November 23, 2013 by gregrabidoux2013
First, I come not to bury Kim Kardashian. There are a number of reasons why even thinking of any of the “Special Ks” irritates me. Not the least of which is “Mama K.” Honey Boo-Boo’s Mama June seems downright motherly compared to the Kardashian matriarch. And don’t get me started on the faux Kris-Krossed nuptials that allegedly bagged a cool $15 million for Kimmy and her siblings.
No, I must first applaud the soon-to-be Kimye West on at least the following;
1. Taking time from her various reality show-fashion empire to recognize or be made aware there was indeed a typhoon tragedy in the Philippines. So far so good.
2. Choosing several gently used designer-baubles to auction off on E-Bay for charity. Proceeds to help the Typhoon victims. Sweet. Maybe I’ve misjudged Kimye.
3. Selling aforementioned designer duds and pocketing 90% of the sale. Wait, what?
So, Kim keeps 90% of all the proceeds and 10% apparently will actually (hopefully) get to the victims towards staples like water, food, medical aid and shelter. It’s still a nice gesture, no?
Well, in the court of public opinion the verdict has been swift and nearly unanimous. The general blowback has been that she’s a greedy, self-serving fashion-wannabe who just parlayed her fame into (yet) more riches at the expense of victims of a disaster. Kim’s lawyer (uh-oh, once lawyers enter into the equation little good seems to follow) argues that essentially, Kim gives year round and this is the Kardashian standard operating charitable giving procedure. Thanks, we are all feeling better now.
But, as I said at the top I come not to bury nor to throw effusive praise on Kim’s designer adorned back. As someone who has been involved with charities and non-profit advocacy organizations for over 20 years (just was in N. Africa this summer on relief work) public perception about giving and how much (or how little) actually gets to its intended recipients IS a problem. Both figuratively and literally.
Fact is, not enough donors or the organizations they give to do a good enough job when it comes to full disclosure. Far too many also eat up way too much of what they take in on administrative costs, salaries and expenses they could cut through smarter, more efficient and effective management. The good ones get it and make full disclosure and full share of donation to its intended recipient a priority. The ones not as good complain and say no one appreciates what they do. Sort of how many celebrities feel when they choose to give, all or partial to charities.
I’ve worked with a number of celebrities. Some on their way up, some already up, and some on their way down. Like many of us, they have a variety of reasons for giving. Some out of guilt, some for career positioning, some to be competitive with their peers. Honestly, I could care less their reasons. What matters though are really two things. One, the greatest amount of donation gets to the greatest amount of victims or folks who need the help the most. Two, the public sees that donations celebrities give or ones that regulars folks like you and I can scrape up to share are getting to where and whom it should and not gobbled up by bureaucracy, swollen salaries, elite lifestyles or worse, blatant corruption.
Just like the best charities, the celebrities that get it have learned that when it comes to giving it’s best to take control. Whether it is Bono of U2, Matt Damon, George Clooney and Don Cheadle, or Brangelina (Brad Pitt in the New Orleans re-build or Angelina Joile with refugee relief) they don’t just write checks or make a bit of space in their closet and auction items on E-Bay but they have a clear plan and a vision. They find experts to help with the plan and they make it their own cause-celebre. All of which tends to raise the odds that the PR is nearly as good as the giving and doing.
So, to Kim and all the rest of the “Special Ks” I say if you want to be seen as genuinely being and doing good deeds do what you’ obviously already know how to do. You parlayed a salacious sex-tape and vicarious OJ trial fame into a reality-fashion empire. How? Have a clear plan. Take control. Make sure it’s in people’s faces nearly non-stop. And be ruthless about it.
It’s just that this time it would be for the greater good and not just for the Kardashian greater good.
But whatever you do, Kimye, don’t stop giving. Even if it hurts a bit. Because the world needs charitable giving a lot more than it does more designer bags encrusted with diamonds in the shape of a “K.”
Of this I am convinced.
Hungry for more on celebrities, politics and giving? Then go to www.amazon.com and click for my book on this dynamic subject. Go on Tiger, don’t be timid.