Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

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andypanda
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by andypanda » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:27 pm

" I do donate to the Girls Scouts of America by purchasing their wickedly delicious cookies every time I get the opportunity."

I was leaving Lowe's the other day and was asked to buy some nuts and popcorn by a couple of Boy Scouts and their fathers. I refuse to pay $12 for a teeny can of salted nuts, so I just gave them $10. :)

The last large donation we made was to the Ocracoke Island relief fund. There were no handling or overhead charges. I also ordered $250 worth of t-shirts and sweathirts on line from the Tradewinds Tackle shop. They threw in 9 bumper stickers and a $20 gift certificate with a handwritten thank you note. With the island all but completely closed down they needed to move some of the fall/winter goods that they'd ordered before the storm surge. We had just been there the week before the storm hit.

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:28 pm

9liner wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:25 pm
The expectation of altruism has reached exhausting levels. GoFundMe and other such "charity sites" are prime examples. Couple this with the sheer amount of overhead some charities maintain and it's almost exhausting trying to figure out which causes are "worth it".
One year I donated an old car to a local worthy charity which I selected from newspaper ads and online reviews. They sent a tow truck promptIy to pick the car up, but when I contacted them later for some documents, they did not even respond at all. I sent at least a few e-mails. I am not sure whether I wasted "money." It is funny that there were a lot of vehicle donations to charities ads at that time, but I don't see any these days. Now I am leery of dealing with unknown/small charities. I am focusing on scholarship funds at college for needy students. Small scholarships are much more transparent.

Freetime76
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Freetime76 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:14 pm

OP: what a timely and exceptional discussion you started :happy :!:
1. Give to something meaningful to You. Impulsively or after consideration.
2. Give whatever you feel called to or just decide to give, and don’t reanalyze or look back. You give. The receiver will do whatever they do. That’s on them, not you (boundaries).
3. Look for small, random, anonymous ways to give, and just try it. Maybe pay for the meal of the family or tradesman’s van in the drive-through behind you, or leave coupons you don’t use on the grocery shelf next to the item and walk away. Try to be sneaky. I think you’ll smile. :D

Highly recommend you try open-handed giving, meaning find a way to give and not look back. Every time I do, I receive later, in some unanticipated way. I never understood why this was, until I read Thou Shall Prosper, written by a Rabbi I think it was - very interesting!

My DH and I give when we decide we want to and will feel good about it. We do NOT give money to family in general (tend to help instead - they don’t Need money, technically they should have more than us anyway), not to any of the “would you like to add a dollar to support XYZ” in a store (so irritating- do I know anything about that charity?! NO), nor to local campaign that comes in the mail (I.e. United Way), and usually not to solicitations from groups we previously gave to. We do not participate in work campaigns unless we’re excited about it for some reason.

Examples we enjoyed giving tend to be hyper-local:
- Showing up at work with bags and bags of groceries for the food drive, when the donation box was nearly empty - you have to seed the pot! Cost - maybe $50
- Running out at lunch to buy last minute to grab armloads of items for an adopt a family gift drive. One family wasn’t well shopped for yet, and it was the last (gift-wrapping) day. Cost - about $200 The look on my coworker’s face was *priceless* - made me so happy!!!
- Buying garbage bags full of clothes from the thrift shop for a downtown mission homeless shelter. They post a special needs list every so often and we stock up in our small town (cheaper) and drive it down to the city. DH vetted it as a legit no frills shelter and not a cushy, I’m-trying-to-find-myself shelter (he was homeless at one time, and he swears there are such places).
-Giving an extra turkey we raised to neighbors who were having hard times, according to the grapevine.
- Leaving a ridiculous tip for a server when we had a great time out (rare to eat out, and we had extra cash on hand).

We found that larger charity groups’ behavior is very local in character. For example, Habitat For Humanity was great in one state (donated materials, did build day, bought from their ReStore), but in another state, the ReStore was a disaster and the build team couldn’t find a family, so foisted it on a very sour young man for the benefit of his child (in that case, we knew *way* too many of the details behind the scenes - disappointing).

