Author Topic: A Season for Charity  (Read 13507 times)

Sailor Sam

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #50 on: September 28, 2016, 09:57:53 AM »
Great idea Sailor Sam. I've just had a pay bump so this is perfect timing as I needed a kick to update my giving.

I'm a huge fan of The Life You Can Save and Giving What We Can. I understand the preference lots of people have in donating in their own country (or to their family), but the idea that I can help more people who need it most speaks to me more. There is poverty on my doorstep, but just because I can see it doesn't mean it is more deserving. Maybe my relentless quest for value-for-money extends to charity too?

Anyway, I'm doubling my donations to Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. Deworming, keeping kids in school and getting more from nutrition.
Those are great charities. I'm certainly not going to turn my noes up at your impulses to combine charity and efficiency. There's always a trade off, and my lean towards local charities and family does contain a certain element of amount of out of sight, out of mind. The mentally ill alcoholic in front of me gets my assistance, because he's there and his pain is obvious. The worm ridden 5 year-old is half a country away, living a life I don't ever see has a lighter tidal influence on my heartstrings.

Thankfully, I don't think there is one right path to giving. I struggled for a long time to forgive the people who refused to give money to any panhandlers, ever, under any circumstances. The refusal always seemed rooted in superiority, and cruelty. But, I listened, and I read, and I started to have respect for some of the arguments against giving directly to the homeless. That was a watershed moment for me. I realized it wasn't my place to forgive, because it wasn't my place to judge in the first place. Everyone deserves assistance, and everyone gets to decided how they assist.

The people who walk past a homeless person with a cup out, and kick at the homeless person's dog to remind them of their place. Well, I'm still working on understanding them.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #51 on: September 28, 2016, 10:44:12 AM »
The people who walk past a homeless person with a cup out, and kick at the homeless person's dog to remind them of their place. Well, I'm still working on understanding them.

100%

Agreed, there is no single right path but there are some wrong paths.

scrubbyfish

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #52 on: September 28, 2016, 03:56:05 PM »
Deworming [...] getting more from nutrition.

What an awesome nutritional strategy!!!!! Love it! Resolving the variables that deplete a body of the nutrition available to it. Score.

Guava

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2016, 11:45:19 AM »
Started off the month with my planned matching donation to LLS. I am still deciding what to do for the rest of my donations this month. The food banks around here have been hit hard and many feature bare shelves right now. Looking into the idea of adopting a pantry shelf to keep filled throughout the year. Has anyone ever done this?

onlykelsey

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2016, 12:25:23 PM »
While they may not be posted, there are plenty of ways to volunteer that don't involve interacting with people.  Shockingly, I'm not much of a people person, but I do things like:

- researching grants,
- writing stuff for websites, applications, letters, etc.
- helping prep for activities (I can cut and paste and assemble packages and such all by my lonesome)
- cleaning up after events
- doing hard labor for big projects (I don't do too much of this because I'm a wimp, but you seem pretty capable) like building gazebos or signs or whatever.

If there is an organization you like, it doesn't hurt to call and see if they could use help with something you can do at home or alone!  Not that you have to, but it's possible!

Agreed.  I give monetarily, as well, but have found a couple organizations very happy to receive pro bono legal help (I haven't even looked but I think my firm bills me at $600/hour, now!) which I can do on my own time.  I mean, the deadlines are still very real, but I don't need to meet on WEdnesday mornings with the volunteer trainers, so I can get a lot more done.

MVal

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #55 on: October 13, 2016, 01:45:40 PM »
Hey, this is great! I just donated some money to a group yesterday before I even found out about this, but definitely nowhere near 10% of my spending. That is a good rule--it  would help me be more conscious of my spending and also do more good in the world.

