Alex Massie

Adventures in Charity: Bono Edition

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I dare say it makes one a bad person to be amused by this:

ONE gives only a pittance in direct charitable support to its causes -- something Borochoff said the average donor might not realize.

The Bono nonprofit took in $14,993,873 in public donations in 2008, the latest year for which tax records are available.

Of that, $184,732 was distributed to three charities, according to the IRS filing.

Meanwhile, more than $8 million was spent on executive and employee salaries.

Like many others then, I guess that makes me a bad person.

A spokeswoman for Bono's "charity" ONE Campaign explained all:

ONE  "does advocacy work, not charity work."

True enough. As their website explains: At ONE, we believe the fight against poverty is not about charity, but about justice and equality.

Especially for its DC-based employees who might otherwise endure a pretty tough time.

(To be fair: they're right to emphasise trade issues and the like and correct too that charity is only part of the deal for Africa. Nevertheless, there are any number of advocacy groups working these fields plenty of whom manage to spend less than 50% of their income on salaries.)

[Thanks to SM for the tip.]

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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