Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why Is My Former Employer Asking Me For Haiti Donations?

In spite of no longer working for Citigroup, I sometimes get a selection of their annoying corporate mails.  The most recent?  A plea for employees to donate to help their Haitian colleagues.  Of course, Citi is about to give gargantuan bonuses to a bunch of their investment bankers and traders*, but it's the employees that need to pony up cash to help Haiti.

This masks the bigger annoyance of why Citi and other corporations are asking for donations?  Why not just give a link to the Red Cross?  Or Doctors Without Borders**?  Or any of a large number of charities that actually have experience with this sort of thing?  A friend told me that Wharton is soliciting money from their grads -- how is fing Wharton qualified to dispense aid?

Of course, I think it will probably allow Citi, Wharton, etc. to then pass the money on, while keeping the publicity benefits.

Update: Citi is giving -- all of $2 million.  And at the bottom of their email, they also have a link for the Red Cross -- after the Citi aid link.  And the Citi-to-Citi charity says that "Citi will decide how these funds are allocated".  Hopefully, they use better judgment than they did in deciding to dilute their stock price so they could give big bonuses to execs.

* Having just read "Liar's Poker", I feel confident in stating that those receiving bonuses are mostly a bunch of lying douchebags.
** Beware, Nurses Without Boundaries is actually a porn series.


wiz said...

hey jt---! no longer at kasernenstr? how's things going...?

Chad W. said...

Wow, even Daddy Lockheed isn't that scummy... the encouraged people to donate, but didn't solicit. Though, to be fair, you'll soon see a series of "Our products don't just kill people" ads featuring our cargo planes.

As to why Citi's doing it... doesn't a company that donates money get to write it off taxes too? Even if it's money they coerce out of their employees...