Anatidae V

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #56 on: October 15, 2016, 06:31:31 AM »
We are definitely focusing our attention "inward" at the moment, so I'm only here to see the great conversation. We put aside $25/month for charity, which goes on little fundraisers and the like. It's built up recently, so I thought we might do a lump sum at Christmas. The different ways of looking at charitable giving is great, I am going to talk to DH about the local/regional/international idea.

scrubbyfish

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #57 on: October 15, 2016, 12:24:17 PM »
Look at this beautiful option for giving:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/st-michael-s-hospital-nicu-volunteers-cuddlers-preemies-1.3794171

As a mom to a preemie, in a hospital that banned human touch despite its effects on preemies, I would have loved this far more than money!

Sailor Sam

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2016, 12:34:38 PM »
Look at this beautiful option for giving:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/st-michael-s-hospital-nicu-volunteers-cuddlers-preemies-1.3794171

As a mom to a preemie, in a hospital that banned human touch despite its effects on preemies, I would have loved this far more than money!

That's great, Scrubby. My cousin had preemie twins a few months ago. Born at 30 weeks, and they spent 30 days in the NICU. Mostly just feeding and growing. Luckily my cousin, and cousin-in-law were local. They had heartbreaking stories about babies with non-local parents. Struggling to live and grow, all alone.

Halfway through Oct; has anyone had further thoughts on the nature and reason of charity? There was another thread recently, discussing a few theories, but it didn't take off.

Dicey

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #59 on: October 18, 2016, 10:47:20 AM »
No brilliant thoughts, just an update: wrote a check for $100 to a friend who works for a local Juvenile Hall Auxiliary.  Some kind of -athon.

Organized the first ever drive-by food bank donation event as part of Community Service Day in my city. Results were below what I'd hoped, but encouraging. Also, co-chaired entire event, so lots of hours donated as well. Helped set up Quarterly Friend's Book Sale, so volunteer hours at the library. Um, hosted a Meet & Greet for City Council Candidates, so even more volunteer hours. And three board meetings so far.

Then flew to Boston for a Memorial Service. Whew, busy month.

Somewhere in there, we finished the kid's place in Aspen and they moved in. Haven't totalled the expenditures yet, but consider that helping family, not charity.

Going to try to cruise a little  this week...
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 12:10:31 PM by Diane C »

Sailor Sam

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #60 on: October 18, 2016, 10:59:00 AM »
My wife brought to my attention a picture of a truly vile antil-LGBTQ bumper sticker. This beauty isn't just bigoted, it's also charmingly violent.

I flashed right back to being a small-town gay kid in the late 90's, and how deeply awful the Adam n' Steve bumper stickers used to make me feel. And those were just small-minded nastiness, without the violence. Things like that push gay kids towards suicide.

So I made a donation to The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. I can't fix the mentality that causes people to display stuff like that, and I can't keep it out of the sight of gay kids, but I'm rich and I can use my money to try and fix the damage.

DCKatie09

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #61 on: October 18, 2016, 11:14:05 AM »
This popping up in my unread list is a helpful reminder that I didn't actually set up a new donation - we had a brief moment of job panic right after our first conversation and put a hiatus on new giving, but that's resolved and I need to get back to it! Monthly donation set up for a transitional housing/domestic violence program in our area.

libertarian4321

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #62 on: October 18, 2016, 05:23:17 PM »
How did you all choose where you give?

I'm not sure if you mean "how do I find a charity I like" or "how do I know if a charity is trustworthy."

If it's the second, there are sites that rate charities.  The one I've used for years is:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/

It rates transparency, executive compensation, spending efficiency, etc, as shown in this example of one of the charities I donate to:

https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=5688

libertarian4321

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #63 on: October 18, 2016, 05:31:49 PM »
I already donate more than 10% of my expenditures because, frankly, we don't spend much compared to our income/NW.

However, as the Holiday season is almost upon us, I intend to step it up a bit this year and will be making a large Festivus donation to The Human Fund.  :)


scrubbyfish

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #64 on: October 21, 2016, 09:28:53 AM »
Would anyone here be willing to make one of their contributions a copy (or copies) of this book to their local work placement agency, student union, advocacy agency, women's shelter, community kitchen, or food bank? (No need to answer that out loud.)