So, what I’m saying is, don’t feel bad if someone else you know raves about -or maybe very visibly supports a well-known charity. Tons of people give lots of small things. You might feel more connection if you give to something close to home. Good on you for asking the question.

P.S. Charity Navigator or other google review websites can be very helpful. Some large nonprofits have very high overhead or pay for their leadership. We opt not to support a group where, say, 50 cents of my dollar doesn’t go to helping the actual cause.

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Gnirk » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:12 am

Each December I send checks to 5 charities that hold meaning for me and/or my family:

The local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) because I have a daughter who suffers from Bipolar I with delusions, and they strive to erase the stigma associated with Mental Illness..
The Salvation Army, because my dad remembers them helping the troops during WWII and Korea, without charging the troops for their help.
Fred Hutchinson Center for Cancer Research because I lost my Grandma to breast cancer and my dad to esophageal cancer, and they do great research.
Fischer Center for Alzheimer's Research because most all of their donations go to research, not administrative costs. My mom died from Alzheimer's Disease.
The American Heart Association because of their dedication to education and research for heart disease and strokes.

Those are mine; they may change over time. I have donated expensive jewelry that I never used to the Boy's and Girl's club auction. My brother gives heavily to Feeding America and Habitat for Humanity.
My husband believes that charity begins at home, and while he doesn't believe in giving to charities, he pays for his grandchildren's college expenses.
Last edited by Gnirk on Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

AlohaJoe
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by AlohaJoe » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:20 am

Gnirk wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:12 am
The Salvation Army, because my dad remembers them helping the troops during WWII and Korea, without charging the troops for their help, unlike the Red Cross who did charge them.
Seems pretty unfair to penalize the Red Cross based on a misunderstanding of history.
The organization started charging only because the U.S. Secretary of War asked it to. British soldiers had to pay for their snacks, and the free doughnuts for Americans were causing tensions. So the Red Cross complied, after protesting to no avail.

Gnirk
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Gnirk » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:45 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:20 am
Gnirk wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:12 am
The Salvation Army, because my dad remembers them helping the troops during WWII and Korea, without charging the troops for their help, unlike the Red Cross who did charge them.
Seems pretty unfair to penalize the Red Cross based on a misunderstanding of history.
The organization started charging only because the U.S. Secretary of War asked it to. British soldiers had to pay for their snacks, and the free doughnuts for Americans were causing tensions. So the Red Cross complied, after protesting to no avail.
Thank you for the clarification. My information was from my fathers' personal experiences. My intention wasn't to diss the Red Cross; they do great work in disaster relief, and my daughter volunteers with them. I will change my post.

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4nursebee
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by 4nursebee » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:28 am

I recall an advisor lecturing me on tithing and no longer having control over the money- ie open handed giving mentioned earlier.

I read the 990 for local United Way, I saw something like a 1.5 M budget or spent, or donated. One guy getting paid 93K per year, perhaps another 100K in expenses, part of that looked like 40K in rent? I am not sure how to take that.

I read on one of the links provided what seemed to be a long pitch for animal welfare.

When the Syrian refuge crisis was starting, we thought to house a family and get them on their feet.

I don't feel quite so unique reading many of the responses, thanks.

Perhaps we need to look more at providing our work skill set to a worthy cause.
4nursebee

retired recently
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by retired recently » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:25 am

I have started acquiring land tracts that can be combined and intend to attempt to ensure it is not developed. I have not seen many causes that I value enough or people that are not in their current situation due to poor choices. Not saying they are not out there, I just have not met them.

I have 200 acres so far and have my eye on another 450 acres...that would probably be about all I can afford. I live in NC and it seems that all the large tracts are mainly broken up and developed. I would like the animals to have a place to be undisturbed...

