOT OF... THERE'S A LOT
MORE AVAILABLE TO THEM.
YOU GO TO SOME REMOTE, RURAL
COMMUNITY SOMEWHERE IN ONTARIO,
MAYBE THAT SHELTER IS DOING DOGS
AND CATS AND MAYBE LARGE ANIMALS
AS WELL.
SO TRYING TO COMPARE WHAT THE
COSTS ARE GOING TO BE FOR THE
DOGS-ONLY ANIMAL SHELTER IN
DOWNTOWN TORONTO WHICH MAY BE
ABLE TO HAVE A LOT OF
OPPORTUNITY TO KEEP THEIR COSTS
DOWN VERSUS AN ANIMAL SHELTER
SOMEWHERE REMOTE AND RURAL
IS NOT REALLY GOING TO
BE A FAIR COMPARISON.
I THINK WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
AS... I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THAT
YOU'RE ASKING ME FOR A NUMBER
RANGE.
I THINK WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
INSTEAD IS LOOK AT THE
ORGANIZATION AND LOOK AT THEIR
FINANCIALS AND FEEL FREE TO ASK
TOUGH QUESTIONS.
IF THEY CAN EXPLAIN TO YOU,
"WE'RE IN A REMOTE COMMUNITY.
PEOPLE HAVE TO TRAVEL THREE
HOURS TO DROP OFF THE ANIMAL SO
WE HAVE A LOT OF TRANSPORTATION
COSTS," THEN THAT'S A LEGITIMATE
REASON FOR WHY THEIR
ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS COULD BE
HIGHER.

Nam says SO HOW MUCH RESPONSIBILITY DOES
THE DONOR BEAR IN KNOWING WHERE
THE MONEY THAT THEY'RE GIVING IS GOING?

Nicola says OH, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
I GUESS, YOU KNOW, IT'S GOOD
PRACTICE TO CHECK TO FIND
INFORMATION BUT I WOULD SAY THE
RESPONSIBILITY SHOULD BE MORE
WITH THE ORGANIZATION SOLICITING
DONATIONS TO MAKE IT VERY
TRANSPARENT AND SO ON.
I VERY MUCH LIKE THE EXAMPLE ANN
WAS MENTIONING ABOUT THE
INTEREST PERIOD.
YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES, AND MAYBE
WE'LL TALK MORE ABOUT IT,
THERE'S THIS IDEA THAT YOU HAVE
TO MINIMIZE OVERHEAD COSTS.
THAT THE PERFECT CHARITY IS THE
ONE WITH ZERO OVERHEAD COST.
NOT SO SURE ABOUT THAT BECAUSE
YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO MOVE
AROUND AND DISTANCES ARE HIGH.
THOSE EXPENSES ARE NECESSARY FOR
THE COSTS TO BE REALIZED
ESSENTIALLY SO BEING VERY OPEN,
VERY UPFRONT WITH WHERE THESE
COSTS COME FROM I THINK IS GOOD
PRACTICE IN GENERAL AND I GUESS
DONORS WOULD BE RESPONSIVE TO IT.

Ann says I DO THINK THOUGH... I'M GOING TO
SEE IT SLIGHTLY DIFFERENTLY.
I DO THINK YOU HAVE SOME
RESPONSIBILITY AS A DONOR TO
KICK THE TIRES A BIT YOURSELF
AND I THINK THERE ARE WAYS.
WE'RE ALL BUSY PEOPLE.
ONE THING I THINK YOU WANT TO
LOOK AT IS PROPORTION OF THE
GIFT.
IF A 10 dollar GIFT IS A LARGE GIFT TO
YOU, BEAR IN MIND THAT IT MAY
NOT BE A LARGE GIFT FOR THE
CHARITY SO YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE
TO DEMAND THAT SOMEONE MEET WITH
YOU FOR AN HOUR.
IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT MAKING
A LARGE GIFT, IT'S PERFECTLY
REASONABLE TO ASK FOR A MEETING.
THE OTHER THING IS, THERE ARE A
LOT OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT SCREEN
CHARITIES AND SCREEN THEM HARD.
I AM A VOLUNTEER WITH IMAGINE
CANADA.
THEY HAVE A STANDARDS PROGRAM.
WE PUT PEOPLE THROUGH A VERY
RIGOROUS PROCESS AS PART OF
THAT.
HOSPITALS ARE ACCREDITED BY
ACCREDITATION CANADA AND THE
LIST CAN GO ON.
MY POINT IS THAT IT'S USEFUL TO
LOOK AT A CHARITY AND SEE IF
THEY HOLD THEMSELVES TO A BIGGER
STANDARD AND IF THEY HOLD
THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE TO A
LARGER ORGANIZATION THAN
THEMSELVES, THAT'S EXTERNAL TO
THEMSELVES, THAT'S AN AWFULLY
GOOD SIGN.
AND SOME OF THOSE OTHER
ORGANIZATIONS ARE PLACES LIKE
UNITED WAY AND ALSO YOUR LOCAL
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION.
THOSE ARE ALL PEOPLE THAT WILL
SCRUTINIZE THE CHARITY AND THAT
MAYBE SAVES YOU A LITTLE BIT OF
TIME WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO
DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO PUT
YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY.

