Research on a charity
Research on a charity
Identify an organized charity (I have chosen Bread For City, https://breadforthecity.org). Below are questions to kick start research and while your research should address them, they are not limited to these questions. These are intended to get you launched but I want to encourage your own instincts in crafting the essays. While I encourage creativity, you are required to write about the connections between what you have learned about the organization and course readings:
* What is the name of the organization and what (if any) message about the organization is disclosed by its name?
* What kind of organization is it? Where is it and where does it do its work and what kind of place is that?
* What are its goals/mission statement?
* What is the founding history of the organization, including who was the founder and backstory about them (i.e., what led them to create organization and define its focus/work?)
* What does it do as its primary activity (i.e., what is “the work” of the organization?) How do its actions/programs relate to its mission statement? What is your assessment of the connection between mission statement and the work of the organization?
* Does the charity provide materials benefits (like basic needs supports of food, housing, etc.) (and if so, what sorts) and/or moral uplift/counseling (and if so, what sorts)—or possibly some combination of the two?
* Is this a membership organization? Who are the members and what is the basis of membership? Where do they meet, do their work, etc.? When and how did they become organized?
* Is the organization based on patron-client relationships? Who are “the patrons” and “the clients” and how are they recruited/selected?
* How would you characterize the relationship between the charity and their social justice focus? Are they providing emergency assistance (e.g., after a natural disaster)? Seeking long-term structural changes?
* Based on what you can learn about the organization, how does it conceptualize the people they are hoping to help? Victims? Clients? Partners? Co-community members?
* How did you find out about the organization and its work? What kind of media/online presence does it have either directly or through connections with other organizations and/or media outlets?
* How does the organization work in coalition with others? Find specific examples of when and how. Are there turf issues between it and other organizations working in the same area (geographically or topically defined)?
* What can you discern about the internal processes of the organization? Does it seem to operate according to democratic principles; is there one strong leader, perhaps a charismatic founder? Is there a large or small staff?
* How do the readings of the two weeks of the course about charity help you understand the charity organization that is the focus of your essay?
* How does the organization define charity (explicitly or implicitly)?
* Make specific connections with key concepts and arguments in the readings, for example about Wagner’s conception of “repressive benevolence”; Poppendieck’s arguments about charity and dignity and charity’s “moral bargain”; and Peck and Tickell’s notions of roll back and roll out neoliberalism.
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