Author Topic: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why  (Read 18932 times)

iris lily

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What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« on: December 30, 2016, 11:54:39 AM »
I didnt want to  take over the other thread about charitable giving, so here is a new one.

I've been around many decades and have changed my giving habits, some for specific reasons. I stopped giving to many organizations I see mentioned in that other thread.

Planned Parenthood-- for many years I gave because I liked their work of the Guttmacher Institute. Then they started to call me with stupd pitches, always tied to the evils of George Bush. I became  tired of that, told them them that they needed to stop that pitch when they called me.  They did not. I stopped giving. Being a  one trick pony,  they called again last month soon after the election of Trump and used that scaremongering tactic. Nope, didn't convince me. To this day I cannot understand why the ask pitch cant be targeted to me, personally, since I told they why I donated. Surely their technology would support that customization.

Humane Society-i havent given to the Humane Society of Missouri for decades because they have an obscenely large endowment, one of the largest in the biz. And they are a kill shelter that does not release their kill numbers.  I understand the need to have a kill shelter, but I wont support lack of transparency. Some of this lack of transparency gave rise to the creation of smaller rescue organizations decades ago. Now everyone  and his brother has a rescue org, and that is good and bad because anyone can set  up a 501c3, pay themselves a nce little salary, and sell dogs as "rescues."
Stray Rescue of St. Louis started in my neighborhood as a small org in Randy's basement, and now they are a major player and well, I give to smaller rescue orgs, they too have become too big and I hear too much about where the money may be going.

I personally know all of the principles of the rescue organizations Ive given to in recent years, and none of them make any money on the deal, and the dogs are truly in need.

Food Bank-while I never donated real money to one of these but  I would give food to the Boy Scouts when they make their drive. Not a big supporter, but I did a small bit. But I no longer donate to food banks at all because I found a dumpster fill of food from the food bank behind a house we own. A resident on the street had dump d it, more than 100 cans and packages. Includ Ng Organic orange joice. Yeah, I cant afford that. I am a regular dumpster diver and find all sorts of interesting thngs.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 03:09:20 PM by iris lily »

robartsd

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2016, 12:20:33 PM »
Food Bank-while I never donated real money to one of these but  I would give food to the Boy Scouts when they make their drive. Not a big supporter, but I did a small bit. But I no longer donate to food banks at all because I found a dumpster fill of food from the food bank behind a house we own. A resident on the street had dump d it, more than 100 cans and packages. Includ Ng Organic orange joice. Yeah, I cant afford that. I am a regular dumpster diver and find all sorts of interesting thngs.
I wouldn't blame the food bank based on the actions of a recipient of their aid. I also wouldn't judge the food bank based on the food products the offered. Often most of the food at a food bank is donated in kind and the food bank does their best to use that resource to help the hungry. I remember carefully avoiding broken glass while washing jars of V8 Splash that were donated because one jar in a case had broken when volunteering at a food bank several years ago. It was easier for the business to write off the case than to clean up and sell the remainder.

swick

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2016, 12:23:15 PM »
I don't support any charities that use "professional" canvassers. Their pitches are annoying as hell and manipulative, and they are not upfront about the economics or "cost" of getting you as a donor.

The one I am most familiar with are a "Help sponsor a child for 30.00 a month" The latest to show up at our door tried to use the tactic of "you have this one opportunity to help this one child and if you don't help rescue them today it is their last chance." I asked her to explain to me how she is paid.  She couldn't answer me.  I interviewed for a management position at one of the professional fundraising companies. Turns out you have to donate for a full year to pay off the acquisition cost of the fundraising company signing you. So $0.00 of the first year goes to helping said child, and if you quite sponsoring before year 2, you are actually costing the charity money.

choppingwood

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2016, 12:29:38 PM »
I've tried to contribute strategically over the years, with a focus on international development and medical aid and local organizations addressing poverty. The organizations are not the same ones they always were, in part as my interests have changed and in part because of my preferences for how they are managed.

