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Monday, March 11, 2013

Kony Anniversary

The viral video, Kony 2012, caused quite a dramatic public reaction last year and caused the highest spike in traffic in our site usage ever (here's what we said about the issue at the time). As you may recall, the aim of the KONY 2012 campaign was to make Joseph Kony the most wanted man in the world and see his arrest before December 31st, 2012. While he has not been arrested, Invisible Children did live up to its goal of raising awareness. Its mission specifically states that it will 'use film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in Central Africa to peace and prosperity..."

In the spirit of our President & CEO's Report for March 2013, let's see how Invisible Children would fare on the first element of Results Reporting, Alignment of Mission, Solicitations and ResourcesOn their site, Invisible Children is very clear as to their mission and their programs and approach to tackle the LRA conflict and bring it to an end, which is their only focus. But is the publicized information consistent with their actual program expenditures as stated on the Form 990? Invisible children does seem to pass this litmus test when we investigate into their Form 990 where it states that they use 80.5% of their expenses on the following activities: roughly 11.18% on their media program, 43.24% on their mobilization program, 12.73% on their protection program and 32.85% on their recovery program. 

Whether you think, Invisible Children is attacking the problem correctly is a different and personal matter, however, they are transparent about their programs. 
So, all this comes down to one important question: are they compatible with your philanthropic goals? That can only be answered with some introspection and investigation into the organization.

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