The legitimacy of a charity seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. I’ve been amazed at the responses to the recent post on a Scientology benefit for charity. That conversation may not have been that surprising (I’m not Scientology’s OMG #1 Fan myself!), but when I heard that charities run by Bono — one of my favorite celebs ever– George Clooney, and other famous people might not be as legit as they claim, I was pretty shocked.
Apparently, Bono’s DATA Foundation (now part of One), which works to eliminate poverty and AIDS in Africa, raised $31 million in 2006–but only used $6 million of that for charity. The rest went to transportation, security, and U2 tour tickets. Clooney’s Not on Our Watch (also founded by Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and others), which fights genocide, has some shady dealings with an offshore gambling company. Wyclef Jean, Osi Umenyiora, Tyra Banks, Larry King, Gary Payton, Petra Nemcova, Magic Johnson and Dyan Cannon also seem to have skeletons in their charities’ closets; read more about them here.
So what do you think? Do a few gray areas make a charity all bad? Do any of these charities sound completely illegitimate to you, or do you think they still have redeeming qualities?