Picking a Charity

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jakobox
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Picking a Charity

Post by jakobox » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:48 pm

Hi all,

Any advice on picking a charity to give too? I have a portion of gross income dedicated to charity. I have given to a number of different charities over the years, but I haven't felt a true excitement or connection with any of the charities that I'm currently giving to.

Would love any thoughts!

mx711yam
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by mx711yam » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:51 pm

I do st judes and make a wish, soft spot for kids.

Go to charity navigator it will tell you if the charity you choose responsibly uses your money.

jebmke
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by jebmke » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:55 pm

We focus quite a bit on local charities. That way we get to see what they are doing and the impact shows up in our local community.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

sport
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by sport » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:56 pm

I have started to donate to Smile Train. They provide cleft palate surgery for free to poor children in the third world. It allows these children to have normal happy lives, instead of being shunned by their society. The cost for doing this is $250 per child. I feel that giving a child a normal life is a wonderful thing to do, and I am happy to give multiples of the cost so more children can be helped.

mak1277
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by mak1277 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:56 pm

My point of view is that the people should donate to things they believe in and care about. I wouldn't suggest that you donate to the same charities that I do, because our values are likely different. One example...I donate to a charity that offers free house cleaning for people with cancer. I do that because they cleaned my mom's house when she was going through chemo and it genuinely meant a lot to her.

All of my charitable donations are similar...I send money to groups that have a personal impact for me. I tend to avoid anything but cursory gifts to large national charities.

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:58 pm

jakobox wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:48 pm
Hi all,
Any advice on picking a charity to give too? I have a portion of gross income dedicated to charity. I have given to a number of different charities over the years, but I haven't felt a true excitement or connection with any of the charities that I'm currently giving to.
Would love any thoughts!
For emergency domestic and international relief (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.) I might pick a faith based, large charity that helps people of all religious backgrounds. Catholic Relief Services is an example of this type of organization.

For other "causes", perhaps pick one where you can get involved and know, for 100% certainty, that your money and that others, is spent responsibly. Here is one "umbrella" entity where I am involved in a "twinned" relationship. https://www.parishprogram.org/

123
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by 123 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:59 pm

Assuming you're a resident of the United States we'd all appreciate any help you can give.

How about a donation to reduce the Public Dept of the United States? https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/res ... ebtFinance

We will all be grateful.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:02 pm

jebmke wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:55 pm
We focus quite a bit on local charities. That way we get to see what they are doing and the impact shows up in our local community.
Yes - there are favorable aspects to that approach. However, if your community is high income, there are reasons to also seek out lower income and/or higher need communities in other geographic areas.

Here is one organization that does this https://www.ramusa.org/

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:13 pm

From their direct involvement in such international causes, I have relatives who support (and participate in) outreach of United Methodiat churches and the American Baptist Churches USA.

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camillus
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by camillus » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:20 pm

First of all, you should look into a Donor Advised Fund. I've been very interested in DAFs lately. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3QTj3607v0

Most of my contributions are given per my faith commitment, including global disaster relief & community development.

Here's a good read from MMM on charity, including some tidbits on the "effective altruism" movement, which I think is important: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/10 ... ay-100000/

Rupert
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Rupert » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:28 pm

It's a very personal decision. I tend to choose local charities that I feel don't get a lot of attention and that don't constantly bug me for money, e.g., the local public library, local drug rehabilitation programs, local women's shelters, local children's homes.

jebmke
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by jebmke » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:32 pm

Rupert wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:28 pm
It's a very personal decision. I tend to choose local charities that I feel don't get a lot of attention and that don't constantly bug me for money, e.g., the local public library, local drug rehabilitation programs, local women's shelters, local children's homes.
Not to dissuade you from local charities for this purpose but this is one of the significant non-financial advantages of using a Donor Advised Fund. We channel quite a bit our giving anonymously.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Dottie57
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:34 pm

I use Givewell.org to find where my money will go the farthest. I give to charities which do mosquito nets (malaria protection) and deworming for kids in Africa. Money goes a long way. I also give to Alzheimer’s addicting (Dad) and Luekemia ( cousin died at 9).

