Three Charities That Don’t Deserve Your Money

Three Charities That Don't Deserve Your Money

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

It seems almost blasphemous to say there’s anything wrong with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Drunk driving is totally irresponsible and has caused many deaths and disfiguring injuries. At the same time, it’s hard to think of MADD and not imagine your own mother telling you to find a designated driver or take a taxi if you get too sauced. How could anyone fault MADD if its objectives are situated within a universal motherly concern?

Unfortunately, MADD has started to resemble a militant temperance organization than a union of caring moms. While the goal of reducing drunk driving is certainly a goal worth pursuing, MADD has gone too far with its draconian lobbying and bizarre tactics.

Consider what is now the centerpiece in MADD’s anti-drunk driving lobbying: ignition interlock devices (IIDs for short). A car fitted with an IID will not start until the driver blows into a breathalyzer. Some models require periodic blows into the breathalyzer after the car’s been started. At the current moment, these machines are usually installed in the vehicles of repeat DUI/DWI offenders—in other words, people with significant drinking problems.

This past November, MADD’s National President and Official Spokesperson, Laura Dean-Mooney, proposed that all new cars be fitted with IIDs. When you think about it, this is an absurd intrusion into the everyday liberties of American citizens.

First, there’s the unsettling notion that, if this policy were to ever be enacted, drivers would be guilty until proven innocent—every time they start their car. Then there’s the issue of just plain annoyance: most drivers are not in the position of needing a breathalyzer a few times a day. MADD’s trying to act like only drunks would be inconvenienced, but really, aren’t there better ways to curtail drunk driving?

Some have speculated that MADD’s excitement for nationwide IID implementation stems from a backroom deal with IID manufacturers. Although there’s no evidence to support those claims, it wouldn’t be surprising: MADD has acquired a real taste for avarice lately.

Consider MADD’s goal of increasing excise taxes on beer and wine—but not hard liquor. MADD’s reasoning seems to be that hard liquor is taxed enough, while beer and wine are given a pass. On the surface, that might make some sense; it makes even more sense, however, when you consider that the liquor industry has donated to MADD and partnered with MADD on several of their advertising campaigns.

Why would MADD partner with liquor companies when their other policies seem rather neo-prohibitionist? Because MADD is more interested in self-perpetuation than it is in serving its cause. For instance, take a look at MADD’s 990 Tax Form for 2008. MADD spends half its revenue on salaries. For a nonprofit, this is unacceptable. It’s even more egregious in light of MADD’s current 3.5 million dollar deficit.

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MADD's Virgin Drink Line

Once you consider other expenses such as MADD’s preposterous new line of non-alcoholic beverages, the likelihood of any donations actually preventing drunk driving is actually quite slim.

However, none of these are the most damning indication of how much MADD has strayed from their mission. The founder of MADD, Candace Lightner, left MADD in 1985 but is still speaking out against the organization. In 2002, Lightner was quoted in the Washington Post: “It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I had ever wanted or envisioned. I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving.”

Between its irrational anti-alcohol motives and suspicious fundraising methods, MADD has shown itself to be undeserving of your money. Drunk driving is certainly a problem worth solving but MADD’s interests clearly lie elsewhere. With all of their faults, would your mother want you to donate to MADD?

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Frank Barrett, Alec. Alec said: From ProseBeforeHos: Three Charities That Don’t Deserve Your Money http://goo.gl/fb/muLpY #featured […]

  2. Anton says:

    I thought in the end three things last but sadly it seems that some charities have forgotten what charity means.

  3. Anonymous says:

    who cares if salvation army doesn’t want gays as employees? Isn’t it proven that gay buttsex causes aids?? Fuck MADD lol. But, as for childfund, you forgot to mention the most important part… the president makes about a half a mil every year… its pretty damn clear in their stupid commercials that only 80 cents of every dollar goes to the kids… DERP

  4. Sean says:

    It is still my belief that The Salvation Army does not discriminate against people that consider themselves to be gay when offering them a helping hand by deploying their social work, fairtrade, homeless, people trafficking, community or emergency services. They are up-front about those who wish to be considered for membership and many life-style choices are incompatible with their stated membership criteria. As far as I know, their donation income gets to the people who are in need if it and that there is a minimal amount spent on administration costs.

  5. Tulipa says:

    This reminds me of Asimov’s anecdote:
    “Once I was stuck at a cocktail party and a woman approached me. She had a drink in one hand (obviously not her first one, either) and a cigarette in the other.
    I leaned away from her to try to avoid the cigarrette smoke and she said to me with a certain hostility, ‘What’s the matter with you? Don’t you smoke?’
    ‘No, maam, I don’t,’ I said civilly, in my fairly loud speaking voice.
    ‘I’ll bet you don’t drink, either.’
    ‘No, maam, I don’t.’
    ‘Then what the hell do you do?’
    And I said, my voice not dropping one decibel, ‘I fuck an awful lot.’
    You’d be surprised how immediately that destroyed the conversation.”

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