The Low Income Housing Institute and the Home Depot Foundation have had a good working relationship. The two organizations have partnered for over three years to develop and administer housing projects for veterans, and that makes the elimination of LIHI from the Home Depot Foundation’s Aprons in Action competition all the more heartbreaking, especially because both LIHI and the Home Depot Foundation agree that the fraudulent voting is in no way the fault of the organization.
The elimination does, however, raise several questions about how Home Depot is running their fundraiser. Should they be pitting different organizations against each other? Is it smart to make groups of people who are very passionate about their causes compete? Could that possibly bring out the less than ethical supporters who are not above getting a competing organization eliminated?
There are other ways to give money to worthy causes while also getting the supporters of an organization involved and making sure everyone has a good time.
For one, rather than just votes on a Facebook page, charitable organizations such as the Home Depot Foundation could have organizations submit video testimonials featuring individuals and families they’ve helped. The foundation could take a more traditional, in-depth look at an organization’s range of services, number of clients, and track record of success.
Better yet, foundations such as the Home Depot Foundation can take a page out of the Seattle Foundation’s book and offer matching donations to organizations — $1 from the organization for every $1 from a supporter of the organization. That way, supporters can get involved, everyone can get excited, and deserving groups may even receive more donations at a lower cost to the foundations.
After all, every single organization chosen to participate in Aprons in Action and similar contests are deserving. They do good work and help a lot of people, and it’s in everyone’s best interest that they get as much support as they can. (end)