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:42 pm

jebmke wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:32 pm
Rupert wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:28 pm
It's a very personal decision. I tend to choose local charities that I feel don't get a lot of attention and that don't constantly bug me for money, e.g., the local public library, local drug rehabilitation programs, local women's shelters, local children's homes.
Not to dissuade you from local charities for this purpose but this is one of the significant non-financial advantages of using a Donor Advised Fund. We channel quite a bit our giving anonymously.
Yes - one of the benefits we can receive with our DAF.

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:44 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:34 pm
I use Givewell.org to find where my money will go the farthest. I give to charities which do mosquito nets (malaria protection) and deworming for kids in Africa. Money goes a long way. I also give to Alzheimer’s addicting (Dad) and Luekemia ( cousin died at 9).
One thing to be careful about is to make sure you are giving to the exact charity you intend. There seem to be a lot of "charities" (often associated with diseases and conditions) with very similar and (sometimes intentional) confusing names.

sport
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by sport » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:46 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:42 pm
jebmke wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:32 pm
Rupert wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:28 pm
It's a very personal decision. I tend to choose local charities that I feel don't get a lot of attention and that don't constantly bug me for money, e.g., the local public library, local drug rehabilitation programs, local women's shelters, local children's homes.
Not to dissuade you from local charities for this purpose but this is one of the significant non-financial advantages of using a Donor Advised Fund. We channel quite a bit our giving anonymously.
Yes - one of the benefits we can receive with our DAF.
However, you cannot make a QCD to a donor advised fund.

jebmke
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by jebmke » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:51 pm

sport wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:46 pm
However, you cannot make a QCD to a donor advised fund.
Correct. And apparently one cannot make a QCD anonymously which is a drawback.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

PoppyA
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by PoppyA » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:03 pm

If you are not concerned with a tax write off:

I like to give personally. By that I mean -

I gave $ to a neighbors, childhood friends family, who lost everything to a fire
I’ve left money for elderly people who needed some help financially
I’ve given money to a college student who’s family didn’t have a lot of money
I donate to fundraiser for people dealing with health issues

Sometimes I do the donation anonymously, sometimes not.
"La Bella Luna"

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:07 pm

PoppyA wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:03 pm
If you are not concerned with a tax write off:
I like to give personally. By that I mean -
I gave $ to a neighbors, childhood friends family, who lost everything to a fire
I’ve left money for elderly people who needed some help financially
I’ve given money to a college student who’s family didn’t have a lot of money
I donate to fundraiser for people dealing with health issues
Sometimes I do the donation anonymously, sometimes not.
Yes - such financial support can be the most effective ways of giving. However, there are certain challenges and complications at times.

SoAnyway
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by SoAnyway » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:08 pm

Rupert wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:28 pm
It's a very personal decision.
+1. I'd add that your personal decisions/priorities/passions may change over time, OP. You said, "I have given to a number of different charities over the years, but I haven't felt a true excitement or connection with any of the charities that I'm currently giving to." Maybe if you say (whether specifically or in general) the charities or types of charities you've given to in the past and why, that might help others here help you. It would also help to know if you are contributing via DAF or directly (and cash vs. appreciated securities, if directly), and what types of causes you feel strongly about.

FWIW, I make a smattering of contributions to
(a) large 501c3s (mostly appreciated securities, since they have the infrastructure to deal with them) - these are mostly institutions I'm an alum of or whose charitable missions are tied to causes I care deeply about;
(b) small local charities in my community; and
(c) random other solicitations that come to my attention via co-workers, kids knocking on the door, what-have-you, that usually end with the letters "-athon".

P.S. I've become a big fan of donorschoose.org. If you're at all into kids' education, public schooling, etc., it's a great way to give and to feel good about giving. The pictures and thank yous from the teachers and kids are priceless.

