Oprah’s Big Give, and what’s wrong with it

This is a remarkably good post about what’s wrong with Oprah’s Big Give. The comments, however, are some of the lamest I have ever seen. They run the gamut, from a classic Sernovitz, to just plain missing the point, to my favorite, “Why would you ever criticize someone who is trying to do good?”

I find the tone-deaf comments extremely frustrating. They demonstrate to me that no one is taking charitable giving seriously; that somehow people believe all projects are equally valuable and effective. Give a car to a restaurant manager or an impoverished veteran. It’s all the same. It’s charity! And charity is good!

Some projects are better than others.

It’s not just that different nonprofits do different things. Some charities are better at stretching their budget. Some have better methods. Some are led by better people. It’s not all the same, and it’s not all equally important. Money spent on bad charity is at best wasted and at worst damaging.

I’ve mentioned this before: good intentions are not enough.

ETA: Mike makes an excellent point in the comments – the author can’t seem to decide if he hates the rules of the show, or the contestants. It seems to me that he was trying to say that the show is rigged to fail, and fail it did, but that point doesn’t really come across clearly.