Today, donation is established in our society as a culture. When Christmas gets closer every year, we might see a Salvation Army pot or another charity pot somewhere on the street. Many citizens open up donation events like preparing kimchi for the winter, fixing houses, and sharing briquettes for neighbors in need. A recent trend, regardless of the season, celebrities and their fans are making donations together for the needy. Many groups are strenuously working to create a new donation culture by creating volunteer campaigns. But, as the new donation culture spreads, society has began to increasingly distrust donation collectors. What the people have been doing with the donations in good faith is being abused more and more. So many people feel intense rage and frustration about this and is causing people to hesitate in donating. Consequently, donors have declared “donation phobia” as a result of the misuse of donation funds.
Donation phobia describes the negative perception of the misuse of donations which causes donors to stop donating. So, why is this donation phobia phenomenon getting worse in our society? Donation consists of people’s good faith and belief, but as the cases of abusing donations increase, so does despondency and distrust. It creates a dreary social atmosphere which poor neighbors cannot help. Another reason for donation phobia is donors never know when, how, to whom, and why their donations were used. Many donation organizations answer the telephone about where donations were used. This happens because donation systems are not transparent. Experts have been pointing out the opaque donation system from the past to now. If the donations are managed as an opaque system, it reduces donations and sponsorship because the donors' beliefs and good faith have already been trampled and there is a social mistrust towards donation agency.
Therefore, it is imperative to establish laws and institutions to solve this problem before the phenomenon of donation phobia spreads further. At first, donation systems must be built with transparency. The donor wants to know where their donations will be used and they hope that all of their donations will be passed on to the sponsor. However, this process is also costly, so the government must provide regulations for monitoring donations. In Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore, broadcast funding and promotional materials must be accompanied by a government-issued authorization number. This system helps monitor the donation organization. We also need the government's official permission and approval so that individuals can't easily abuse donations and donated items.
The next thing that needs to happen to restore trust in donation agencies is their history must be officially available so that all ordinary citizens can check it out. If the contribution history is shared only between donors and donation organizations, another social corruption phenomenon would be happening. The social corruption phenomena would cause an unrecoverable collapse in the minds of those who would otherwise donate. The last key is to spread awareness about donations. As the new donation culture gets formed, many people are becoming interested in donating more and more, but our society still needs improvement on being aware of the different ways they can donate.
When comparing the United State’s donation system with Korea’s there are many differences. In America, many famous CEOs do donation activities to help neighbors in need, but in Korea this is uncommon. American billionaire Warren Buffett has pledged to donate 99 percent of his personal property to society, and he is also leading a campaign called Giving Pledge. The goal of Giving Pledge is to inspire world’s rich people to donate their personal property to society before their death. He said using the property worthily is what restores society. Bill Gates also insists that donating is a privilege and provides happiness for those who participate. He participates in donation events and social campaigns every year as well. These kind of people, the kind who have money and social influence are contributing and working to establish a donation culture in our society.
Hopefully Korea’s CEOs who have a lot of property and social influence will join in donation activities and work for a transparent donation culture like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. If they actively lead by giving donations, people from all walks of life will participate in donating and will strive to create a warmer society. Donations consists of personal good faith and trust. Finally, we must surely establish our society’s donation culture and promote a social atmosphere where donors/ good faith and trust are respected.