However, I am not sure that it is useful to dump on those I moved on from.

Your example of never donating to a food bank, because one person dumped the food they got? I am not sure how the people who need the food and eat what they get go about finding a meal, then.

ketchup

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2016, 12:31:33 PM »
PETA is pretty gross.  The Westboro Baptist Church of animal-lovers.

Susan G Komen is just a waste of everyone's time.

Anything heavily advertised.  Fuck that.

fa

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 12:58:27 PM »
I try to give to charities that keep the donations in the community.  Many charities send their donations to developing countries, putting local merchants out of business in those countries.  People in Africa apparently prefer an American T-shirt over a locally produced one.  It puts the local textile shops in Africa out of business.  Many donations end up harming people far away.  I just saw an article about used vehicles ending up on lots in Somalia or Ethiopia, and helping to fund terrorism.  Do those donated vehicles to NPR end up funding Hezbollah?  I don't know.

I also look for charities that have relatively little overhead, to avoid my donations ending up in the pockets of the CEO or Board of Directors of a charitable organization.  Definitely avoid donating to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.  These donations do not benefit cancer patients or research in any significant degree.

I used to give to the Rotary Foundation's efforts to eradicate polio.  But they ran into the problem of resistance to immunization in war zones like the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and pockets in Africa.  I don't think donating for that cause is useful as long as the wars in those areas continue.

I do not give to organizations that promote violence, such as PETA.  I also do not give to overtly political groups, such as the Boy Scouts with their stance against gays.

My goal is to donate my time to Habitat for Humanity in my area.  That way you know for sure that you are helping your community and learn new skills in the process.

LifeHappens

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 01:48:34 PM »
I have never given to my alma matter. Like many universities, their endowment is enough to support far more in financial aid than they currently give. I personally feel my donations are better spent in local scholarship funds.

honeybbq

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 01:58:07 PM »
Iris:  always give lots of money to Stray Rescue, and I was involved with several of the rescue groups when I lived in STL. :)

ltt

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 02:17:56 PM »
Interesting thread.

We used to give and give and give, either money or time, but have really pulled back.  Quite frankly, there are just too many organizations and causes out there.  Some group is always looking for money.  Other than church, Goodwill, kids collecting food for our local food bank, and the occasional donation/purchase of food items for local school fundraisers, we just don't donate much anymore. 



 

iris lily

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 02:52:03 PM »
I've tried to contribute strategically over the years, with a focus on international development and medical aid and local organizations addressing poverty. The organizations are not the same ones they always were, in part as my interests have changed and in part because of my preferences for how they are managed.

However, I am not sure that it is useful to dump on those I moved on from.

Your example of never donating to a food bank, because one person dumped the food they got? I am not sure how the people who need the food and eat what they get go about finding a meal, then.

Did I say that no one should donate to food efforts?

iris lily

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2016, 02:59:07 PM »
Iris:  always give lots of money to Stray Rescue, and I was involved with several of the rescue groups when I lived in STL. :)
well, Stray Rescue is better than Humane Society of MO. Randy was our friend long before he started up Stray Rescue, back in the day when he was a dog groomer. Several  of my friends were on his original board. Watching that organization start up and grow has been interesting.

Other than my own St, Louis Bulldog Rescue, where
I am on the Board, i will occasionally give to Gateway Guardians which was started up by another neighbor of mine who became disenchanted with Stray Rescue. That org  is small, but has a building and a board, and they pull dogs in from the street as does Stray Rescue. Every day I see Stray Rescue dogs being walked because Randy's original building is at the end of my block.

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 03:12:15 PM »
As a rule of thumb: Never to any Florida based charity.  There hasn't been any ethics oversight in that state in forever. 

Seriously though, I use Charity Navigator to vet them all: 

http://www.charitynavigator.org

Check what donation percentage goes into actually helping people/animals/causes. Anything where more than 10% of donations go into administrative/fundraising costs doesn't even rate my second look.  Chances are there's a charity that does the same thing more efficiently.  If possible, I go for charities with 2-5% costs.  There are quite a few that do their good work on 1%.

