When Philanthropy Is Weird

New York Times- “The mixing of charity with various social events is really quite old and common,” Russell N. James III, a professor of personal financial planning at Texas Tech University who has studied charitable giving, told Op-Talk in an email. “What is new is the rapid meme-ing that can occur with social media.”

It’s been a strange week for philanthropy. Just as media outlets began assessing the effects of celebrities pouring ice on their heads for charity, Redditors decided to donate money in response to Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos. The practice of linking charitable giving to other activities — some just odd, some ethically questionable — seems to be growing in prominence, with what some say are not entirely positive results.

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“The mixing of charity with various social events is really quite old and common,” Russell N. James III, a professor of personal financial planning at Texas Tech University who has studied charitable giving, told Op-Talk in an email. “What is new is the rapid meme-ing that can occur with social media.”

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