Nam says OVERHEAD COSTS FOR CHARITIES IS
SOMETHING THAT COMES UP IN THE
NEWS BUT SOMETHING ELSE THAT
COMES UP IN THE NEWS IS HOW MUCH
CEOS, ARE PAID AND IN ONTARIO,
THEY'RE PAID MORE THAN 250,000 dollars
A YEAR.
IS THIS A PROBLEM?

Ann says SO, I WOULD SAY WHEN YOU'RE
LOOKING AT THAT, I THINK THE
QUESTION IS, LOOK AT THE SIZE OF
THE CHARITY AND LOOK AT THE
SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE
CEO.
IF YOU'VE GOT... IF YOU'RE A CEO
OF A 100 MILLION dollar ORGANIZATION
AND YOU HAVE OPERATIONS YOU
KNOW, IN 12 DIFFERENT PLACES IN
ONTARIO, SO NOT ONLY DO YOU NEED
TO HAVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF
SUBJECT EXPERTISE ABOUT THE
CAUSE, YOU ALSO ARE MANAGING,
YOU KNOW, 12 LEASES OR 12
BUILDINGS YOU OWN.
YOU'RE MANAGING HUMAN RESOURCES
REMOTELY.
ONE OF THE THINGS I WOULD DO IS
SUGGEST, IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT
THAT CEO SALARY, YOU CAN'T
REALLY EXPECT THAT FOR 35,000 dollars A
YEAR, THAT COMPLEXITY.
LOOK AT WHAT WOULD BE REASONABLE
FOR A PERSON RUNNING A 100
MILLION dollar BUSINESS BE MAKING IN
THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

Nam says BUT CAN WE HAVE 100-MILLION dollar CHARITIES?
BECAUSE THE IDEA OF CHARITIES IS
YOU'RE... IT'S, AN ORGANIZATION IS
TRYING TO HELP PEOPLE BUT IF
YOU'RE MAKING 100 MILLION dollars AS A
CHARITY, IS IT A CHARITY OR IS
IT A BUSINESS?

Ann says WELL, BUT I THINK YOU'RE MAKING
THE ASSUMPTION THEN, IT'S NOT
THAT NECESSARILY A CHARITY'S
MAKING 100 MILLION dollars AND THEN
KIND OF KEEPING THE MONEY TO
THEMSELVES.

NAM SAYS BUT IF THEIR OVERHEAD IS
100 MILLION dollars.

Ann says NO, I'M NOT SAYING THEIR
OVERHEAD IS 100 MILLION dollars.
IF THEIR REVENUE IS 100
MILLION dollars, YOU HAVE LARGER
REVENUES BUT DO GREAT WORK.
FOR EXAMPLE, HEALTH CHARITIES
WHO FUND RESEARCH INTO CHRONIC
HEALTH CONDITIONS.
THERE WAS A STORY IN THE NEWS A
FEW YEARS AGO WHERE HEART AND
STROKE AND IN MY OPINION,
EXTREMELY RESPONSIBLY, COMMITS A
LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO
RESEARCHERS.
THEY GIVE THEM A THREE-YEAR
COMMITMENT, WHICH IS VERY
VALUABLE IN TERMS OF RESEARCH.
AND THEN THEY HOLD THAT MONEY
INTO A RESERVE AND THEY GOT BEAT
UP, IN MY OPINION, COMPLETELY
UNFAIRLY FOR HAVING MONEY IN
THEIR RESERVE.
WELL, THEY'RE TRYING TO FORWARD
THEIR CAUSE.
RESEARCH COSTS A LOT OF MONEY.
SO ALSO BEAR IN MIND, CHARITIES,
I'M NOT SAYING 100 MILLION dollars IN
EXPENSES, CHARITIES ARE ALSO
PLACES LIKE UNIVERSITIES, PLACES
LIKE HOSPITALS.
THOSE ARE BIG ORGANIZATIONS AND
THEY'RE EXPENSIVE ORGANIZATIONS.
WE WANT TO HAVE THE BEST CARE
AND A LOT OF WHAT MY COLLEAGUES
ARE DOING IN HOSPITAL AND
UNIVERSITY FUNDRAISING OR IN
HEALTH FUNDRAISING, IN ARTS
INSTITUTION FUNDRAISING, IS
RAISING MONEY WHICH IS THEN
COMING BACK TO US IN THE PUBLIC
IN THE FORM OF REALLY GREAT
HOSPITAL EQUIPMENT, REALLY
AMAZING ART.
ALL KINDS OF REALLY GREAT
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR STUDENTS WHO
CAN'T AFFORD SCHOOL.
SO THAT EXPENSE IS A LOT OF
MONEY BUT IT'S GOING TO A LOT OF
GOOD STUFF.