Also, make sure any charity that approaches you isn't a "lookalike" made to look like a more reputable one.  I.e "Salvationer's Army" for "Salvation Army" or "High Sierra Club" for "Sierra Club" complete with close-if-you're-not-observant logo. Veterans charities seem particularly prone to this.

Spork

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 03:18:37 PM »
My big "don't" is the United Way.  Dear god, what terrible high pressure tactics I've seen.  I've been in organizations where they pressured management to give themselves bonuses if everyone signed up to have their wages garnished towards their charity.  I've had managers try to make me sign up for the minimum and promise they'd pay it for me.  I've had the UW folks say dumb things like "what charity do you give to?  Oh, blahblah Humane Society?  Yeah, we support them.  Give to us instead and we'll support them."

As mentioned up thread: Anyone high pressure.  Want money?  Don't beg for it.  I know that's not fair.  I'll kindly throw away the mailers.  I'll decide who I give to when the wife and I sit down and sort out our donations.  If I think some political environment is threatening something I believe in or see that something in particular needs help, I'll send them a check.  And dear lord, don't call me.  Ever.

None of those stupid "local policeman's fund" people.  I am sure there are some that aren't scams.  But geez, so many of them are.


---
FWIW as an aside: (Not directed at Iris Lily but at the thread in general) Make sure you don't judge every organization with "Humane Society" in it as a single organization.  There are thousands of them, all different.  Some are complete and utter freaks.  Some of them are pretty awesome.

robartsd

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 03:26:35 PM »
such as the Boy Scouts with their stance against gays.
Boy Scouts of America changed their stance on gay leaders in July of 2015. BSA no longer prohibits chartering organizations from selecting gay leaders. Chartering organizations may now select leaders without regard to sexual orientation. Of course many BSA units (but not all) are chartered by conservative churches or other organizations that will not select gay leaders. You can donate to BSA without donating to an anti-gay organization, but check on the chartering organization before donating to a scouting unit if you want to avoid contributing to anti-gay groups.

honeybbq

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 03:29:05 PM »
I don't donate to any charity that buys or donates bibles or has a religious spin at all.

Spork

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2016, 03:31:38 PM »
such as the Boy Scouts with their stance against gays.
Boy Scouts of America changed their stance on gay leaders in July of 2015. BSA no longer prohibits chartering organizations from selecting gay leaders. Chartering organizations may now select leaders without regard to sexual orientation. Of course many BSA units (but not all) are chartered by conservative churches or other organizations that will not select gay leaders. You can donate to BSA without donating to an anti-gay organization, but check on the chartering organization before donating to a scouting unit if you want to avoid contributing to anti-gay groups.

Atheists: still excluded.  They're worse than them gay folk!  ;)

Miss Piggy

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2016, 03:33:50 PM »
I've pretty much decided to stop donating to charities that exist to help people. I'll donate to USO every now and then to show my appreciation for our servicemen and servicewomen, but for people-related charities, that's pretty much it.

I will never, ever donate to ANYTHING breast cancer-related. Of course I want researchers to find a cure for breast cancer, but damn, there are sooooooo many breast cancer charities out there and most of them are bullshit. I refuse to buy anything that's breast cancer pink or has that effing pink ribbon. I hate it that breast cancer went from a disease in search of a cure to a marketing tactic. (Related: the white elephant gift I received for Christmas this year was a fabulous fleece Columbia-brand jacket...but it's pink and has that damn ribbon on the front. I immediately ironed on a Chicago Cubs patch over the pink ribbon. I just cannot support that pink ribbon crap.)

I donate to organizations that are trying to save animals, especially sea creatures, and especially sea turtles specifically.

