With the recent statements by JK Rowling and some questions from our Authors Community, I wanted to share my opinion on Volutourism. Which is volunteering to help a charity in a way that is pretty light and a bit of a vacation.
Recently J.K. Rowling tweeted about her charity and another charity promoted a volutourism opportunity to her. This is her response.
Volutourism can be just bragging rights disguised as helping and volutourism or “green washing” can not actually help much and in some cases actually hurt the one thing you are trying to help.
Volutourism is not sustainable and you may look good at first but later you’ll look like the person that has their photo taken next to some orphans that posed with a long line of volunteers behind you getting ready for their “photo op”. At first, you feel great and then later you dread you participated.
How To Pick A Charity
Yes participating in a volunteer program can be a very nearly spiritual for you and give your life a lot of meaning, but make sure you what you spend way more on actually helping than on the tourism part and that it’s a charity that isn’t incentivized to keep the problem going.
I recommend every project we publish has a charity tie-in. And that charity needs to be aligned with what your project is about. We also recommend you create an impact number for each project. Like with every higher end package you sell you help the charity help, one person.
We plant 100 trees with every book project we publish. Plus for every project we fund a women’s business thru our charity partner.
Look for impact first not photo opportunities.
Pick a charity that aligns with your values and helps them. Yes, you can say to others that you do that, but you don’t exploit the charity.
Help a community by investing into it. Give them resources so they can help themselves to get out of the situation they are in. In order for there to be long-term economic growth, there needs to be an equal or greater flow of money into the community, as there is going out of the community. Constructing a school or building a well with volunteers and externally sourced materials doesn’t directly do this. It’s helpful, but it doesn’t fix the issue long-term. Giving them the resources and training to build the school or well is a long-term solution as the local workers now have a job and learn how to do the process again and again.
Giving to charity is a great thing that people of means can help this world, but like many things it can be complicated on whether you really help or not. Align your giving to charities that will have a long-term impact and stick with them