NAM SAYS NICO?

The caption changes to "Nicola Lacetera, @NicoLacetera."
Then, it changes again to "Choose wisely."

Nicola says I AGREE WITH THESE POINTS AND WE
NEED TO THINK ABOUT SALARY FOR A
CHARITY CEO OR ANYONE ELSE,
ACTUALLY.
BOTH AS A WAY TO REWARD EFFORT
AND YES, FOR SOME OF THESE
ORGANIZATIONS, YOU NEED TO PUT A
LOT OF HOURS AND MENTAL-HEALTH
WORK AND SO ON BUT ALSO A
SELECTION DEVICE SO IF YOU
REALLY WANT A GOOD MANAGER TO
RUN AN ORGANIZATION AND YOU
THINK THAT GOOD MANAGEMENT
IS GOING TO HELP THE CAUSE,
THEN MONEY IS A GOOD ATTRACTOR, RIGHT?
SO, IF YOU PAY MORE, IF YOU
ANNOUNCE A HIGHER PAYMENT THEN
SMARTER, MORE COMPETENT PEOPLE
ARE GOING TO BE INTERESTED IN
MAYBE LEAVING THEIR CURRENT JOB
AND JOINING THE PARTICULAR
CHARITY.
IT IS TRUE THAT PUBLIC
PERCEPTION MATTERS SO AN EXAMPLE
IS, A COLLEAGUE OF MINE ALWAYS
MENTIONS IS, SUPPOSE YOU HAVE TO
TAKE A PLANE SO YOU'RE AT THE
AIRPORT AND YOU ARE IN LINE FOR
YOU KNOW, THE ECONOMY CLASS AND
YOU SEE THE CEO OF THE CHARITY
TO WHICH YOU DONATE EVERY YEAR,
VERY WILLINGLY AND VERY HAPPILY,
GETTING INTO BUSINESS CLASS, RIGHT?
AND THEY'RE LIKE, "WHAT?"
I MEAN, IT'S A FEELING THAT MANY
PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE AND SO I THINK
MANAGING THE PUBLIC PERCEPTION
SOMEHOW IS IMPORTANT.
BUT CEOS OF LARGE CHARITIES WORK
A LOT AND YOU KNOW, IF THEY'RE
SMART AND COMPETENT WELL, IT'S
BETTER FOR THE CAUSE SO THIS IS
SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO KEEP
IN MIND.

Nam says WHEN PEOPLE DONATE MONEY, SHOULD
THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SPECIFY
HOW THEIR MONEY IS GOING TO BE USED?

Ann says FIRST OF ALL, WHEN YOU DONATE
YOUR MONEY, YOU COMPLETELY HAVE
THE LEGAL AND ETHICAL RIGHT TO
SPECIFY HOW YOUR MONEY IS GOING
TO BE USED.
I WILL NOTE THAT CHARITIES ALSO
MAY NEED TO DECLINE YOUR GIFT
AND SO I HAD AN EXPERIENCE... I
WAS AT A LARGE NATIONAL HEALTH
CHARITY AND THE PERSON WANTED TO
MAKE A GIFT THAT WAS SO SPECIFIC
THAT WE DIDN'T THINK THAT WE
WOULD LITERALLY EVER FIND A
RECIPIENT THAT WOULD MATCH THOSE TERMS.
BUT ABSOLUTELY, IF YOU WANT YOUR
GIFT TO GO TO A SPECIFIC THING,
I'M REQUIRED FROM AN ACCOUNTING
STANDPOINT TO KEEP THAT IN A
SEPARATE POOL OF MONEY.
I'M REQUIRED TO ONLY SPEND IT IN
THAT WAY.
WHAT I WILL NOTE FOR YOU IS FOR
EXAMPLE, WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING
SOMETHING LIKE A FOOD PROGRAM
AND YOU SAY, "I ONLY WANT IT TO
GO TO YOU KNOW, THE FOOD," WELL,
BEAR IN MIND THAT PART OF WHAT
THE ELECTRICITY IS PAYING FOR IS
TO KEEP THE REFRIGERATORS
RUNNING AND IT'S TO MAKE SURE
THAT THE STOVES HAVE ELECTRICITY
OR GAS TO KEEP RUNNING.
TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE LIVING
UP TO CERTAIN HEALTH AND SAFETY
STANDARDS IN TERMS OF FOOD
PREPARATION THAT YOUR FOLKS HAVE
BEEN TRAINED SO WHEN YOU'RE
THINKING ABOUT NARROWING YOUR
DONATION, YOU STILL MIGHT WANT
TO GIVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT
UNRESTRICTED TO ALLOW THE
CHARITY TO PROVIDE THE SERVICE
IN THE WAY IN WHICH YOU WANT TO
SEE IT PROVIDED.