One example: There was an art teacher in my metro area who had potters' wheels and a kiln in her classroom, but due to budget cuts in her school district, she had no CLAY that would allow the kids to use this equipment and allow her to teach some valuable lessons. (I understood the situation, but the injustice offended my sensibilities....) I simply funded the hundred bucks or so (sorry, don't remember) that the teacher was seeking in order to get these kids some clay to make something that they could give to their parents for upcoming holidays and allow the teacher to do her job properly. To me, the amount of money was a nothing. Well, I was absolutely blown out of the chair when all the handwritten thank-you notes, and the "all smiles" pictures of little kids working at pottery wheels and holding up their finished projects, landed in my mailbox....

Full disclosure: I have NO affiliation with this organization and have received NOTHING in exchange for this endorsement. I just think it's a great way to give. :sharebeer

Edit: For anyone interested in donorschoose, here's a better link. (Scroll down to "How It Works".) Short version: They vet all teacher requests to make sure they're legit; buy and ship the supplies (using their large buyer negotiating leverage with vendors to get better pricing); and send all funded teachers a kit with stationery/disposable camera that they are required to return, so that dc can then send the funder the evidence of how the supplies purchased with their donated money was used.
Last edited by SoAnyway on Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

SoAnyway
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by SoAnyway » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:10 pm

Duplicate deleted

StealthRabbit
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by StealthRabbit » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:27 pm

camillus wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:20 pm
First of all, you should look into a Donor Advised Fund. I...
not knowing your age, objectives, plan...

I started with DAF in my 30's to build a perpetual legacy / capability to gift AFTER I was without income (came soon enough... retired - outsourced in my 40's)

The DAF has been very good tax tool and offers you flexibility now and later to most whatever qualified charity you choose.

I recommend the Vanguard or Fidelity options for Charitable Gifting as a way of your 'investment plan and financial life goals'.
However, you cannot make a QCD to a donor advised fund.
yes, you need to manage your QCD's to 'other' gifting, but that is VERY easy to do if you have the flexibility of a DAF (give / not give / shuffle charities... send your QCD to grandkid's or friend's tuition...

jebmke
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by jebmke » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:46 pm

StealthRabbit wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:27 pm
send your QCD to grandkid's or friend's tuition...
This is not allowed.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

jdb
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by jdb » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:36 pm

All my RMD going to QCD. I prefer local charities. I have been asking friends about which local charities they find most effective, lots of good suggestions. But it is harder than I expected, need to do the due diligence through charity navigator or its ilk, or through friends involved in the organizations. But makes one feel good that helping out local community. Good luck.

Dottie57
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:50 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:44 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:34 pm
I use Givewell.org to find where my money will go the farthest. I give to charities which do mosquito nets (malaria protection) and deworming for kids in Africa. Money goes a long way. I also give to Alzheimer’s addicting (Dad) and Luekemia ( cousin died at 9).
One thing to be careful about is to make sure you are giving to the exact charity you intend. There seem to be a lot of "charities" (often associated with diseases and conditions) with very similar and (sometimes intentional) confusing names.
I am careful.

Nicolas
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Nicolas » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:55 pm

I've found that many charities are scams. Go to charitynavigator.org and check them out.

Many military veteran, police, and firefighter charities are out-and-out scams, also those that promise to be seeking cures for specific diseases.

You can see what they pay their directors there too. Even well-known and highly regarded organizations pay their directors up to $500K a year in salary -- to me this is unconscionable. I won't give to them. https://www.charitynavigator.org

It's probably better to keep your giving local, these big national organizations in many cases can't be trusted. If you give locally you can check up on what they're doing.
Last edited by Nicolas on Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:03 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:55 pm
I've found that many charities are scams. Go to charitynavigator.org and check them out.
Many military veteran, police, and firefighter charities are out-and-out scams. Also those that promise to be seeking cures for specific diseases.
You can see what they pay their directors there too. Even well-known and highly regarded organizations pay their directors up to $500K a year in salary -- to me this is unconscionable. I won't give to them. https://www.charitynavigator.org
It's probably better to keep your giving local, these big national organizations in many cases can't be trusted. If you give locally you can check up on what they're doing.
Yes - but I suspect many of the "scam" ones choose names that are similar to large and reputable ones.