22twain
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by 22twain » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:40 am

nguy44 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:35 am
We no longer give to our university alma mater. They are no longer needy. Their endowment is now in the tens of billions, and they seem to be expanding in every area other than providing a solid education.
I can understand that attitude towards a well-endowed private university, or a large public one (despite the funding cutbacks or slowdowns by many state legislatures).

DW went to a well-endowed "little Ivy" for undergrad, and gives it a token amount (I think $100) every year. She went to a large Ivy for grad school and donates nothing to them.

For grad school, I went to a large highly-ranked state university, and donate only a small amount directly to the graduate school, for a fund that helps support graduate students.

On the other hand, I did my undergrad at a small non-elite private liberal-arts college in the Midwest. I enjoyed the atmosphere of a tight-knit group of fellow students in a small STEM department where the majors pretty much had the run of the labs, computer facilities and machine shop. My experience there was a big factor in deciding to look for a position at a similar college after grad school instead of trying to continue down the big-university research track. Like many such colleges, including the one where I ended up teaching for many years, they've been struggling financially during the past couple of decades, and trying to compete for students by revamping their academic programs. So I've always been fairly generous with them, giving about 2% of my salary while I was working, and maintaining that level in retirement.
My investing princiPLEs do not include absolutely preserving princiPAL.

gd
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by gd » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:30 am

First thing they told me when I started volunteering at the local food pantry was to leave my made-up stories and misconceptions about the clients at home. It is, for the record, really hard to do.

If you ask for something in return-- obedience, deference, address labels, tote bag, tax deduction, invitation to a gala, name on a lavish hospital wing, entrance to heaven, even respect-- it's not charity, it's a transaction.

I'm non-religious, but my impression is that every enduring religion has that as a core concept. And, of course, is largely ignored. The bit about non-transactional charity and entrance to heaven is maybe a bit problematic, worth considering next time you hear a religious person denigrate an atheist.

If you want to contribute selflessly to a comprehensive, demonstrably effective non-profit, set up solely for the benefit of society, that even gives you a vote in their management structure, pay your taxes without complaining about social programs.

clip651
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by clip651 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:28 am

retired recently wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:25 am
I have started acquiring land tracts that can be combined and intend to attempt to ensure it is not developed. I have not seen many causes that I value enough or people that are not in their current situation due to poor choices. Not saying they are not out there, I just have not met them.

I have 200 acres so far and have my eye on another 450 acres...that would probably be about all I can afford. I live in NC and it seems that all the large tracts are mainly broken up and developed. I would like the animals to have a place to be undisturbed...
Get in touch with Nature Conservancy. They may be able to help you figure out a way to keep those acres conserved for future generations.

retired recently
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by retired recently » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:40 am

clip651 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:28 am
retired recently wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:25 am
I have started acquiring land tracts that can be combined and intend to attempt to ensure it is not developed. I have not seen many causes that I value enough or people that are not in their current situation due to poor choices. Not saying they are not out there, I just have not met them.

I have 200 acres so far and have my eye on another 450 acres...that would probably be about all I can afford. I live in NC and it seems that all the large tracts are mainly broken up and developed. I would like the animals to have a place to be undisturbed...
Get in touch with Nature Conservancy. They may be able to help you figure out a way to keep those acres conserved for future generations.
Thanks, I do plan to call them after I acquire the parcels I am interested in...I was a bit disappointed in them though as I contacted them and after months of attempts finally spoke to an individual and explained that I hoped to acquire land to use for my lifetime (for hunting, fishing) and possibly my childs, but would be willing to legally commit to putting the land into a conservancy and have it never developed. They were really not interested. I got the impression it is a large organization that focuses on very large tracts only.

Chuck5781
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Chuck5781 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:02 am

gd wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:30 am

If you want to contribute selflessly to a comprehensive, demonstrably effective non-profit, set up solely for the benefit of society, that even gives you a vote in their management structure, pay your taxes without complaining about social programs.
Ahh, that warm fuzzy little government.

I will keep contributing to my favorite non governmental charities, thank you very much. I think they are far more efficient than governments at helping people.