If you're willing to post here, or PM me, or post a note anywhere on its blog (which you can do anonymously, link below) as to which agency has got it in, I can offer that list on the blog so people who can't afford a personal copy can go grab it. A gift that keeps on giving, for sure!

DCKatie09

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #65 on: October 26, 2016, 06:00:44 AM »
This article from the Post popped up in my feed this morning and made me think of this thread - the more money people have, the less likely/instinctual giving and empathy becomes. So I think efforts like this are all the more valuable to cultivate a sense of mindfulness and intentional awareness: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/10/21/how-can-you-tell-if-someone-is-kind-ask-how-rich-they-are/?utm_term=.fb26828da28d (some of this research I'd seen before, some was new to me - neat stuff)

meerkat

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #66 on: October 26, 2016, 01:35:34 PM »
MMM himself just gave away $100,000 and talks about analysis paralysis. There's also a good TED talk in his post about Effective Altruism.

change_seeker

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2016, 08:20:24 AM »
MMM himself just gave away $100,000 and talks about analysis paralysis. There's also a good TED talk in his post about Effective Altruism.

As I read that MMM post I was wondering if this thread was the final push he needed to write those checks ;)

scrubbyfish

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #68 on: October 27, 2016, 08:57:03 AM »
My newest challenge is to not get completely bummed by the fact that MMM and a few others can give away $100k and it's not even a dent. $5000 here, $10000 there...  I felt very positive about my annual gifting until that article. Darn! Genuinely working hard to remember that my relatively piddly amount (20% of my spending level) is still valuable/helpful/worthwhile.

englishteacheralex

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #69 on: October 27, 2016, 09:37:38 AM »
My newest challenge is to not get completely bummed by the fact that MMM and a few others can give away $100k and it's not even a dent. $5000 here, $10000 there...  I felt very positive about my annual gifting until that article. Darn! Genuinely working hard to remember that my relatively piddly amount (20% of my spending level) is still valuable/helpful/worthwhile.

From a spiritual standpoint, the dollar amount is not the important number to look at. It's all about the percentage. The story of the widow's mite illustrates this well (the widow who gives all she has, despite the fact that it is only pennies, is seen as much more impressive than the rich men who are giving way bigger amounts but way smaller percentages of their income).

I was extremely happy to see MMM's post about his giving, since it is such an important value to my husband and me, but his emphasis on outcome of giving is slightly different from our point of view. Of course, we care deeply about where our money goes and research all of our institutional giving very carefully. However, we don't give solely to "make a difference" but also to keep our relationship with money healthy. We see giving as a spiritual discipline, without which there is a tendency to put an unhealthy emphasis on accumulation in the false hope that money/stuff will guard against the many uncertainties of life that are in fact impossible to avoid despite any amount of money.

My kind of "precious" way of putting it is that giving allows money to breathe.

When I saw MMM's post I immediately went over to Mint out of curiosity to see what the dollar amount is that I've given away since I started tracking my finances in 2011. It was just about $60k on the nose. My husband and my net worth is currently around $135k, so we've given away about half that. We made a lot less money until 2013 (when we got married), so that enters into it, as well. I was actually a little disappointed because the figure seems to be a slightly lower percentage than what I was hoping for, but it was good motivation to keep pushing ourselves.

That being said, comparison is the thief of joy in so many situations. Good for MMM for recognizing the enormous life-giving power of giving money away. May we all be inspired but not ashamed.

onlykelsey

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #70 on: October 27, 2016, 09:44:06 AM »
Although I've given to charity (not family members, etc, but 501(c)(3) type charities in the US) intermittently for a decade, I'm taking advantage of my job's 1 for 1 matching up to $1000 to donate an additional $1000 (or, well, 2000 with my benefit) this year.

I try to keep my donations to recurring ones, which I know are generally more helpful, especially for smaller organizations but that obviously won't be feasible for 2016 given that we have about 9 weeks left.  So far I've given $200 to a foundation in my historically poor neighborhood that trains kids in gymnastics for free and sets them up with mentors, etc, and $100 to a foundation that targets South Asian immigrant women in the Bronx (near my place) through participatory research and largely public health/mental health campaigns.  I think I need to give to something a bit more national or international now for the remaining chunk...

