What’s wrong with all of this ostensible “corporate generosity”? First, it is self-serving, further diminishing true altruism in the corporate world. We live in a society where values are threatened, and avarice and greed need to be better balanced by a sense of the greater good – the commonweal. If values erode further in the market, nonprofits and the rest of us are all in deeper trouble. Second, all of us need to understand that, in the words of Buy(Less), shopping is not a solution. We cannot consume our way to charity and to a better world. Doing good sometimes requires sacrifice, and we ought not allow ourselves to be convinced that we’ve done our part because of the color of what we use. Third, we generally don’t know how much goes to the cause and how much goes to profit for each sale or in the aggregate; there is no true transparency or accountability. What do direct and secondary benefits add up to for the corporation? Are charities being fairly compensated for those benefits? Fourth and last, we need to remember that there really is a profound difference between doing well and doing good. To the degree that we confuse the two, we substitute ourselves for the other and are diminished rather than enriched.
Check out Buy (Less).