Gin1984

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 03:37:14 PM »
I try to give to charities that keep the donations in the community.  Many charities send their donations to developing countries, putting local merchants out of business in those countries.  People in Africa apparently prefer an American T-shirt over a locally produced one.  It puts the local textile shops in Africa out of business.  Many donations end up harming people far away.  I just saw an article about used vehicles ending up on lots in Somalia or Ethiopia, and helping to fund terrorism.  Do those donated vehicles to NPR end up funding Hezbollah?  I don't know.

I also look for charities that have relatively little overhead, to avoid my donations ending up in the pockets of the CEO or Board of Directors of a charitable organization.  Definitely avoid donating to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.  These donations do not benefit cancer patients or research in any significant degree.

I used to give to the Rotary Foundation's efforts to eradicate polio.  But they ran into the problem of resistance to immunization in war zones like the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and pockets in Africa.  I don't think donating for that cause is useful as long as the wars in those areas continue.

I do not give to organizations that promote violence, such as PETA.  I also do not give to overtly political groups, such as the Boy Scouts with their stance against gays.

My goal is to donate my time to Habitat for Humanity in my area.  That way you know for sure that you are helping your community and learn new skills in the process.
This is not true.  I know of two people personally who have gotten grant funding direÁtly from American Heart Association to do heart research with a direct benefit to research as a whole and to patients.  I don't care if people chose not to donate but don't lie about why.

swick

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2016, 03:39:05 PM »
Charity Navigator is great for big, national orgs, not so much for the small, local ones. Like the difference between a big box store and shopping local, the economy of scale is different and basing decisions for local giving based on Charity Nav really hurts those organizations.

I don't mind seeing a higher percentage going to overhead for local charities. I think people who choose to work at these charities should be paid fairly (I know it is a pipe dream to ever expect what they get paid in the private sector) but they should absolutely be paid a decent living wage. I know probably 2 dozen (at least) people who work full time in small nonprofits who qualify for foodstamps and live at below "official" poverty level.

Also, programs don't run themselves, or are created out of thin air. Most of the grants available are program specific or have restrictions against being use for admin, and you are not allowed to use for overhead, so who covers those wages, and pays the electric bill?  Generally, I look at the overall mission of the org and what they are doing and how big of an impact they are making.

Charity Nav actually hurts many of the the very small orgs, and they are usually the ones on the ground locally making a difference. There are some other rating programs in the works, not sure what stage of development they are at or the metrics they will be using.

GuitarStv

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2016, 03:48:39 PM »
I support many of the causes that PETA advocates for, but dislike their methods.  I stopped donating to Greenpeace for a variety of reasons . . . the careless damage of the Nazca lines, misinformation that they have distributed, and their opposition of genetically modified foods.

robartsd

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2016, 03:55:19 PM »
Atheists: still excluded.  They're worse than them gay folk!  ;)
I'm not sure what you're saying. I'm not aware of BSA ever being anything but welcoming of non-religious groups wanting to charter scouting units. The majority of units may be chartered by churches, but that does not mean BSA is discriminatory.

wenchsenior

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2016, 04:15:02 PM »
Atheists: still excluded.  They're worse than them gay folk!  ;)
I'm not sure what you're saying. I'm not aware of BSA ever being anything but welcoming of non-religious groups wanting to charter scouting units. The majority of units may be chartered by churches, but that does not mean BSA is discriminatory.

Their official position was no atheists allowed as of 2015...not sure if they've changed the rules since then.

Poundwise

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2016, 04:39:37 PM »
I became disillusioned with the Red Cross after Haiti.  I also avoid the numerous policemen charities that call.

DrMoney

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2016, 04:43:10 PM »
Goodwill--not interested in supporting a for-profit company just because it's convenient to drop off bags of items.

Spork

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2016, 04:45:46 PM »
Atheists: still excluded.  They're worse than them gay folk!  ;)
I'm not sure what you're saying. I'm not aware of BSA ever being anything but welcoming of non-religious groups wanting to charter scouting units. The majority of units may be chartered by churches, but that does not mean BSA is discriminatory.

Their official position was no atheists allowed as of 2015...not sure if they've changed the rules since then.