Sailor Sam

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2016, 09:47:12 AM »
I purposefully don't track my charitable givings. I know its 10% of net, and I make sure to bump it up each time I get a raise. Otherwise, I have no idea how much I've given over the years. I couldn't even estimate to the fifth digit. Definitely more than 10k, definitely less than 100k.

One thing I've been happy to break myself of is the "Overhead Myth". My education was started by MonsterMonster, and continued with Dan Pallotta's TED talk. Maybe that makes me trendy, and reactive, but that's okay.

Don't feel bad, Scrubbster. Feel good! Here, I'll snap my fingers, and you'll feel great. *snap*

meerkat

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #72 on: October 27, 2016, 10:50:05 AM »
I'm taking advantage of my job's 1 for 1 matching up to $1000 to donate an additional $1000 (or, well, 2000 with my benefit) this year.

Thanks for the reminder! My work has a list somewhere of charities they'll match contributions for, time to go dig that up.

monstermonster

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #73 on: October 27, 2016, 12:05:48 PM »
I'm so happy to hear I was part of helping you break out the Overhead Myth, SS. If anyone else wants to talk about why punishing nonprofits for paying staff above poverty level and having things like health insurance, offices, pencils, and a printer is a silly way to evaluate charities, I'm really happy to talk about it!

meerkat

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #74 on: October 27, 2016, 12:56:08 PM »
I'm so happy to hear I was part of helping you break out the Overhead Myth, SS. If anyone else wants to talk about why punishing nonprofits for paying staff above poverty level and having things like health insurance, offices, pencils, and a printer is a silly way to evaluate charities, I'm really happy to talk about it!

I missed the original conversation, can I get a recap?

Sailor Sam

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #75 on: October 27, 2016, 01:00:49 PM »
I'm so happy to hear I was part of helping you break out the Overhead Myth, SS. If anyone else wants to talk about why punishing nonprofits for paying staff above poverty level and having things like health insurance, offices, pencils, and a printer is a silly way to evaluate charities, I'm really happy to talk about it!

I missed the original conversation, can I get a recap?

Hmmm, I don't remember where I first read about the Overhead Myth thing, but I know it was MM. Maybe on her journal. MM, do you remember?

scrubbyfish

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #76 on: October 27, 2016, 02:01:28 PM »
...comparison is the thief of joy in so many situations.

I 100% agree. I see comparison as useless, frustrating, etc. I don't "believe in" doing it.

At the same time, I am feeling utterly impotent and futile these days, and the MMM post simply increased that (not his fault; my problem in this is my own). It seems like one person can have enormous amounts of money float his way, thus have massive amounts to give, not to mention influence and so on, while another can workworkworkworkwork and have so little to give, little impact, etc.

However, my struggle here will likely result in a shift in me as well as a blog post that 22 people might find helpful. It's already formulating in my head.

Don't feel bad, Scrubbster. Feel good! Here, I'll snap my fingers, and you'll feel great. *snap*

Thanks, SS :)))

Grogounet

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #77 on: October 30, 2016, 03:51:37 AM »
Awesome thread!
Where do you guys give usually?

I personally also donate my time, got a hell of chance that I have an employer encouraging us to give our time for environment conservation and help the community.

jodelino

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #78 on: October 30, 2016, 07:24:09 AM »
Done!

I have recurring monthly donations to the following:

Camfed (pays school fees for girls in Africa)
Planned Parenthood
Local animal shelter
Reader Supported News
Democracy Now!
Local NPR station

I just wrote a $500 check to a community effort to sponsor a Syrian refugee family in Canada. The community needs to raise $32K and is almost there.

