IN(RED)IBLE


(RED) is a company that partners with major businesses in hope to raise money to end AIDS in Africa. Partners include American Express, Gap, Converse, Giorgio Armani, Apple, Nike, Motorola, and more. Each partner takes a percentage of their (RED) products and donates it to the Global Fund. For example, American Express will donate one percent of every purchase for using their product (RED) card and 1.25% for every purchase over five thousand dollars. “The Global Fund is a unique, public-private partnership and international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria.” Since (Red) has begun, corporations now contribute $150 million to the Global Fund when before corporations only contributed $5 million.

Although (RED) has increased public awareness of the problem in Africa dealing with AIDS, has raised millions of dollars for the Global Fund, and has improved the view people have on certain corporations, they still receive much criticism. Critics claim that (RED) is helping corporations much more than they help charity. If people want to help out, their argument is that they should give money to a charity directly instead of buying (RED) products.

I believe these critics need to back off. (RED) has found a way to take major corporations and make them give some of their proceeds to help people with AIDS, even if their still making profits off the products. More money than ever has come from corporations to help the Global Fund than before in result of (RED) and they also have made more people recognize the issues that are going on in Africa. Despite the criticism it gets, (RED) as a company allows for partner companies to make more money while also donating proceeds to people in need. Everyone wants to help in some way and (RED) makes that possible for everyday people. That seems successful to me.

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3 responses to “IN(RED)IBLE

  1. Is RED a “company” in the sense that it is organized as a for-profit corporation?

    Your point about the critics is interesting. You are saying that the amount raised is above and beyond what was raised pre-RED. hence, if there are “costs” to the donations in terms of the operation of RED and the profit of the firms that make the RED-ready products, those are affordable given the amount raised. Fund-raising is never free, as the large tent on our quad just made quite tangible to anyone trying to get from Vaughan to Coleman this week made clear.

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