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Charitable Giving


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Hi all,

 

Wanted to get everyone's thoughts on charitable giving, ethics, etc. Basically the quandary I encounter is wanting to do good in the world (i.e. effective altruism to some degree). The problem is that it is hard to find good organizations to give to. The other problem is understanding the quantifiable impact these organizations have (fuzzy math is a real problem for most organizations). The other thought is that perhaps the most effective giving is interpersonal, i.e. giving to family and friends, or otherwise doing things within one's circle that do not involve institutions in any capacity. I wanted to get everyone else's thoughts, experiences, references, etc. on this question/issue to see if there are arguments that institutional giving is worthwhile, and that there is a way to have a truly quantifiable and measurable impact, or that giving interpersonally is more effective, transparent, and meaningful, etc. 

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I prefer giving directly to those I know who are in need (right now most professional musicians are totally out of work). Otherwise, I prefer food banks that directly help the needy with actual help rather than religion and superstition. Then again, the local Sikh community has been consistently feeding anyone that comes to their community feeds. They choose to be kind rather than preach. 

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I have four general categories of giving that stay relatively constant from year to year:  Medical charities, animal protection, food and shelter for the homeless, and arts groups.  About half is set up through payroll deductions and the rest tends to happen in the spring and late fall.  Not many opportunities come up for interpersonal giving, although I have gone that route on a couple of occasions.

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It's great that you want to make a contribution to the world.  We give regularly to Habitat for Humanity, the Jimmy carter foundation, and Mennonite Relief fund.   Occasionally to 2 educational museums, public television and public radio.  And occasionally to needy families my 2 daughters identify at the schools where they work.  Salvation Army at christmas time, etc.  There is a web site that evaluates charities, but I don't remember the name.  We stopped giving to Red Cross when we saw how they spend their money.  And we occasionally do volunteer work. 

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On 4/28/2021 at 3:50 PM, tiredofwork said:

Hi all,

 

Wanted to get everyone's thoughts on charitable giving, ethics, etc. Basically the quandary I encounter is wanting to do good in the world (i.e. effective altruism to some degree). The problem is that it is hard to find good organizations to give to. The other problem is understanding the quantifiable impact these organizations have (fuzzy math is a real problem for most organizations). The other thought is that perhaps the most effective giving is interpersonal, i.e. giving to family and friends, or otherwise doing things within one's circle that do not involve institutions in any capacity. I wanted to get everyone else's thoughts, experiences, references, etc. on this question/issue to see if there are arguments that institutional giving is worthwhile, and that there is a way to have a truly quantifiable and measurable impact, or that giving interpersonally is more effective, transparent, and meaningful, etc. 

 

I give to PBS (public television) and to our local United Way, where the money stays local. I sit on the grant board so I know where the money goes (Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, local food bank etc). I also help friends in need, but that is far less efficient.

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Thanks everyone for the thoughts on this! It's good to know I'm not the only one trying to figure this stuff out.

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