I applaud SS's efforts for his niece and nephew--and that counts as charity in my book. I grew up poor in a single-parent family where my rich grandparents, aunts, and uncles donated lavishly to their churches while I was struggling mightily to get an education. I remember vividly the few occasions on which a member of the extended family helped me out. Fortunately everyone in my extended family is doing fine now, but I am paying the monthly rent for an elderly neighbor's grandson while he is in a 2-year program to get his electrician's license. His father died without insurance, and his mother has drug problems. This is not a tax-deductible charitable contribution, but it's very satisfying.

Another form of direct giving that I find satisfying is buying music and theatre tickets and gift certificates at our local performing arts center for people who would not be able to afford them. I do this in lieu of donating directly to the performing arts center, even though a check to them would be tax deductible and this is not. After making a big contribution to the arts center, and then learning that a disabled musician I know was not able to attend because he could not afford tickets, I switched to this.

Anatidae V

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #79 on: October 30, 2016, 07:39:57 AM »
Jodelino, that's quite lovely with the tickets!

This thread has got me talking to my DH, and while we are still stash-building and own-oxygen-mask-first, he's agreed to sit down and research charities in areas we feel strongly about. For us, I think that might be education & health in remote (and not) Aboriginal communities, plus refugees. I am going to see if I can get a few books from the library & read through the websites on how to pick a good charity, then go through the ones we can find against a checklist. So. Not there this month, but it's got us started.

scrubbyfish

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #80 on: October 30, 2016, 10:08:42 AM »
Where do you guys give usually?

Welcome, Grogounet! I answered the above further upthread :)

jodelino, your post filled me with so much happiness!

scrubbyfish

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #81 on: October 30, 2016, 10:10:16 AM »
I usually give a lot of time, and some money, but usually one or the other to any given org. This week was a rare one that I decided to give money ($100/mo) to a place I also do many volunteer hours with.

Usually I give time where I can (local or online) and reserve $ gifts to places I can't volunteer, because others are doing the reverse: perhaps working 60 hours so able to only give cash. I feel like we're all giving our best gift, then, and it works out.

In this case, though, I attended a budget meeting and learned that even with all the volunteer hours so many of us are giving, it requires more cash. So I'm doing that now too. This felt like a real stretch for me, and I'm happy for it.

monstermonster

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #82 on: October 31, 2016, 09:24:24 AM »
Now that it's the end of the month, I allocated out my charitable giving. 

My personal spending was $850.45 excluding churning fees - which was a $450 credit card fee. This bring me to $1300.45.
I gave 25% of my spending this month -  $335 all together.
 
$25 to the friends of the library, $10 to my favorite local road safety charity, and $300 to the major donor matching campaign for the organization whose board I'm on who works on engaging youth in the political process & training young women/gender nonconforming youth as activists.

I wanted to give $500, but with business start-up expenses and income running low, next month I'll round that out with another $200. Feels "safer" even though I have a lot of float.


Sailor Sam

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #83 on: October 31, 2016, 09:34:28 AM »
Spending: $6455.46

Donations:
$130   Alma mater
$130   Local SPCA
$130   Local Foodbank (though, scrubbyfish is making me teeter)
$200   Family
$57     Local Bike Foundation
$100   Trevor's Place
$747   Total Donations, 11.5% of spending

Trevor's place won't be a reoccurring donation. Without that, I'm bang on 10%.

DCKatie09

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #84 on: October 31, 2016, 10:09:13 AM »
Spending (or incl mortgage): 2150 (4350)

Donations:
$25 Child services
$50 Local shelter
$50 Local foodbank
$25 Local women's shelter/transition services
$10 one-off to another foodbank

$160 Total, 7.5% (3.7%)

I think my new goal is to get to 10% of non-mortgage spending - just need to find another $50 or so. 

StarBright

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #85 on: November 01, 2016, 11:22:58 AM »
Thanks for this awesome thread!

