I was pretty late in learning about IC, and I suppose that is a good thing. I say it’a a good thing because when I finally did watch the Kony 2012 video, I was already aware of the controversy surrounding it, which compelled me to do my own research. First off, I do believe that IC is a noble cause in what it is ultimately trying to achieve. However, based off my research, there are a couple things that just don’t make sense and make IC an uneffective charity. According to charitynavigator.com. a normal charity’s finances send about seventy five percent of their profits directly to their cause, while IC only sends about thirty percent. The rest goes to staff and management. And in a way, it’s not a huge surprise (I mean, it’s obvious that the level of skill in their cinematography must have cost a great deal) because that is what sells in this generation. However, just because it caught our attention for a bit does not make it ok for their finances to be split in such a way that does not make much of a difference to their cause. While IC’s hearts may be in the right place, the way they go about change is simply not working.
In the Kony 2012 video, Invisible Children claims that in order to keep the US advisors in Uganda Invisible Children and its supporting members need to raise awareness about the atrocities of Joseph Kony and his army. To raise this awareness, they would wear the t-shirts and put up the posters that came in the action kits. In my research, though, I found that President Obama has not threatened to pull the advisors out of Uganda so the reason that Invisible Children gives for the action kits doesn’t exist. If the action kits don’t serve the purpose that we are told they do, then what purpose do they serve? I will not support Invisible Children, but anyone interested should do their own research and decide to support or not support Invisible Children based on that research.
After being initially drawn by the emotional appeal of the Kony 2012 video, I did a considerable amount of research. It became obvious though Invisible Children’s campaign was well intentioned, ultimately your resources are probably better off with a sturdier charity. Any human being with any emotion of course feels compassion for the children suffering under Kony’s regime, but Invisible Children’s approach to ending this crisis is a drastic oversimplification of the solution. The organization claims by sending a few dollars and purchasing the Action Kit somehow the Ugandan warlord will be captured. This is simply not feasible considering according to Invisible Children’s website 80% of their funds go toward accomplishing their “three fold purpose” (meaning only 1/3 of the money actually makes it to Africa). Ultimately, the cause falls short of accomplishing their goal, and your money and/or time are better off elsewhere.
My first experience with this organization was watching Kony 2012. After seeing the brokenness left by Kony, this film had me sold. The mission of Invisible Children directly fits with my heartbeat for humanity in undeveloped countries. It encouraged me to intensify my desires and make them actions. I went home eager to share about the charity with friends. Instead, I was shocked to see so much controversy surrounding this organization-- criticisms about their leaders, purpose, and impact. These harsh arguments did not parallel with the excitement I’d first experienced about joining the mission. This confusion left me to explore Invisible Children for myself. After months of researching their website, the form 990, and other sources, I found that the majority of claims are simply slander based on wrong assumptions, impossible to prove by evidence. Now I am seriously considering supporting Invisible Children and encourage others to do the same.
Personally, I wouldn’t donate to Invisible Children. After doing a lot of research about it, I have come to find that stopping Kony isn’t Central Africa’s main problem. According to the CIA World Factbook, contagious diseases like HIV and malaria need to be treated, and many people are starving (http://tinyurl.com/6keclv). True, Kony is a horrible man, but the real problem behind his violent actions is actually a result of political unrest (http://tinyurl.com/cgnmkp7). The political unrest can then be linked back to suffering people and an unstable government. Solve the other problems first like AIDS and hunger, by donating to organizations that focus on such causes- like Compassion International and World Vision. Invisible Children’s intention of stopping Kony is good; however, other greater problems should be fixed first.
When KONY 2012 came out, I wanted to help . Once the media began saying how crooked the company was, I felt very betrayed. When Invisible Children came out with their new video, it brought back all those strong feelings I had. I decided to do some thorough research on their finances. In my research I found that, for the most part, Invisible Children have a slightly lower than average financial standing. They are definitely not the monster that everybody makes them out to be. Invisible Children’s main problem is that they do not have an external audit for their financial reports. They are a newer company though, so it is only natural that they put a lot of money into advertising. After having done this research, I feel somewhat renewed in my initial vigor to help Invisible Children. I am more than likely going to donate to this organization.
Over the past few months I have done a decent amount of research on Invisible Children. I have come to the conclusion that they aren't focused on the main issues in Uganda, and aren't providing much relief for the country or its citizens. The people of Uganda are currently struggling with spreading disease, an unstable government, and many citizens who aren't specialized in any field of work. All of these problems have led to severe underdevelopment in Uganda, which is much more worrisome than Kony since he hasn't been in the country for years (http://tinyurl.com/6sfulht). I believe IC is working for good reasons and could be helpful if Kony was the main problem, but as far as contributing to helping Uganda's actual issues, I would consider supporting a different organization that may be more beneficial to helping with their current issues.
Review from CharityNavigator
I was among the 90million+ people who first learned of Invisible children through their Kony 2012 video, and since then I have done extensive research to determine fact from fiction in the cloud of propaganda that surrounds them. A common misconception is that IC spends too much on salaries and videos, when in reality 81.48% of their expenses are going towards programs such as radio alert systems, rehab centers, films, and video tours (for their 4-part model click the link below). What many people don’t understand is that IC’s purpose is not to build wells or send food to Uganda, but to raise awareness in order to end LRA atrocities and help rebuild communities. And they are doing a phenomenal job. If you are looking for a traditional nonprofit, then IC is not for you. But don’t discredit them because of that. They are pioneers in using social networking for social change of this scale, and while they have lots of room for improvement, I firmly believe they are worth our support.
Many people, myself included, have based their idea of IC solely on the "Kony 2012" film. However, by only looking at the film, you get only a narrow understanding of the organization. Yes, the film skims over some details; yes, IC is not financially perfect; and yes, they were clearly underprepared for all of this attention. But, none of this lessens the fact that they are working towards doing something good. Not to mention that they have done a more than adequate job answering their critics, both through a section on their website devoted to answering criticisms to the release of a new film, which openly acknowledges many of their shortcomings. This shows some serious maturity and growth in a young organization, that has already made a huge impact. I am strongly considering supporting IC, and encourage others to get the whole picture of them before joining the "Kony 2012" critics.
After looking into the Kony 2012 campaign, I have found that the Invisible Children organization has generally gained positive feedback from the teenage/young adult generation. This feedback has sprouted primarily from the famous YouTube video, “KONY 2012,” not from facts about the organization. Though the intentions seem genuine, Jason Russell and the Invisible Children charity fail to get past the basics. According to the Invisible Children website, only 30% of the proceeds go to the actual cause. Another problem with Invisible Children is that this campaign promotes slacktivism and laziness among the country. The Kony 2012 movement causes people to believe that the most effective way to help is to merely click the “Buy” button online and purchase a $30 Action Kit. I sincerely wanted to believe that Kony 2012 executed everything perfectly; however, there were too many unaddressed flaws. Therefore, I would personally discourage anyone from investing in this campaign and charity.