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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Nicolas » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:18 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:03 pm
Nicolas wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:55 pm
I've found that many charities are scams. Go to charitynavigator.org and check them out.
Many military veteran, police, and firefighter charities are out-and-out scams. Also those that promise to be seeking cures for specific diseases.
You can see what they pay their directors there too. Even well-known and highly regarded organizations pay their directors up to $500K a year in salary -- to me this is unconscionable. I won't give to them. https://www.charitynavigator.org
It's probably better to keep your giving local, these big national organizations in many cases can't be trusted. If you give locally you can check up on what they're doing.
Yes - but I suspect many of the "scam" ones choose names that are similar to large and reputable ones.
This is true, how well I know! Since May I've been fighting the 162 (so far) organizations that have targeted my aged relative. She was getting six or seven begging letters in the mail every day. Not email, U.S. Mail.
Last edited by Nicolas on Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

InMyDreams
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by InMyDreams » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:47 pm

I don't know if there's another charity that's won a Nobel Peace Prize?
https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/w ... eace-prize

And anyone who lives in the area where Florence hits will need help. Still a lot of clean up to do from Maria.

But - what are your interests? Concerns? Starting from there and researching the charities well using the review tools already mentioned.

education. mentoring. get out the vote. hunger. medical relief. housing. homeless. the list is sooo long!

KlangFool
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by KlangFool » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:16 am

1) Local food bank. Nobody should go hungry in our country. But, unfortunately, many do.

2) Local homeless shelters.

KlangFool

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:40 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:16 am
1) Local food bank. Nobody should go hungry in our country. But, unfortunately, many do.
2) Local homeless shelters.
KlangFool
Both of these are "causes" where a potential donor can become involved and see, firsthand, how the organization works (or doesn't work).

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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:59 pm

I removed an off-topic post and reply (political comment). As a reminder, see: Politics and Religion
In order to avoid the inevitable frictions that arise from these topics, political or religious posts and comments are prohibited. The only exceptions to this rule are:
  • Common religious expressions such as sending your prayers to an ailing member.
  • Usage of factual and non-derogatory political labels when necessary to the discussion at hand.
  • Discussions about enacted laws or regulations that affect the individual investor. Note that discussions of proposed legislation are prohibited.
  • Proposed regulations that are directly related to investing may be discussed if and when they are published for public comments.
This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).

Please stay focused on the financial aspects.
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golfCaddy
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by golfCaddy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:03 pm

I like to give to medical research. It can be difficult to assess the impact of such charities.

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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by protagonist » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:56 pm

Consider something local that you believe in and know about. That is probably best.

If you go for something national or global, carefully research online how much of your money is going to administration and how much is actually getting to the source.

Also consider that if you give to a specific cause sponsored by a larger charity with many objectives, your money may not be specifically benefiting that cause. An analogy is tax revenues. The government has a specific budget. If you were able to specify where your tax money went, you could, hypothetically, say you wanted it to go towards education and not towards the military (this is all hypothetical since it is not possible to tell the government where to use your money, and using real charity examples could get into political arguments). But by making it easier for the government to meet their goals in that department, more of other people's money could be more easily funneled into the military rather than towards education. So your taxes would thus be helping the military achieve its goal as well. If you think about many large charitable organizations that also have specific budget goals, the same would apply.

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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Saving$ » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:30 pm

No reply by the OP yet, but OP, consider giving your money to a cause that you would also be willing to give time or effort towards
- Would you be willing to volunteer maintaining your local park - if so give to the park conservancy
- Would you be willing to distribute, pick up or sort food at a food bank - if so give to the food bank
- Would you be willing to spend a Saturday working on a local Habitat house or go overseas for a week to work on one in a developing country - if so give to Habitat locally or overseas.
- Are you willing to commit to tutor a kid weekly then give to an educational program.

You get the idea. Give money to the same causes in which you are willing to invest time and effort

letsgobobby
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:46 pm

With all respect to the OP, how does a thoughtful, introspective, considered, mindful adult reach this point in his life without ever having found a single charitable cause that touches his soul?

mak1277
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by mak1277 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:33 am

letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:46 pm
With all respect to the OP, how does a thoughtful, introspective, considered, mindful adult reach this point in his life without ever having found a single charitable cause that touches his soul?
It took me until my late 30s to find any that I really cared about deeply. If you don't come from an upbringing that prioritizes charitable giving, and you don't seek it out, it's not surprising to me.

