Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

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Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby lazyday » Sat May 18, 2013 7:02 am

We have many wealthy people here, and surely many give to charity.

Some research claims that some charities are up to 1,000 times as effective as others.
And that is ignoring the larger problem of direct help with little long term regard--fish given vs teaching to fish, collabarating/enabling, dignity.

Many of us put long efforts into our investing strategies and tactics, reducing expenses, or discussions. How much time do we spend choosing charities? Discussion and analysis might be worthwhile, and it might inspire more generosity.

I have found it difficult to find charity discussion forums for the philanthropist, instead of the fundraiser. Philanthropy “forum” is a conference. Discussion groups are in person. All these are for fundraisers. Maybe my google-fu is weak.

And I have found sites which evaluate charities shockingly lacking, the best essentially measuring how many fish charities give away. Or how much short term pain outsiders are taking away, ignoring long term damage caused.

Paraphrasing, “Give a fish, they eat for a day. Teach to fish...”
Better yet, teach teachers, still better, provide seed capital to the best agricultural engineer that can’t get funding elsewhere, and connect her with competant volunteer expertise.

If it isn’t obvious, I’m thinking about the poorest parts of the world, with the highest possible “return” for my money. I’ve no problem with those who choose to give local.

Today many young people are un or underemployed. Perhaps not many on this forum, I don’t know. There may be retirees interested in volunteering. Including some early retirees.

Combining the two into one forum might keep the site simpler, otherwise I’d have suggested two (sub) forums. Having them together might have benefits as those who visit for either reason seem somewhat likely able to contribute on the other, or, rarely, be swayed to act on the other.

Or if it reduces the moderation burdon, leave volunteering out. Probably less need; there are forums online. Also not connected to money management.
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby dailybagel » Sat May 18, 2013 7:47 am

I can't speak to the moderation burden this would bring -- one would hope that nice people discussing how best to give back to society wouldn't descend into flame wars too often!

I just wanted to add that I would find this useful. I currently need advice about starting a volunteer program at my workplace, and how to find appropriate "outlets" for volunteers.
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby Sheepdog » Sat May 18, 2013 8:52 am

In regards to that sub forum here, that may work, or it may not.. I give to charitable organizations, local and national. I support by volunteering and have been board members and could contribute occasionally. However, in times past there have been a few occasions where discussions of particular organizations which people support has led to some problems by those who don't support that organization or cause. I suspect that it would not be a good idea. I don't know, though.

Google "charity discussion panels" or some such, to see if some exist which you would like. I did so and found an interesting one, Charity Channel. http://charitychannel.com/. "For more than a decade CharityChannel members have supported each other by contributing thousands of online articles on topics that busy, in-the-trenches practitioners can use in their day-to-day work." There were other forums in that search.
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat May 18, 2013 9:07 am

I think it would be unwise. A substantial portion of "charitable" giving and volunteering are associated with religious and political organizations, which should make them inappropriate for discussion here. To discuss non-religious and non-political philanthropy for the benefit of the world's poorest would interest me, but I don't think the boundaries would be respected.

IMO, it's a well-intentioned but bad idea.
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby bottlecap » Sat May 18, 2013 9:14 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:I think it would be unwise. A substantial portion of "charitable" giving and volunteering are associated with religious and political organizations, which should make them inappropriate for discussion here.


Not only that, but to discuss the effectiveness of charities is to say than some aren't very effective. This is undoubtedly true, but will nonetheless lead to conflict. Just imagine how you might respond if I suggested your favorite charity was essentially worthless?

JT
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby Sidney » Sat May 18, 2013 9:18 am

Recently there was a short thread on possibly implementing a tagging feature on the board. That might be a good alternative. There are other sub-topics (e.g. taxes) that could benefit from a tagging feature.
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat May 18, 2013 9:36 am

bottlecap wrote:Just imagine how you might respond if I suggested your favorite charity was essentially worthless?
JT


... and that's precisely what I'd be waiting in the bushes to do :twisted:
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby enderland » Sat May 18, 2013 9:56 am

bottlecap wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:I think it would be unwise. A substantial portion of "charitable" giving and volunteering are associated with religious and political organizations, which should make them inappropriate for discussion here.


Not only that, but to discuss the effectiveness of charities is to say than some aren't very effective. This is undoubtedly true, but will nonetheless lead to conflict. Just imagine how you might respond if I suggested your favorite charity was essentially worthless?

JT


Perhaps I'm in a small minority, but if someone suggested and documented my favorite charity being worthless, I would thank them, research it further, and decide if there was enough merit to the suggestion to stop contributing there.
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat May 18, 2013 10:24 am

enderland wrote:
bottlecap wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:I think it would be unwise. A substantial portion of "charitable" giving and volunteering are associated with religious and political organizations, which should make them inappropriate for discussion here.


Not only that, but to discuss the effectiveness of charities is to say than some aren't very effective. This is undoubtedly true, but will nonetheless lead to conflict. Just imagine how you might respond if I suggested your favorite charity was essentially worthless?

JT


Perhaps I'm in a small minority, but if someone suggested and documented my favorite charity being worthless, I would thank them, research it further, and decide if there was enough merit to the suggestion to stop contributing there.

I think that what you are saying applies if you have only a minimal emotional investment in the charity. What if someone were to say that CharityX, which is run by the religion that your family has been a member of since time began is bogus and criminal? Or, in a more secular vein, among my friends there were many interesting reactions to Lance Armstrong's troubles; some of the discussions became angry ones about Livestrong.
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby enderland » Sat May 18, 2013 10:47 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:I think that what you are saying applies if you have only a minimal emotional investment in the charity. What if someone were to say that CharityX, which is run by the religion that your family has been a member of since time began is bogus and criminal? Or, in a more secular vein, among my friends there were many interesting reactions to Lance Armstrong's troubles; some of the discussions became angry ones about Livestrong.


This is why I suggest I'm in a small minority.
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Re: Proposal: Philanthropy & Volunteering sub Forum

Postby lazyday » Sat May 18, 2013 11:01 am

Sheepdog, Thanks for comment on Phil/Vol synergy.

Came across Charity Channel before, but thought it for fundraisers:
Join a CharityChannel Professional Group to advance your professional competence or even just to receive help and support from your colleagues on the state-of-the-art discussion forums. Professional Groups are the centerpiece of participation on CharityChannel, enabling you to connect with colleagues who share a professional interest in the subject matter of the Group.

Must join site “CharityChannel professional community” and pay ahead of time to get to forum. Is this really useful for an amateur who wants to donate effectively? I want to find a most effective charity. Less by statistics, more by informed “art”. I have one in mind, but it has gained publicity and maybe enough money to easily manage. (This kind of charity will become less effective if too large.) Perhaps others have surpassed it in effectiveness.

I have seen many charity discussion forums, but noticed none focused on giving, with more than 50 posts in total. The idea here would be a forum where it is against the rules to ask for money or discuss fundraising. There are countless other places to discuss fundraising.

All--Will let others discuss answers on the moderation problem. It could be a tinderbox, but there might be creative solutions, high or low labor.
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