Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Charities go after Olympic gold

VANCOUVER - What do People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the David Suzuki Foundation have in common? Both are using the Winter Olympics to gain attention and donations during tough economic times.

"The guy that can figure out how to elbow his way to the front of the pack is going to be more successful," said SFU marketing professor Lindsay Meredith. "You tag yourself to the gold-plated brand, it kind of rubs off on you."

DSF received $10,000 from VANOC for a 2008 report on ways to make the Games carbon neutral. DSF released a followup during March's VANOC-hosted World Conference on Sport and the Environment.

PETA, meanwhile, features unauthorized parodies of the VANOC logo and mascots in a campaign aimed at stopping the Atlantic coast seal hunt.

While VANOC used DSF estimates for its carbon offset plan, it wants nothing to do with PETA.

"Some organizations may use Vancouver 2010 and the Olympic spotlight as a vehicle to make themselves heard on issues unrelated to the Games," said communications vice-president Renee Smith-Valade. "We simply have no jurisdiction in these areas and we decline any specific comment on this issue."

StatsCan estimated Canadians donated $10 billion to charities in 2007. Religious organizations received 46 per cent of donations, followed by health (15 per cent) and social services (10 per cent). GivingUSA said Americans donated US $307.65 billion in 2008.

Environmental and animal causes received US$6.58 billion in 2008, a 5.5-per-cent drop.

PETA reported US$31 million in donations last year and spent US$16.7 million on campaigns, public outreach and education. In 2008, DSF received $7.4 million and spent almost $5.1 million on programs.

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus