The (Red) campaign gets a closer look in the NYT today. The focus on Red takes on importance as it is one of the largest corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs for international issues - the 15th largest donor to the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Yet, mixing business with philanthropy has its detractors, who get lots of space here. And how is money really being spent?
Over all, more than $59 million has been contributed by Red and its corporate partners to the Global Fund. Red-financed projects have helped put more than 30,000 people on antiretroviral treatment and provided more than 300,000 H.I.V.-positive pregnant women with counseling and treatment, according to data from Red and the fund.
Important to others is how Red and other CSR programs come by their resources and the potential unintended consequences of business activity in this arena.
Mark H. Rosenman, a professor of public service at Union Institute and University in Cincinnati...“There is a broadening concern that business marketing is taking on the patina of philanthropy and crowding out philanthropic activity and even substituting for it.”
Or as Bill Easterly recently asked on a panel about creative capitalism, how can we be sure that the partners in these types of programs actually share the same objectives?