Nam says WE ONLY HAVE A FEW MINUTES LEFT
BUT I'M CURIOUS TO GET YOUR
OPINION ON THIS.
WE SEE A LOT OF CELEBRITIES NOW
SUPPORTING CHARITIES, ADVOCATING
FOR THEM.
DOES THIS HURT THEIR CAUSE OR
DOES IT HELP THEM?
THE CHARITY AND I GUESS THE
CELEBRITY.

Ann says THAT'S A REAL, "IT DEPENDS."
QUESTION.
A STRONG CELEBRITY THAT'S A
CLEAR VOICE WHERE IT'S A CLOSE
CONNECTION TO WHAT THAT
CELEBRITY CARES ABOUT AND
BELIEVES IN... IT'S SIMILAR TO
BUSINESS... CAN BE A GREAT ASSET
FOR A CHARITY.
THERE'S CERTAINLY BEEN CASES
WHERE A CELEBRITY'S MAYBE HAD AN
UNFORTUNATE SITUATION IN THEIR
PERSONAL LIFE.
MAYBE INVOLVING SUBSTANCE ABUSE
OR SOMETHING AND THAT CAN REALLY
CREATE A PROBLEM FOR A CHARITY
SO JUST LIKE ANY CHARITY
ALIGNING, ESSENTIALLY WITH A
BUSINESS, SOMETIMES IT CAN BE
GREAT AND SOMETIMES IT CAN BE
TRICKY.

Nicola says YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.
A CELEBRITY, A PERSON YOU TRUST
AND IS CREDIBLE IS A POSITIVE
SIGNAL SO IF THAT CELEBRITY
DECIDES TO DONATE OR TO SUPPORT
A PARTICULAR CAUSE AND I DON'T
KNOW MUCH ABOUT THAT CAUSE, THAT
HELPS ME KNOW IT MORE AND TO
BELIEVE AND TO TRUST THE
ORGANIZATION BUT YES,
CELEBRITIES ARE PRONE TO
SCANDALS AND SO THAT MIGHT
REALLY BACKFIRE IN SOME CASE OR
CHANGE DRAMATICALLY WHEN SOME
EVENTS HAPPEN.
SO IT'S A LITTLE RISKY BUT COULD
BE EFFECTIVE.

Nam says DOES PERSONAL BENEFIT TAKE AWAY
FROM THE MORAL GOOD OF GIVING TO CHARITY?

Ann says I WOULD SAY NO.
I... YOU KNOW, AT THE END OF THE
DAY, IT'S WHAT'S THE MONEY DOING?
IF THE MONEY IS DOING GOOD
STUFF, THEN, HONESTLY, I DON'T
REALLY CARE WHAT YOUR MOTIVATION IS.
YOU'RE DOING GOOD WORK AND IT'S
IMPORTANT WORK AND WHETHER
YOU'RE DOING IT BECAUSE YOU'RE
MAYBE A SOCIAL CLIMBER OR
WHETHER YOU'RE DOING IT OUT OF
RELIGIOUS OBLIGATION OR BECAUSE
YOU'RE AN IMMIGRANT AND YOU WANT
TO PAYBACK CANADA.
I DON'T CARE.
YOU'RE STILL GIVING MONEY THAT'S
GOING TO HELP MAKE CANADA BETTER.

Nicola says I AGREE IN GENERAL YOU KNOW, I
THINK THERE'S AN OLD LATIN
SAYING, "MONEY DOESN'T SMELL" SO
IF PEOPLE DONATE MORE,
THE BETTER.
IT'S MORE OF A MATTER OF YOU
KNOW, HOW MUCH YOU CAN RELY ON
CERTAIN SOURCES OF REVENUE IF
THEIR MOTIVATIONS ARE NOT AS
STABLE OR THEY'RE VERY
CONTINGENT ON PARTICULAR
CIRCUMSTANCE BUT THAT'S ABOUT
YOU KNOW, UP TO THE CHARITY TO
REALIZE THAT AND BE PROBABLY AS
BROAD AS POSSIBLE IN THEIR
PROMOTION STRATEGIES AND
CAMPAIGNS.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Nam says NICO, ANN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
HELPING US GET TO THE
NITTY-GRITTY OF CHARITABLE
GIVING.
IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU
HERE.

Ann says THANK YOU.

Nicola says OF COURSE, THANK YOU.

NAM SAYS THANKS.

Watch: Chasing Charity