But feel free to send your every dollar wherever you wish.
The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

arsenalfan
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by arsenalfan » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:21 am

Donor advised fund
Givewell.org

oldfatguy
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by oldfatguy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:34 am

bugleheadd wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:43 pm
I give 25% of my paycheck for social programs and to fund other people's pensions. That's more than enough.
Pensions are earned compensation, not charity.

Dottie57
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:00 am

Quaestner wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:03 pm
AlohaJoe wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:31 am
4nursebee wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:54 am
How do you think of and make decisions for charitable giving?
Effective Altruism is a popular way to think about this question. The book Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Help Others, Do Work that Matters, and Make Smarter Choices about Giving Back by William MacAskill is a well-known book on the subject. (#1 best seller in its very small niche, according to Amazon.)

There is a related website that contains a lot of the same information: https://www.effectivealtruism.org/
+1 This book helped me examine what I think is important and has changed how I give. I highly recommend the book.
My former workplace used GiveWell for the annual charity drive. I thought it was An excellent way to give. I chose the malaria netting and vaccines.

I really like the Effective Altruism idea. However there are other charities I contribute to - mainly food shelves and sometimes shelters. Salvation Army at this time of year too.

Next year - maybe a DAF at Fidelity. I tend to be Scroogey, so one large donation may be easier as it is one decision instead of multiples.

Lynette
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Lynette » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:21 am

I use QCDs to donate to my church and another organization that I trust. The problem is that they have me on their mailing list and I get a request for donation at least once a month. I am consider dropping them though I like them. Otherwise I will simply continue to throw the solicitations in the garbage bin and continue with my annual contributions.

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Tamarind
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Tamarind » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:41 am

One of my favorite international groups is BRAC: http://www.brac.net/

They were most recently highly involved in the efforts to house and care for Rohingya refugees.

There is also Partners in Health (current link for Giving Tuesday: https://donate.pih.org/page/contribute/donate)

They establish permanent health clinics in impoverished areas and look after the food/social services needs of their target populations as well. They are particular specialists in addressing HIV, tuberculosis, and diarrheal diseases as well as maternity care.

Food banks in rural areas always need more cash, so that's an easy one that makes a difference in people's lives day in and day out.

As others have also said above, I find it best for ones well-being to assess the need and give without having a lot of expectation of thanks or particular behavior from the recipients of charity. The people in need have other worries which I do not. If it's a big frustration for you consider giving to larger or more distant organizations so that you are not aware of who receives your gift or how they behave.

clip651
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by clip651 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:46 am

Lynette wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:21 am
I use QCDs to donate to my church and another organization that I trust. The problem is that they have me on their mailing list and I get a request for donation at least once a month. I am consider dropping them though I like them. Otherwise I will simply continue to throw the solicitations in the garbage bin and continue with my annual contributions.
Some of these groups may back off on mailings if you give monthly rather than yearly, so you could ask about that. (You can give $X/12 per month instead of $X per year.)

Or call and tell them you want to support annually, but you won't continue if you keep getting solicited in between. They may be able to figure out how to adjust their mailing list, rather than lose your contributions.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by unclescrooge » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:58 am

SimonJester wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:42 am
Swansea wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:15 am
If you find a charity that you wish to support, read their IRS 990 form first so you can see where the money goes. It is not unusual to see very little spent on actual programs that they purport to support.
This for sure, if the charity doesn't publish a 990 then no go... Read the 990 to see what is really going on.

My wife found a charity she wanted to donate to, we pulled their 990... They have been loosing money for the past 5 years, only the staff were getting paid (generously I might add). They are draining down their assets and surviving off of re payments from bonds they issued 5 years before. Seemed like a total scam. They hadn't spend anything on their program in 5 years... But their flashy web site sure didn't indicate any of this...
Doesn't that depends on the type of charity?

For example, a charity focusing on wildlife rescue might spend most of it money on veterinary staff salaries and fund raising.