DH and I have been talking about upping our charitable giving and this inspired me to add to our giving this month. So far we have:

  • $200 church
  • $10 NPR
    • $20 Modest Needs Foundation (I put this one on pause a couple of years ago, but restarted it today after reading this thread because I really love this charity)
    • $50 on kitchen supplies for a local foundation that helps resettle refugee families in our area (they have 5 Syrian families arriving before Xmas and put out the call to help stock their kitchens)

      I'll be on the lookout for more organizations to donate to this month.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 11:27:57 AM by StarBright »

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #86 on: November 01, 2016, 12:27:00 PM »
Halfway through Oct; has anyone had further thoughts on the nature and reason of charity? There was another thread recently, discussing a few theories, but it didn't take off.

So I had a 'moment' yesterday.

I hadn't gotten to eat all day, had worked late and was hungry, I'd failed to replace my snack bar from last week, so went and bought a burger from a fast food establishment (face punch away). On the way out, I saw a cold-, hungrier-than-me-looking person bedding down in the next doorway. I offered my burger and it was accepted. I was still hungry but didn't have time for burger #2 as I needed to catch my train.

In that instant I had a much clearer idea of the preference that people have for giving locally. I'm still overall in favour of giving more effectively (you can feed more people better food than the cost of a burger in London), but it gave me pause.

Also, I had been struggle with the idea of 'giving until it hurts' (I think I picked this up in church many years ago). My regular charity giving doesn't 'hurt' me, although I occasionally have pangs of wanting to stop and I toyed with the idea of ramping it up until I really felt it, but came to the conclusion that I can do this when I'm further on my way to FI. I also had real hurt several years ago when I ended up with massive loans and longed for the money that I'd donated in the past.

Anyway, giving away my burger was a more acute awareness/hurt than the rest of my giving combined [I'm trying not to whine about being moderately hungry for a couple of hours, but perceptions and reality and all that]. Interesting. I was also more in tune with my giving when I'd match things that I wanted but didn't need with an equal donation [https://xkcd.com/871/]. Or the times in school when you don't eat for a day and then donate your lunch money to hungry people.

I'm still figuring this out, welcome more thoughts.

Guava

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #87 on: November 01, 2016, 03:20:13 PM »
All of my donations for October went to something cancer related. I was all set with 10% of my spending donated and then I bought plane tickets for the whole family. Now I need to donate about $170 more. I think I am going to donate to a local food bank or warming shelter.

dycker1978

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #88 on: November 01, 2016, 03:44:32 PM »
Awesome thread.  Unfortunately due to some poor choices I have a full head on fire debt emergency... so I will not be able to donate cash.

However I started a foundation with a friend of mine here in Regina to help gender diverse people and their families... I donated approximately 40 hours in October... my hourly rate is $42/hour at work so this is 1600.  That is much more then the 10% of my spend...

Dee

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #89 on: November 01, 2016, 08:25:27 PM »
Well, I'm embarrassed to say that I have no tracking system for my spending. So I made donations for somewhat arbitrary amounts that I think will amount to the 10% of spending that was proposed for this challenge.

scrubbyfish

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #90 on: November 01, 2016, 10:29:42 PM »
@Playing with Fire UK, really enjoyed your thoughts! And thanks for giving Dude that burger.

...in Regina to help gender diverse people and their families

:)    I made a cash commitment to a gender diversity case...

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #91 on: November 02, 2016, 01:57:37 PM »

TNT

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #92 on: November 02, 2016, 07:40:25 PM »
I am going to admit that I found this gauntlet harder than I thought I would. As the month passed, I started to feel really worried that if I gave 10% away, I might not have enough money to get through November or December (I have a lawsuit coming up and financially it could be pretty damaging), might spend more than I made for the month so charitable donations would put me "in the red" for October, etc. etc...disaster...catastrophe...blah blah blah. My Internal Bag Lady raged.

I felt like hanging onto every penny.

What kept me from wimping out on the challenge was 1) repeatedly going to the "How Rich Am I" calculator and having it tell me that at $36,000/year I'm in the top 8% richest people in the world, and 2) I spent $348 getting to the Chicago retreat...a vacation! If I can spend that much on something like that for myself, I shouldn't even be thinking twice about charity. So off my donations went. $246 divided between the four charities I picked at the beginning of the month. And I did make $408 more than I spent in October, so it didn't even make October a negative month.