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:01 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:03 pm
I like to give to medical research. It can be difficult to assess the impact of such charities.
Yes - difficult indeed.

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GoldStar
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by GoldStar » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:03 pm

We do some local ones including:
-Our local no-kill Animal Shelter.
-Our local Battered Woman's Shelter (this one we found out about through our church - it isn't known otherwise).
-Our local food bank

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:12 pm

GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:03 pm
We do some local ones including:
-Our local no-kill Animal Shelter.
-Our local Battered Woman's Shelter (this one we found out about through our church - it isn't known otherwise).
-Our local food bank
Yes - the one (that I know of) in this locality has its location kept (somewhat) secret - for obvious reasons.

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:13 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:01 pm
golfCaddy wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:03 pm
I like to give to medical research. It can be difficult to assess the impact of such charities.
Yes - difficult indeed.
This is one I support (501c3) promoting lifestyle addressing medical/health issues - www.nutritionfacts.org

Tallis
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Tallis » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:30 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:46 pm
With all respect to the OP, how does a thoughtful, introspective, considered, mindful adult reach this point in his life without ever having found a single charitable cause that touches his soul?
I do my best not to include emotion in my charitable decisions. Efficiency and efficacy are far more important than me feeling good. Like Dottie57, I also recommend givewell.org.

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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Church Lady » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:44 pm

Charity navigator org

I notice that Charity Navigator has an option to donate directly through their website. I like the idea of giving anonymously. Has anyone used this feature, and if so, what was your experience? Did you get a tax receipt? Did you get annoying emails?
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:8

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dm200
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dm200 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:49 pm

Church Lady wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:44 pm
Charity navigator org

I notice that Charity Navigator has an option to donate directly through their website. I like the idea of giving anonymously. Has anyone used this feature, and if so, what was your experience? Did you get a tax receipt? Did you get annoying emails?
We do that with our Fidelity DAF.

Tal-
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Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Tal- » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:00 pm

Several thoughts about how to give efficiently.

1: Try and find a way to give consistently. Pick 1-4 charities and give on a pre-set schedule. These enable charities you give to to make better business decisions, and limits resources spent by other charities trying to woo you.
2: Always consider giving through highly appreciated assets when you can. This is more efficient than giving dollars.
3: If you're giving dollars, Donor Advised Funds are a great tool. If you're just giving to your community church, this isn't the best path - but if you have large dollars, or want anonymity, or want to contribute now to donate later - a DAF is awesome. Fidelity has a good DAF.
4: We give to St. Judes, Charity:Water, and our local church.
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aspirit
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:52 am
Location: Bos/Mia-south

Re: Picking a Charity

Post by aspirit » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:41 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:55 pm
I've found that many charities are scams. Go to charitynavigator.org and check them out.

Many military veteran, police, and firefighter charities are out-and-out scams, also those that promise to be seeking cures for specific diseases.

You can see what they pay their directors there too. Even well-known and highly regarded organizations pay their directors up to $500K a year in salary -- to me this is unconscionable. I won't give to them. https://www.charitynavigator.org

It's probably better to keep your giving local, these big national organizations in many cases can't be trusted. If you give locally you can check up on what they're doing.
+1
Why do you think theres a charity navigator?
For 1 charity's mishandling of funds, or all of them?

Boston Food bank mgr.'s made 350-500k till publicized, google it, for PT work at a no show position. This happens everywhere!
I googled it but could not find it "again", I found it before, when it was news! Back when it was news the individual was additionally on both Fidelity's and another big businesses payroll too. /iirc

Cashier: Do you want to contribute $1.00 to USAs starving children sir?
Me: NO, I've never seen one starving child in the USA. 50% are overweight, the rest are well fed.
Cashier: umm, but everyone else does.
Me: Wonderful, I do not.
Cashier: ok.
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations.

Nicolas
Posts: 1034
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:41 am

Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Nicolas » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:29 pm

aspirit wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:41 pm
Nicolas wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:55 pm
I've found that many charities are scams. Go to charitynavigator.org and check them out.