They've been sued a few times over it.  Courts have upheld the BSA.  Personally I think they have the right to discriminate against anyone.  It's their club.  But I will dislike them for it.

Not wonderfully well cited, but here's a wikipedia page outlining the controversy:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies#Position_on_religious_belief

Totally off topic, but a bunch of very religious folk around here split off BSA back in 2015 and formed their own grass roots scouting organization that excludes gays.  Friends and I called it the I-hate-gay-scouts.  I'm pretty sure they excluded atheists there, too.  ;)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 04:48:55 PM by Spork »

Stache-O-Lantern

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2016, 04:52:01 PM »
Goodwill--not interested in supporting a for-profit company just because it's convenient to drop off bags of items.

Are you sure about this?  Wikipedia says they're a non-profit.  The receipt i got last week from them says they are a non-profit corportation.

gaja

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2016, 05:07:01 PM »
I don't donate to any charity that buys or donates bibles or has a religious spin at all.
Yep. Apart from the bible pushers there are loads of decent religious charities, but there are also loads of religious donors. Animal activist groups are also not on my donation list. Some of them because they have a lot of people supporting them already, others are on my list of organizations to actively work against, because of all the lies they spread about indigenous hunting traditions.

Some of my favourite charities have very high administrative costs, because their core work is in administration; educating and training people, providing free legal aid, fighting corruption, etc. One organization I doubt many here would consider, but that I support regularly, trains local people to remove land mines, but also support unions in different countries of the world. https://www.npaid.org/

DrMoney

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2016, 05:16:23 PM »
Goodwill--not interested in supporting a for-profit company just because it's convenient to drop off bags of items.

Are you sure about this?  Wikipedia says they're a non-profit.  The receipt i got last week from them says they are a non-profit corportation.

You're right, it's not "for-profit" per se, but it has a lot of suspect practices, including paying disabled workers less than minimum wage. You can read a bit here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-hrabe/goodwill-minimum-wage_b_3246824.html

gj83

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2016, 05:42:33 PM »
I don't give to religious charities, my alma mater (it's a state school), United Way (they support charities I disagree with such as BSA).
I have been donating to Planned Parenthood, but I learned my local women's clinic is part of a Carolina abortion fund so I might switch my giving.

I don't buy stuff to support organizations because I don't usually need the stuff, it is overpriced,and usually a cash contribution will go further.  I only give money, never food, to the food bank because they can do more with money than with food.


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NV Teacher

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2016, 05:59:43 PM »
I no longer pay tithing to my church, does that count?   For years and years and years I paid 10% on my gross income.  Then the church decided to build a mega shopping mall and I decided that they weren't going to get another dime from me.  Now I use my donation budget to help people in my community that are struggling and need help.

tralfamadorian

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2016, 06:07:53 PM »
I don't donate to religious organizations, organizations that cold call my business, organizations with high pressure sales tactics or my alma mater (largest endowment for a single campus public university).
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 06:12:59 PM by kellyincville »

MM_MG

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2016, 06:10:48 PM »
An equally important thread.  Thanks for starting it.  Interesting that it already has more views then the one I started.  ;) 

iris lily

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2016, 06:16:11 PM »
Goodwill--not interested in supporting a for-profit company just because it's convenient to drop off bags of items.

Are you sure about this?  Wikipedia says they're a non-profit.  The receipt i got last week from them says they are a non-profit corportation.

You're right, it's not "for-profit" per se, but it has a lot of suspect practices, including paying disabled workers less than minimum wage. You can read a bit here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-hrabe/goodwill-minimum-wage_b_3246824.html
Thats what ths thread is about, not-for-profit corporations that ask for our money but may not do the job we would like to see them do.  For me, I love Goodwill, sometimes donate items, often shop there. My donate-to-buy ratio is 1:15 so I do not characterize myself as much of a donator, but I know they need me buy their merchandise.

