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Ruminations on Giving

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  • Ruminations on Giving

    Is anyone not donating to charities much these days? I realized today that I don't have a single tax deductible donation on record for the year. First I had a flinch of guilt - ugh what a jerk I am, I've got a pretty good life, and I'm not giving back to the world the way I should.

    Then I thought about it and realized I've got a pretty consistent pattern of giving. I'm just not giving to organized charities. I've helped out with bail money/tack donations/vet care for three different rescue horses owned by private parties, two different sick cats, and a dog foster. I've given loans (never intending to collect) to a few people who had temporary cash flow problems due to a collision of medical issues and the current poor economy. I'm definitely willing to dig into my pocket when the mood suits me.

    I then started wondering why the mood just never strikes me when it comes to organized charities: my local public radio station, my local animal shelters, stuff like that. I realized it's because organized fund raising really annoys me. I feel like I'm feeding a stray cat - feed it once, and the thing constantly comes back begging for more. I don't like the ongoing solicitation, so I've gotten into the habit of telling both the cat and the charities to scat.

    Is anyone else starting to have this reaction to organized charity?

  • #2
    Can't say that I am. But I am picky about what charities I give to. Definitely certain animal charities but also a couple of human ones. I love Heifer International - You give animals to help humans.

    The way you are giving is great. Keep up the good work.


    • #3
      Being picky is critical. Many charities have higher overhead than we care to cover.

      My husband pays for college educations for rural Chinese. He finds individuals who are in dire need through a network of friends/co-workers and pays all of their expenses. No overhead, a single person's life is changed in a way that we cannot even begin to comprehend (unless you have lived in rural China, you really can't imagine) and he does it anonymously, so the person who is being helped never knows who is funding them.

      Nice guy, my husband.
      Chronicles of the $700 Pony
      The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
      www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog


      • #4
        We do a little of both. We help people we know with $$ out of our pocket if they need help. We also give to a lot of organized charities, mostly local. I like giving to organized charities because there is more accountability and transparency about where the money goes.

        I don't think there's anything wrong with either way of giving - the important thing is that you do it. If you had said that you never give a cent to *anybody*, well, that would be a little hard hearted in my way of thinking, but hey, it's a free country.


        • #5
          And as a recipient of charity, there is nothing wrong with the way you are doing things either. Charities and humans alike need a lot more than just cash.

          On the flip side of the coin, yes, if you give to a charity, they certainly hope you do again. I dont bother my donors but.............I make sure they are informed about what we are doing so if they are in a position to donate, they will hopefully choose us again but..........................we dont expect it.

          Thankyou for doing your bit to make the world a bit brighter.
          Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

          Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement


          • #6
            Giving to charity

            I do but this has been a VERY tough year. I belong to a church, but haven't been attending so I haven't been tithing. But otoh, I have been able to donate to two local charities that are very special to me. One is the local homeless shelter, Christian affiliated, and the other is a small charity, that has an outreach in Haiti. Both are local and have open books. They do not solicit, and are very responsible. I feel terrible about not donating to all the horse charities here, but you cannot spread yourself so thin. I wish I could help them all....
            Another killer of threads


            • #7
              You can only do what you can do. I think it is important to designate a need that is important to you, and to ascertain exactly how much goes to the cause itself.

              And, as is on the being-developed-as-we-speak Special Horses website, in the words of Lori from Sunkissed Acres, it is not all about the money.
              a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by Reynard Ridge View Post
                Being picky is critical. Many charities have higher overhead than we care to cover.

                My husband pays for college educations for rural Chinese. He finds individuals who are in dire need through a network of friends/co-workers and pays all of their expenses. No overhead, a single person's life is changed in a way that we cannot even begin to comprehend (unless you have lived in rural China, you really can't imagine) and he does it anonymously, so the person who is being helped never knows who is funding them.

                Nice guy, my husband.
                That's really cool. Back in the 1980's my family, thru a long complicated web of personal connections, informally sponsored a Chinese woman whose education had been derailed by the political upheavals of the Mao era. (Her father had gotten on somebody's black list and was sent off for reeducation.) She ended up getting a masters in engineering here in the States and is now doing quite well in the Shanghai building boom.

                The rising tide of Chinese prosperity certainly hasn't floated the rural areas as high as the cities. In some ways I think the areas have even slid back a bit. For example, the system of barefoot doctors provided at least the rudiments of health care to the rural poor in the 60's and 70's, but the system was pretty much dismantled in the 80's. So now the health care level has gone from poor to none at all. I'm glad your husband is able to help at least some people there.