on walking the walk. (via bee thousand)

How much to give? And who to give it to?

The eternal questions of those fortunate to have enough resources to give.

Here is a good discussion of a person trying to make the right charitable choices.

(In the United States, not getting your money diverted to private pockets when giving is very difficult. Scam artists masquerade under the sweetest and most persuasive names. They love names like veteran, children, etc. Be very careful who you give your money to and remember, the most important factor is what proportion of the charity’s contributions actually go to the charitable purpose. If you can’t find that out after a few minute web search, you are better off buying lottery tickets. In both cases your money is lost, but with the lottery, you know up front that your money is gone for no purpose.)

James Pilant

Special thanks to bee thousand.

So far, my dissertation research has consisted mostly in talking the talk but not yet walking the walk. But I’ve mulled over this for sort of a long time now and think I’ve finally come close to a decision regarding my participation in Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save plan (which is tied to his work on charity, which is sort of a central focus of my dissertation research). The algorithm which Singer recommends is donating 1% of your annual in … Read More

via bee thousand

2 thoughts on “on walking the walk. (via bee thousand)

  1. I disagree that the most important factor to charitable giving be the ratio of money on administration vs charitable purposes.

    Small community charities can’t fulfill their purpose unless they have security of office space and continuity of staff.

    Working for a charity shouldn’t mean you also have to rely on charity for your own security of shelter, food and living.

    The primary factor should be – what is the purpose – is it one you support?

    Then factor in what the charity does to achieve it – are the programs effective?

    How are they assessing their impact? What are their future plans for expansion?

    What and how they are doing is more important than the ratio of admin to program operations.

    Are the administration costs reasonable against the program costs?

    Do they actively seek ways to lower the cost of administration?

    Now, this takes a lot more work, but provides meaningful answers.

    Unlike a meaningless short cut to determine the merit of a charity based on the ration of admin to program cost – this is just not a meaningful number without many other factors considered.

    But, since most people want to give to charity to feel better about themselves, the impulse to donate, perhaps is shallow enough to be satisfied with a shallow assessment.

    Because there is one thing that you can donate to a charity and be absolutely sure of it’s value and that is your time and skills to support either the admin or program operations.


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