Boy oh boy do celebrities ever love talking about auctioning things off for charity. They want you to remember that they're such sweet, kind Disney Princesses that it's hard to see their faces, what with all the birds flying around their heads braiding their hair and basking in their goodness. But did you know that some celebrities' "charity" auctions are actually actually just sales that end up supporting celebrities' images and pocketbooks much more than they end up supporting the charities themselves? Who's actually giving it away? Who's pocketing the cash? Let's find out!
It should surprise exactly no one that Kim Kardashian, of the 72-day wedding-for-profit scheme, is a member of the 10% to Charity Club. According to Fox News' Pop Tarts blog, Kimmy K has been running threads through eBay's GivingWorks for years now. The site only requires sellers to give a minimum of 10% to charity, so that's what she's done. It doesn't take a Math Expert to know that 100% minus 10% means that Kim's "charity" auctions actually pay her 9 times more than they pay the charity of her choice. Kim's sister Khloe and Khloe's husband Lamar Odom have also generously agreed to pocket 90% of the proceeds from auctioning off their personal items.
So what's the difference between a 10% donation and a 100% donation? When it comes to celebrity auctions, the trick's in the wording. If an auction promises to give "all proceeds to charity," it's safe to assume that's what's going to happen. "Some proceeds to charity" means just that— and it could mean that as little as 10% is going to support something besides the deceptively charitable celebrity's bottom line.
Not all celebrities Kardashian out on their charitable giving. Miley Cyrus, Sienna Miller, Steven Tyler, and Charlie Sheen have opened their closets or houses to auctions that gave 100% of the proceeds to charity in recent years. Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler also routinely give away all of the money they raise through charity auctions. And, as much as U2's music makes me want to set myself on fire, The Edge has put his money where his mouth is and given away all the money auctions of his personal effects has raised.
In Kim's defense, The Dream Foundation, designated Kardashian auction beneficiary, has no problem with Kim's giving, saying she goes "above and beyond," which is pretty much the only thing that any charity would ever say about any donor. In fact, the only time I've ever seen a charity try to guilt trip people for not giving enough money was when Ira Glass called to nag listeners who didn't contribute to public radio on air. And that was hilarious. Even though she's been straightforward about the 10%-to-charity figure, what Kim's doing just seems misleading, and, well Kardashian (Kardashian, in this context, is an adjective meaning "scammy and fame-whoring.")
Giving to charity is commendable, but when the Kardashians are getting more out of giving to charity— both money-wise and career-wise— than the charities themselves, can we really call it "charitable?"