That reminds me, then"Scholar Shops" are closing here in St. louis. They sold donated clothing, jewelry, personal items. Due to a variety of market factors, they are no longer making a profit even though their objects cost them nothing and some of their labor is volunteer. Overhead is a real cost.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 10:20:51 PM by iris lily »

MissNancyPryor

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2016, 06:30:28 PM »
United Way.  Nope, nope, nope. 

Cassie

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2016, 06:57:10 PM »
I don't give to REd Cross, United Way, etc because they spend much of the $ on salaries, travel, etc. I give to my local Salvation Army and a few other small homeless shelters, here. Although, all the small ones are religious based we have about 3 here that do excellent work and take little in the way of salaries. I also give to our local Humane Society which is no-kill. I no longer give to the national HS or ASPC since I found out that neither give some of the $ back to the local chapters.

Poundwise

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2016, 07:20:14 PM »
Oh yeah, I forgot about Planet Aid and other similar clothes drop off boxes. Bunch of scam artists.  I'd rather just freecycle my clothes.

https://www.charitywatch.org/charitywatch-articles/planet-aid-39-s-34-recycling-34-program-debunked-/88
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 07:22:43 PM by Poundwise »

Pigeon

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2016, 07:52:48 PM »
My favorite charities are pretty much the one the OP dislikes.

Planned Parenthood is my favorite, followed by the regional food bank. We also volunteer with the regional food bank. The food bank is a win-win-win as far as I'm concerned.   Food and other goods come from companies that have produced overruns or have minor problems like misaligned labels that prevents the companies from selling it.  They also get a great deal of food donated by grocery chains as it nears sell by dates.  Some of the food is very high quality and yes, it's much more expensive stuff (organic, etc.) than I normally buy.  All of this perfectly usable material is kept out of landfills.   It helps people who can't feed themselves or their families.  The companies get a tax break.  The food bank uses volunteers to sort and package the food.  I adore volunteering there.

I also donate to the Freedom from Religion Foundation,NARAL and Partners in Health.

I don't donate to any charity  connected to a religion.  I also will not contribute through the United Way.  My employer tries to pressure us into doing United Way and I greatly resent it.

azure975

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2016, 08:09:37 PM »
I have never given to my alma matter. Like many universities, their endowment is enough to support far more in financial aid than they currently give.

Same. I have never donated a cent to my alma mater (a top Ivy League school). I feel that I already paid my fair share, as I did not receive any financial aid. I feel like my education was fee for service--I paid and I got something in return. I don't see the need for charity in this case, any more than if I went to Starbucks and paid for a latte. I am seriously annoyed when they call me to solicit donations and have asked to be taken off the call list.

NewPerspective

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2016, 08:15:50 PM »
Why do so many people dislike United Way? I donate through work.  The local United Way has a four star rating on Charity Advisor.  I don't necessarily agree with all of the agencies they support but by and large they seem to do good work.  I can also designate what agencies receive my donation.  Just curious if there is something about United Way that I haven't considered?

Stache-O-Lantern

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2016, 09:38:20 PM »
Goodwill--not interested in supporting a for-profit company just because it's convenient to drop off bags of items.

Are you sure about this?  Wikipedia says they're a non-profit.  The receipt i got last week from them says they are a non-profit corportation.

You're right, it's not "for-profit" per se, but it has a lot of suspect practices, including paying disabled workers less than minimum wage. You can read a bit here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-hrabe/goodwill-minimum-wage_b_3246824.html

Interesting, I had not heard this before.

Lagom

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2016, 09:49:17 PM »
I don't give to religious charities, my alma mater (it's a state school), United Way (they support charities I disagree with such as BSA).
I have been donating to Planned Parenthood, but I learned my local women's clinic is part of a Carolina abortion fund so I might switch my giving.