PhilSarah
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by PhilSarah » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:00 am

We are in the same (disillusioned) boat. Once we started digging deeper into charities we were disappointed at how little actually goes to the cause. Now we only donate to two charities, the American Cancer Society and Sankara Eye Foundation. The first of course is well known and both I and DW have cancer in our families so it’s something near and dear to our hearts. The second is something we stumbled upon by accident. Our son is an optho and one of his colleagues was fund raising for Sankara, and he was intrigued that $30 is all it takes to sponsor a cataract surgery. Long story short we donate there now as well and love seeing our money go a very long way. As other posters mentioned we tried a number of charities and all that got us was a mailbox full of junk mail ....YMMV

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by goblue100 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:12 am

4nursebee wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:54 am

How do you think of and make decisions for charitable giving?
I guess I fall on the Scrooge side of things. I haven't scrimped and lived under my means my whole working life in order to give it all away. I do help my daughter and her husband(they are good kids just starting out), and I'll sponsor a child from the "Angel tree", but that's about it.
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns

rich126
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by rich126 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:18 am

My one big annoyance is when you give and then the charity thinks it is ok to bombard you for several years asking for more money. That just doesn't sit right with me. A few times in lieu of flowers, a family suggests you can donate to various charities, then I do so and my reward is getting phone calls, emails and mailings for several years.

Obviously there are a few workarounds for this (use fake email, phone numbers, etc.) but still it is frustrating. I appreciate the effort and in some cases the time people donate to the various causes but you do have to investigate charities closely. Some of them keep a bit too much money and over pay staff, fortunately there are a number of well run charities out there.

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by sport » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:59 pm

One charity I support will give a normal life to a third world child with a disfiguring birth defect for $250. If I can give a normal life to a child that otherwise cannot have one, I consider it $250 very well spent. There are a lot of very poor people in this world who cannot afford routine medical procedures.

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by student » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:24 pm

rich126 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:18 am
My one big annoyance is when you give and then the charity thinks it is ok to bombard you for several years asking for more money. That just doesn't sit right with me. A few times in lieu of flowers, a family suggests you can donate to various charities, then I do so and my reward is getting phone calls, emails and mailings for several years.
Some may even sell your name to others.

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by fru-gal » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:27 pm

I give to animal charities and environmental groups. Of course, I check them out first.

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by fru-gal » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:31 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:20 am
Gnirk wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:12 am
The Salvation Army, because my dad remembers them helping the troops during WWII and Korea, without charging the troops for their help, unlike the Red Cross who did charge them.
Seems pretty unfair to penalize the Red Cross based on a misunderstanding of history.
The organization started charging only because the U.S. Secretary of War asked it to. British soldiers had to pay for their snacks, and the free doughnuts for Americans were causing tensions. So the Red Cross complied, after protesting to no avail.
I'm sorry, but the Red Cross has had a bad reputation for years. Mismanaging their blood banks, using donations for cause X instead for Y, etc.

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by fru-gal » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:33 pm

retired recently wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:25 am
I have started acquiring land tracts that can be combined and intend to attempt to ensure it is not developed. I have not seen many causes that I value enough or people that are not in their current situation due to poor choices. Not saying they are not out there, I just have not met them.

I have 200 acres so far and have my eye on another 450 acres...that would probably be about all I can afford. I live in NC and it seems that all the large tracts are mainly broken up and developed. I would like the animals to have a place to be undisturbed...
That's super. I hate to see so much development in my area destroying wildlife habitat. Thanks!!

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:34 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:00 am
Next year - maybe a DAF at Fidelity. I tend to be Scroogey, so one large donation may be easier as it is one decision instead of multiples.
Good suggestion.

It was helpful to me to separate funding the DAF from selecting the donees as it made the giving easier. Also donating via the DAF reduced phone and mail solicitations which is a nice side benefit!

