It does not mean that non-earmarked donations will get lost in “some huge, bureaucratic blackhole” — at least not at most U.S. organizations. That gives the impression that nonprofits play fast and loose with the monies they collect. And that’s just not the way it is.
Much has been written about Doctors Without Borders USA/Médecins Sans Frontières’ bold move to stop accepting tsunami-related donations just days after that devastating event and encouraging donors instead to give unrestricted gifts to fund other important MSF programs. It might have been easier and more lucrative for MSF to simply continue to rake in the cash and then just use it wherever it saw fit. But it would have been ethically questionable — and MSF was quick to recognize that.