I don't buy stuff to support organizations because I don't usually need the stuff, it is overpriced,and usually a cash contribution will go further.  I only give money, never food, to the food bank because they can do more with money than with food.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

While I agree not giving to a school with an already massive endowment is pretty logical, the way most state budgets are going (e.g. the UC's now get less than 10% from the state),many public universities actually need philanthropic support rather badly. Because they were so heavily subsidized for so many years and thus do not have a longstanding fundraising pipeline, most have very small endowments relative to their size and history.

iris lily

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2016, 10:27:35 PM »
My favorite charities are pretty much the one the OP dislikes.

Planned Parenthood is my favorite, followed by the regional food bank. We also volunteer with the regional food bank. The food bank is a win-win-win as far as I'm concerned.   Food and other goods come from companies that have produced overruns or have minor problems like misaligned labels that prevents the companies from selling it.  They also get a great deal of food donated by grocery chains as it nears sell by dates.  Some of the food is very high quality and yes, it's much more expensive stuff (organic, etc.) than I normally buy.  All of this perfectly usable material is kept out of landfills.   It helps people who can't feed themselves or their families.  The companies get a tax break.  The food bank uses volunteers to sort and package the food.  I adore volunteering there.

I also donate to the Freedom from Religion Foundation,NARAL and Partners in Health.

I don't donate to any charity  connected to a religion.  I also will not contribute through the United Way.  My employer tries to pressure us into doing United Way and I greatly resent it.

You are welcome to list positive attributes of your favorite charities in that other thread. Haha.

Seriously,  I dont mind cross pollination of threads. I like discussions  that meander, and I think they can lead to useful stuff. I am not a topic nazi.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 10:29:42 PM by iris lily »

Pigeon

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2016, 06:32:24 AM »
Why do so many people dislike United Way? I donate through work.  The local United Way has a four star rating on Charity Advisor.  I don't necessarily agree with all of the agencies they support but by and large they seem to do good work.  I can also designate what agencies receive my donation.  Just curious if there is something about United Way that I haven't considered?
I don't like being strong armed by my employer to make payroll deductions for things that are none of their damned business. If I want to donate to Planned Parenthood, I want PP to get 100% of my contribution, not to have the United Way skim off a percentage for administration.

Spork

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2016, 06:38:36 AM »
Why do so many people dislike United Way? I donate through work.  The local United Way has a four star rating on Charity Advisor.  I don't necessarily agree with all of the agencies they support but by and large they seem to do good work.  I can also designate what agencies receive my donation.  Just curious if there is something about United Way that I haven't considered?
I don't like being strong armed by my employer to make payroll deductions for things that are none of their damned business. If I want to donate to Planned Parenthood, I want PP to get 100% of my contribution, not to have the United Way skim off a percentage for administration.

Yup.  This.  And the whole "no, don't give to them.  Give to us and we'll give to them." feels really sleazy.

NewPerspective

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2016, 08:00:46 AM »
Why do so many people dislike United Way? I donate through work.  The local United Way has a four star rating on Charity Advisor.  I don't necessarily agree with all of the agencies they support but by and large they seem to do good work.  I can also designate what agencies receive my donation.  Just curious if there is something about United Way that I haven't considered?
I don't like being strong armed by my employer to make payroll deductions for things that are none of their damned business. If I want to donate to Planned Parenthood, I want PP to get 100% of my contribution, not to have the United Way skim off a percentage for administration.

Yup.  This.  And the whole "no, don't give to them.  Give to us and we'll give to them." feels really sleazy.

Thanks to you both for responding.  I guess my perspective is a little different because I used to work for a non-profit that was a designated United Way agency. We saw it as a really good thing (this was in a small conservative town and the agency was a family planning clinic, so ultimately we received more money through United Way than we would have independently. We didn't have a lot of staff do fundraising so it was helpful to have United Way doing that for us, so to speak). I understand what you guys are saying though, by giving directly you know 100% of your money goes to the charity.

MBot

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2016, 08:18:19 AM »
Charity Navigator is great for big, national orgs, not so much for the small, local ones. Like the difference between a big box store and shopping local, the economy of scale is different and basing decisions for local giving based on Charity Nav really hurts those organizations.