Many military veteran, police, and firefighter charities are out-and-out scams, also those that promise to be seeking cures for specific diseases.

You can see what they pay their directors there too. Even well-known and highly regarded organizations pay their directors up to $500K a year in salary -- to me this is unconscionable. I won't give to them. https://www.charitynavigator.org

It's probably better to keep your giving local, these big national organizations in many cases can't be trusted. If you give locally you can check up on what they're doing.
+1
Why do you think theres a charity navigator?
For 1 charity's mishandling of funds, or all of them?

Boston Food bank mgr.'s made 350-500k till publicized, google it, for PT work at a no show position. This happens everywhere!
I googled it but could not find it "again", I found it before, when it was news! Back when it was news the individual was additionally on both Fidelity's and another big businesses payroll too. /iirc

Cashier: Do you want to contribute $1.00 to USAs starving children sir?
Me: NO, I've never seen one starving child in the USA. 50% are overweight, the rest are well fed.
Cashier: umm, but everyone else does.
Me: Wonderful, I do not.
Cashier: ok.
Actually The Greater Boston Food Bank is a pretty good one, according to CN they give 93% to the cause they're supporting, but its director still makes $348,473 per year. So I still wouldn't give to them, and anyway I'm not a Bostonian. Maybe that's not a lot of money for Boston, I don't know. But you'd think they could sacrifice just a little bit, they're asking us to!

There are some really bad ones, like Heart Center of America out of Knoxville, TN. They give only 6% to their cause, the other 94% is devoted to administrative and fundraising. Would you give to such an organization? I think not. Yet my aged relative was sending them checks, which made my blood boil! And some of these charities list all their officers with the same last name -- makes you wonder what's going on there, sounds like a family business.

Jablean
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:38 pm

Re: Picking a Charity

Post by Jablean » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:35 pm

protagonist wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:56 pm
Consider something local that you believe in and know about. That is probably best.

If you go for something national or global, carefully research online how much of your money is going to administration and how much is actually getting to the source.

Also consider that if you give to a specific cause sponsored by a larger charity with many objectives, your money may not be specifically benefiting that cause. An analogy is tax revenues. The government has a specific budget. If you were able to specify where your tax money went, you could, hypothetically, say you wanted it to go towards education and not towards the military (this is all hypothetical since it is not possible to tell the government where to use your money, and using real charity examples could get into political arguments). But by making it easier for the government to meet their goals in that department, more of other people's money could be more easily funneled into the military rather than towards education. So your taxes would thus be helping the military achieve its goal as well. If you think about many large charitable organizations that also have specific budget goals, the same would apply.
There are some state government agencies that may be associated with their own foundation, for example STEM education. And local quasi governments like school districts have their own foundations. School marching bands always need something, it's very expensive to hire someone to design the patterns and buy new uniforms. We have a local women's group who has formed a foundation, each gives so much a year and then they jointly decide on recipients.

jdb
Posts: 1446
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:21 pm

Re: Picking a Charity

Post by jdb » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:42 pm

Thanks to this thread I have learned to review the public IRS filings of any charity to which I am considering donating to find out how much of their revenues are being paid to their administrators and for fundraising and what percentage going to their charitable activities. Charity Navigator describes how to evaluate the charities which are otherwise not rated based on their IRS filings. I have nixed several charities due to what I considered excessive adminstrative costs, such as salaries, and excessive fund raising costs. Definitely worth reviewing before making any donations.

dknightd
Posts: 676
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Picking a Charity

Post by dknightd » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:46 pm

Do what makes you happy. I try to pick ones that have a low marketing overhead. We've had some come and go over the years. I'm getting tired of PBS marketing, but will probably keep with it till I die. Spouse likes to donate to the church relief fund.
Edit: we pretty much always donate to a charity that somebody we know is willing to work for (walk, swim, etc). Sometimes these are things we would not normally donate to. But we donate anyway because it makes the other person happy, and they are working for it. With the new tax laws we may not be able to deduct these gifts any more. But we'll probably keep doing it until we die or run out of money.
Last edited by dknightd on Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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