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NerdyKeith's avatar

Should I donate to Amnesty International when I get paid?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5489points) January 3rd, 2017

I’m very passionate about human rights, fighting discrimination and supporting equality. I’ve always been very fond on Amnesty as a cause. Should I donate to them in your opinions?

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14 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Sure. I have followed many of their campaigns over the years and they seem to have been doing good work for deserving people in dreadful conditions in good and effective ways, so yes. I’ve not seen anything to make me think they aren’t deserving.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I really like Amnesty International. I used to write and edit a newsletter for them. They do a lot of work both publicly and behind the scenes to educate people about human rights violations and problems around the world. So I would most definitely donate to the organisation and I’d join their organisation and get involved if you have time.

Here are some evaluations of the financial situation for Amnesty in different countries.

In the US

This report discusses Amnesty International attitudes to transparency and living up to its own standards.

This Wikipedia page points to criticism of Amnesty International that you could explore and investigate in more depth before you make your mind up.

This again focuses on the US chapter of Amnesty International and compares its objectives and focus to other human rights charities.

Another article that discusses criticism of Amnesty and it’s financial situation and payment of its Secretary-General.

This is an evaluation of the Australian chapter.

This is information about Amnesty in the UK. This is from the same site but refers to the Trust rather than Company.

This is from the UK Charities Aid Foundation.

I don’t have time to look further, but I was hoping to find something like the US site, Charity Navigator that gives more information about the effectiveness of the charity. What percentage of donations actually go into providing practical help or support or in Amnesty’s case, raising awareness and operating as a pressure group.

Anyway, in the end, it’s up to you @NerdyKeith. There are other human rights organisations. Drill down and see which one fits your philosophical needs best.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m not a big fan of theirs, but it’s your money and your decision.

My reading about AI over the years has shown me that they’re not remotely fair and balanced when it comes to the Middle East, and Israel in particular. AI sees nothing wrong with Hamas and other regional terrorism, while it is across-the-board critical of anything Israel does.

I’m not going to get into an argument amount the Israel-Palestine conflict, but my conclusion is that AI is anything but objective on the matter.

I think the problem with AI is one of mission creep (and self preservation). In its early days – 1960s – AI was far more focused on individuals imprisoned in various countries. However, from the 1970s onward, AI stopped focusing on individuals and prisoner-of-conscience situations, and much more on disaffected and revolutionary groups. That, to me, is a big leap and it put them in the role of ‘let’s protest everything’ NGO instead of focusing on areas where they could be effective.

I think they were a better group earlier, and they lost their effectiveness when they lost their objectivity.

But it’s your money. I wouldn’t contribute to AI. I give to the ACLU in the United States – surely there must be an Irish equivalent.

flutherother's avatar

Amnesty is often the only organisation speaking for those who have no voice and the work they do is highly respected. It is your money but I would say Amnesty International will use it effectively. I may even contribute myself. Human rights are dear to my heart also.

imrainmaker's avatar

I second what @elbanditoroso is saying. Not just Hamas but there are examples of other terror outfits also.

josie's avatar

See @elbanditoroso

I would give it to Globus Relief

Rarebear's avatar

I don’t trust the big international organizations as I’ve had bad personal experiences with a few of them. Their bureaucracy tends to make them top heavy and I’m always unsure how much of my money is actually going to their cause as opposed to an executive salary. Also I found that a lot of NGOs follow where the money is going and will do work on an area whether it needs it or not, if there is funding there.

This obviously is a gross generalization but frankly I don’t have the time nor inclination to do the necessary research so I generally just donate to local entities like our local food bank.

MrGrimm888's avatar

It’s your money. You don’t have to donate to anyone…

If you have excess disposable income, and don’t want to be self serving, sure.

Just don’t donate money you need for you.

If you pay taxes, some of your money is already “donated”/distributed by your government…

It’s up to you if you want to donate more,or to a specific cause.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar


“AI sees nothing wrong with Hamas and other regional terrorism, while it is across-the-board critical of anything Israel does.”

By Amnesty International, 27 May 2015, Index number: MDE 21/1643/2015

“AI was far more focused on individuals imprisoned in various countries. However, from the 1970s onward, AI stopped focusing on individuals and prisoner-of-conscience situations”

Amnesty International present cases of individuals who are prisoners of conscience and victims of torture. Click open the link and look at the list on the left border of the page. If it weren’t for AI these people would be thrown into a dark hole, remain anonymous and their cases unknown to the world.

You are wrong, bandit.

As AI grew, so did their scope. They now not only investigate and report on individual victims, they investigate and report on the perpetrators of unjustified confinement and torture—the governments and orgs that commit these atrocities. It would have been irresponsible of them not to as they grew into a significant international organization.

@NerdyKeith You give Amnesty International as much money as you wish. Any one of us could become a victim at any time, especially while travelling. It is my favorite non-medical charity.

I advise you to always check a charity out by using an online, independent, non-governmental, non-profit charity reporting service. For charities headquartered in the States, there are many. I am sure the UK has many as well.

Amnesty International USA as reported by Charity Navigator, shows that 73% of their donations go to their programs, 21% to fundraising, and 6% to administrative costs. Their accountability and transparency score compared to other charities is in the 98 percentile.

Your donation will probably be going to Amnesty International UK. The stats could be different.

Nice to see you again, you corn-fed Mick.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Thanks everyone. Great insightful answers.

Hello @Espiritus_Corvus to you too, good to hear from you all. :)

There is actually an Amnesty International Ireland. I can’t seem to find any charity navigation for them as such. However Amnesty International Ireland seems very transparent on their yearly financial spendings. They tend to publish a Reports and Financial Statement yearly. So from what I can see the Irish section of the charity seems pretty honest from what I’ve seen anyway.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I couldn’t find an organisation like Charity Navigator either. It’s a pity such a site isn’t available. And yes, it is good to see you Keith.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Hey, @NerdyKeith, that might be a good thing to start up in Ireland. A Job for life in a gig that does good. Contact Charity Navigator and ask what is involved, how they verify that a charity’s annual reports are honest. Put together the website, and give it a shot. It’s an invaluable service and makes more people feel safe about giving. What a fine gig that would be. And you might be the first in Eire to do it.

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