I don't mind seeing a higher percentage going to overhead for local charities. I think people who choose to work at these charities should be paid fairly (I know it is a pipe dream to ever expect what they get paid in the private sector) but they should absolutely be paid a decent living wage. I know probably 2 dozen (at least) people who work full time in small nonprofits who qualify for foodstamps and live at below "official" poverty level.

Also, programs don't run themselves, or are created out of thin air. Most of the grants available are program specific or have restrictions against being use for admin, and you are not allowed to use for overhead, so who covers those wages, and pays the electric bill?  Generally, I look at the overall mission of the org and what they are doing and how big of an impact they are making.

Charity Nav actually hurts many of the the very small orgs, and they are usually the ones on the ground locally making a difference. There are some other rating programs in the works, not sure what stage of development they are at or the metrics they will be using.

Yes, most certainly. Small organizations scale so differently than big ones. Percentages don't work as well for assessment.

iris lily

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2016, 09:36:06 AM »
Oh right, the ACLU and NPR. Both received donations from me years in a row too. Now, nope.

I probably will go back to giving to NPR in a while, I am just burned out on their POV for the time being.  The radio plays a lot in our house and when I retired, I heard too much of NPR.  I am glad Diane Rehm is off the air, I dont  know if she could crawl further up into Hillary Clinton's butt if she tried. There are many many great programs on NPR, though and I will put up with their liberal slant because the content is good.

When my mother died a few years ago she left me a nice little sum of money, some of  which I spread around to non-profits. That was fun! I got to play Lady Bountiful. And NPR didnt get any due to the double Schiller shenanigans. At the time of the first Schiller debacle, I wrote to NPr to tell them they werent getting any money from me while V. Schiller is at the helm. When she finally stepped down, I gave again to NPR but unfortunately for them, all of my inheritance money was gone and they just got a typical check from me.

To refresh your memory of Schiller shenanigans:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2011/03/10/134388981/npr-ceo-vivian-schiller-resigns

little_brown_dog

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2016, 10:05:20 AM »
I dont give to religious orgs or large cancer charities/huge orgs with tons of overhead and little transparency. Never to la leche or other breastfeeding orgs that shame and look down on moms who cant exclusively beastfeed and use shoddy research to scare/guilt women into breastfeeding the "right" way. I am also starting to get frustrated with even orgs I generally like, such as PP/naral. Too often they jump the line from legit public health promotion into moral ideologies that demonize people who dont completely agree with them. As I get older extremism in ideologies is starting to really frustrate me.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 10:15:35 AM by little_brown_dog »

Rural

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2016, 01:45:20 PM »
Why do so many people dislike United Way? I donate through work.  The local United Way has a four star rating on Charity Advisor.  I don't necessarily agree with all of the agencies they support but by and large they seem to do good work.  I can also designate what agencies receive my donation.  Just curious if there is something about United Way that I haven't considered?


 I won't give to United Way because they explicitly rule out any aid to anything in my rural county on the basis that the county has no large employer to "partner" with them. That means they can't solicit major payroll deductions here, so they won't help here. Rules out the highest poverty areas automatically, which tells me that helping is not with they are really in the business of doing.

sol

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Re: What "charities" do you NOT give to, and why
« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2016, 02:03:02 PM »
I also do not give to overtly political groups, such as the Boy Scouts with their stance against gays.

The BSA is an interesting case study.  I was an Eagle Scout and one of my kids is heavily involved in the program, but I agree that their politics are gross.  It's the primary reason I have resisted becoming involved as an adult leader.

But their stance against gays has softened over the years.  The Boy Scouts of America no longer kicks out gay scouts, and as of this year they don't nationally prohibit gay adult leaders (though individual units can and do still prohibit gay adult leaders). 

Their policy against atheists is still disgusting, though, and far more discriminatory at every level.  It's blatant and uncontested religious bigotry, and it's not what I want my kids to learn.  I'm sure the KKK can teach you how to build campfires, too, but it's not worth it when it comes with a side order of hatred and intolerance for diversity.