Finally Good News

Archive for March 2013

Size of Wales

“The next step for organizer Hannah Scrase is to increase the level of forest protection to the size of Europe”

It’s nice to see news about grassroots organizations that manage to deliver tangible results and do it with equal parts mirth and moxie. The BBC’s environmental analyst, Roger Harrabin, has written a piece detailing a charity whose whole modus operandi was to help decrease deforestation in Africa and reclaim their country’s name as a positive societal yardstick. Tired of reading in the press about areas of deforestation equaling the ‘size of Wales,’ Welsh environmentalists decided to take proactive measures to correct the analogy – now they can proudly claim that they raised £2m in three years to protect over two million hectares of forest.

This is a testament to positive ‘spin doctoring’ and a resolute desire by the public to get involved in a charity that communicated its idea with a light touch. The Size of Wales campaign resulted in “more than £1m gathered from the public, and that has been match-funded by a Cardiff-base charitable trust, the Waterloo Foundation.” It’s also amazing to see how much can be achieved with this amount of money.

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Amanda Palmer

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After reading repeatedly about Kickstarter and this new era of creative philanthropy, it’s interesting to see how the mechanics of such coin-in-cup operations are continuing to develop. The music industry has seen an unprecedented shift in business in the last fifteen years, attempting clumsily to keep up with technology and the public’s desire for immediate (and free) music via downloads. The industry’s indecision has also created a burgeoning DIY propensity amongst artists and also the desire on behalf of the public to fund them. The fact that said public doesn’t actually want any tactile or physical evidence of their expenditure is even more baffling – they just want to give!

There have been several recent cases that are quite extraordinary; one concerns the Kickstarter drive of musician Amanda Palmer, who in reaching out to the public to help finance her tour, ended up receiving $1m in donations and then proceeded to not pay the musicians in her band! On a more humanitarian (and Hollywood) level, CNN recently featured an article about a homeless man who found an expensive diamond ring in his coin cup, proceeded to save it and give it back to the lady who unwittingly left it with him. Read the rest of this entry »


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