I'm glad you threw down this gauntlet, SS. It's really been a growth thing for me, and made me realize stuff about my mind's relationship with money versus my values. Thank you.

Guava

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #93 on: November 02, 2016, 08:21:52 PM »
I am going to admit that I found this gauntlet harder than I thought I would. As the month passed, I started to feel really worried that if I gave 10% away, I might not have enough money to get through November or December (I have a lawsuit coming up and financially it could be pretty damaging), might spend more than I made for the month so charitable donations would put me "in the red" for October, etc. etc...disaster...catastrophe...blah blah blah. My Internal Bag Lady raged.

I felt like hanging onto every penny.

What kept me from wimping out on the challenge was 1) repeatedly going to the "How Rich Am I" calculator and having it tell me that at $36,000/year I'm in the top 8% richest people in the world, and 2) I spent $348 getting to the Chicago retreat...a vacation! If I can spend that much on something like that for myself, I shouldn't even be thinking twice about charity. So off my donations went. $246 divided between the four charities I picked at the beginning of the month. And I did make $408 more than I spent in October, so it didn't even make October a negative month.

I'm glad you threw down this gauntlet, SS. It's really been a growth thing for me, and made me realize stuff about my mind's relationship with money versus my values. Thank you.

All of this.  I mean just a few posts up I said I was going to donate to 10% now that I got the number finalized and my own internal struggles have been pulling so much I haven't done it yet. I keep going through the what ifs and wanting to hold onto it and how of I do this consistently it will change my FIRE date. Yet I am always thinking how lucky I am to have what I have and should give back more. My internal struggle has been intense these last few days especially.

Sailor Sam

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #94 on: November 02, 2016, 09:22:28 PM »
TNT (she's dynamite!) and Guava, yup. I have internal struggles about donating 10%. At this point in my life ITS SO MUCH FUCKING MONEY! Rent is the only line item that's higher. Even my ridiculous car comes in way, way below charity*.

How could I possibly give this away, it's mine and I need it. Mine, mine, mine.

Like you guys, I remember the positives in my life. I'm loved, safe, full, and warm. I firmly believe every single person on earth deserves the same. So I do what I can to extend the loved, safe, full, warm bubble.

UK: thanks for sharing your story. Reading it made me feel emotions. Thankfully, you can brush them away like spiders, but they definitely existed for a few minutes.


*Yes, my car is my third biggest line item. Shut up all of you, no one wants to hear your mouth parts flapping.

Secretly Saving

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #95 on: November 02, 2016, 10:08:10 PM »
I decided to organize my list a bit differently.  In doing so I realized more concretely that my time and inkind donations are mostly local, while my money reaches a further distance...

Time:
local schools (weekly)
church (weekly)
international food packing organization (yearly)

In-kind:
local schools (2 X per month)
church (2 X per month)
domestic shelter (2 X per month)
food bank (1-2 X per year)
arts for abused children (1-2 X per year)
homeless shelter (1-2 X per year)
angel tree (1 X per year, but several kids adopted)

Money:
local schools (large sum 2X a year)
church (weekly)
alma mater (2 X per year)
several different cancer organizations!!  (multiple times a year - almost monthly)
local foster care organization (large sum 1X year)
local large organization supporting children (large sum 1X per year)

I learned from my mother's generous spirit.  Looking forward to this holiday season and doing a few special things that include our children in the chance to make a difference.

cheddarpie

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #96 on: November 12, 2016, 11:25:21 AM »
Sailor Sam, thanks again for starting this thread ... it's taken me a while to sit down and figure out my exact spending for the year (a glitch in Mint related to a replacement credit card created duplicate transactions for three months in the summer, ugh), but I just sat down to go through it all.

Total spending YTD: $47,845.09
Charitable donations YTD: $2,982.43

I'm going to round these numbers and call it 50k for the year with a $5,000 giving target -- more than I have ever donated before! Thanks for the inspiration! This seems like a huge amount of money, but I am at the point where I can afford it and there's no excuse not to.

