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“They all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.”

Two years ago, video of three 7th grade boys harassing their bus monitor, Karen Klein whose eldest son had committed suicide, went viral. “Making the Bus Monitor Cry” hit a raw nerve with millions of viewers and the mainstream media picked it up. Someone set up a Indiegogo campaign to raise $5,000 to send Mrs. Klein on “the vacation of a lifetime.” The campaign raised $703,833 and people kept giving. They wanted it all to go to her and ended up giving her a nice retirement and the donors felt good about that.

The reasons why people are so generous to one individual rather than an organization that could have more impact has already been written about so I won’t go into it here. I do want to turn a spotlight on what has happened since then that reveals how unscrupulous people have used this phenomenon to enrich themselves.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_tappingakeg.gifOn July 10, 1212* the wood buildings and thatched roofs of London went up in flames. The Great Fire of Southwark started south of the London Bridge in the borough of Southwark. Although the bridge survived, it was built mostly of stone by this time, the houses on the bridge were lost along with many first responders, residents, and gawkers who were trapped when flying sparks started fires on the other end of the bridge. This event was known as the Great Fire of London until it was eclipsed by a bigger fire in 1666. 

Following the destruction, the first mayor of London, Henry Fitz-Ailwin, and a "council of reputable men" made some recommendations "for the purpose of calming and pacifying an angry citizenry and to protect against fires." Their recommendations included the provision of licenses for approved scot-ales held to raise funds for rebuilding with stone.

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An Analysis of a Major Gift Ask to a Drug Kingpin

In season three of HBO's The Wire, Dennis "Cutty" Wise has just been released from prison and is struggling to go straight. His dream is to open a boxing gym for the neighborhood kids but he's already been ridiculed by his potential clients about the poor quality of the gym equipment.

Cutty is broke but he does know one person with cash to spare—his former boss and drug kingpin Avon Barksdale. Most organizations would have to worry about receiving tainted money but for Cutty, this is not an issue. He decides to make an ask and here is how it goes:

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