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Gnirk » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:42 pm

Regarding repeated requests for donations from charities that you support:
I give to the same charities each year, and include the following note with my check:

“I am happy to donate each December, but respectfully request that you not send me more than one reminder during the year so you aren’t wasting my donation on repeated requests for donations.”

It works.

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by FelixTheCat » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:03 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:54 am
How do you think of and make decisions for charitable giving?
My charitable giving is based on my religion. The first four books of the bible mentioned food as a common miracle. The next step was figuring out the scope; donate locally, nationally, or internationally? I decided to contribute to Feeding San Diego, Feeding America and Action Against Hunger USA.


If you're looking for idea, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy is a good place to start. https://www.impact.upenn.edu/

P.S. I use a Fidelity DAF and donate anonymously so I don't get hounded by the charities.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by FelixTheCat » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:09 pm

sport wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:59 pm
One charity I support will give a normal life to a third world child with a disfiguring birth defect for $250. If I can give a normal life to a child that otherwise cannot have one, I consider it $250 very well spent. There are a lot of very poor people in this world who cannot afford routine medical procedures.
Have you ever looked at Mercy Ships? https://www.mercyships.org/
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

Turbo29
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Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Turbo29 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:24 pm

True story:

Over thirty years ago in the SF Bay Area someone came up to me at the BART station and told me this story about how he had just arrived from Oklahoma and his car broke down, all of his possessions were stolen, he had no money or place to stay, etc.

About six months after that the same guy came up to me at the same station and told me this story about how he had just arrived from Oklahoma and his car broke down, all of his possessions were stolen, he had no money or place to stay, etc. I looked at him and said, "That horrible." He nodded, The asked, "You know why it's so horrible? The same exact thing happened to you six months ago." I walked off.

Another time in the same city a man walked toward me in a very slow gait using a cane. He asked me for money. When I declined he walked on by. I turned momentarily to look at him; he had picked up the can and was walking perfectly at a rapid speed.

In the area I live now a woman stands at then end of the freeway off ramp. I have never seen her not get at least $1 when the light is red (many times she gets more). It takes the light 2 min to cycle. That's $30/hr, tax free.

The above Is why I donate to organizations instead of individuals. (There are exceptions but they are rare. I recently gave $5 to a guy outside a fast food place who genuinely looked hungry.)

Pigeon
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:50 am

Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by Pigeon » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:10 am

I give with a cheerful heart, and try not to be judgmental about how people use charity. One seldom knows anyone's full story and a gift with strings attached isn't much of a gift at all. I'd also consider the reasons why friends or relatives are reluctant to visit, if I were funding that.

Obviously, I screen my causes and try to pick places where I think the money will do the most good and find causes that speak to me. Most of our charitable giving is directed to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the local regional food bank (we also volunteer here), Partners in Health, the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity. I donate directly to a college scholarship fund. I do not donate to through my employer's United Way drive. I resent the pressure and would rather cut out the overhead.

While I want my giving to be impactful, at the end of the day, I do it because it makes me happy.

oldfatguy
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:12 am

Pigeon wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:10 am
I give with a cheerful heart, and try not to be judgmental about how people use charity. One seldom knows anyone's full story and a gift with strings attached isn't much of a gift at all.
That's a breath of fresh air in this thread.

cyclist
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:04 am

Re: Charity vs. Scrooge- how do you think of things?

Post by cyclist » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:17 am

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:12 am
Pigeon wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:10 am
I give with a cheerful heart, and try not to be judgmental about how people use charity. One seldom knows anyone's full story and a gift with strings attached isn't much of a gift at all.
That's a breath of fresh air in this thread.
Indeed.

Someone told us once to "give until it feels good" and that's what we do. We roughly balance our giving between faith-based activities, direct support for fighting hunger (including our local food banks) and everything else (mostly social justice organizations.)

We now bunch our giving via a Donor Advised Fund. This is not only a great way to donate appreciated securities without realizing capital gains -- it can also help minimize the direct mail onslaught, because the DAF is disbursing the money and doesn't have to tell anyone your name or address unless you choose to do so.

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