Philanthropy vs. National
Security: Should CARE Criticize
ARTHUR C. BROOKS
Jeff Brooks creates direct-mail fundraising appeals for charitable organizations. He is the Creative Director for the Domain Group, a marketing firm based in Seattle that specializes in nonprofits.1 Jeff has been in the direct-mail business for more than fifteen years. His specialty is overseas humanitarian organizations—foreign aid nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). His clients include both secular and church-based organizations, from America’s Second Harvest to World Vision.
Jeff believes in the missions of his clients. After completing graduate degrees in creative writing and literature, he chose to work for an ad firm that specializes in nonprofits in order to make a difference in the world through his work. For his clients, he travels all over the world, meeting with besieged aid workers, religious dissidents, and some of the world’s poorest people. He turns what he sees and hears into appeals for donations that usually yield more than these organizations had ever hoped.
Jeff’s fundraising success is attracting some of the most prominent players in the humanitarian aid world. In early 2001, for example, CARE International came to the Domain Group and asked Jeff to redesign its fundraising appeals. CARE International is one of the largest private humanitarian organizations in the world. With relief projects in virtually every part of the globe, CARE has a worldwide staff of more than 12,000, has assets of nearly $400 million, and spends nearly half a billion dollars annually on its activities.2
Jeff has been working on the CARE account for about a year now, and is considering some important changes to the way the organization portrays itself in its fundraising. Specifically, he is thinking about whether a change in CARE’s policy of impartiality on political issues—such as the role