So I have about $2,020.00 left for the year.

I am working on how to divvy this up, but I'm going to focus on groups that I think will be even more important in light of the recent election results ... likely some combination of:

Southern Poverty Law Center
International Rescue Committee
Planned Parenthood local chapters in underserved states
Black Lives Matter
Trevor Project
NPR
Local homeless & women's shelters

I will also continue my volunteer efforts with a local food bank, animal shelter, and environmental education organization, and I'm working on creating a pledge to go vegetarian (or some form thereof) for the duration of the Trump presidency as a small measure to counteract the climate change denial. (Stay tuned for more details on this one, I plan to throw down the gauntlet here once I get a little more organized!)

Thank you for inspiring me to get organized and pay more attention to this!

MonkeyJenga

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #97 on: November 12, 2016, 07:46:12 PM »
I am working on how to divvy this up, but I'm going to focus on groups that I think will be even more important in light of the recent election results ... likely some combination of:

Southern Poverty Law Center
International Rescue Committee
Planned Parenthood local chapters in underserved states
Black Lives Matter
Trevor Project
NPR
Local homeless & women's shelters

I will also continue my volunteer efforts with a local food bank, animal shelter, and environmental education organization, and I'm working on creating a pledge to go vegetarian (or some form thereof) for the duration of the Trump presidency as a small measure to counteract the climate change denial. (Stay tuned for more details on this one, I plan to throw down the gauntlet here once I get a little more organized!)

I'm also donating to groups that I believe will have heightened importance due to the election:

ACLU: $500 now, plus
Planned Parenthood: TBD, likely $500
Mother Jones: TBD, likely $200

There will be more, but these are my starting points. The ACLU is vital to a large number of causes and will likely be the largest ongoing recipient of my donations.

I've also signed up to volunteer at PP and for the ACLU's Action List, which doesn't require money.

ACLU Action List: https://www.aclu.org/action
Planned Parenthood volunteer: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/blog/7-things-you-can-do-help-planned-parenthood-and-the-communities-it-serves/

MoseyingAlong

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #98 on: November 13, 2016, 06:52:09 PM »
Sailor Sam,

Thanks for starting this and providing two action-provoking ideas.

First, the % of spend vs. % of earn. Seems so obvious now but I've struggled some with deciding what to donate as I've transitioned back and forth between living off the stash and adding to it (aka working).

Second, the reminder of the possibilities from a non-trivial gift to teenagers. One of the books that got me going was "Die Broke." From what I remember, one of the main points was, if you intend to leave something to your kids or grandkids, do it or, at least, start while you're alive and can see the benefits. Plus if you live to 80, your kids hopefully will already be well-established by then and the inheritance won't make much difference. But it may make a huge difference if they're just starting out or dealing with young children.

Thanks much.

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Re: A Season for Charity
« Reply #99 on: November 14, 2016, 07:03:44 PM »
Thank you for opening this thread.  We decided post-Trump victory that one of the concrete things we could do was to donate to organizations that agreed with our beliefs and might helo with some of our bigger concerns.  While we're by no means FIRE-ready, we're very comfortable and do believe in sharing that comfort with others.  Just by gut feeling, we opted to donate $700 this month. 

Southern Poverty Law Center - $100
Translifeline - $50
Planned Parenthood - $200
ACLU - $100
(Local free medical/dental clinic) - $100
Fairvote - $50
Sierra Club - $100

I used to volunteer at the free clinic several years ago, pre-kids and pre-nursing school.  I did clerical work, helped people fill out assistance forms, and contacted pharmaceutical companies for free meds.  It's a great organization.  Now I would love to volunteer there again in a clinical capacity, but of course I work during the hours it's open.  Still, I might put in an application and see if they ever do weekend clinic days. 

On November 1, I'll set up at least $100 in recurring monthly donations, but I haven't decided yet which organizations will get those and in what amount.  We have $20 already going monthly to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which comes straight out of MrMicro's check, and that one's been going on for about 12 years.