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Do you give to any charities?

I am personally trying to improve in the area of giving. My mentor has taught me that if you don't give even when finances are tight, you won't be a giver when you are financially free and have a lot of money.

I am just wondering what others perspective is on giving, and especially giving to charitable organizations.

Not every charity is the same in that some of them give a majority of the donations to the actual cause while others take a lot of the money for "administrative" fees while only a small portion goes to the actual cause.

What are some of the criteria you look at when donating to a charitable organization?

Also, if someone comes up to you on the street and asks for money, do you just give it to them?

Nowadays, there seem to be quite a few people just looking for a handout. Do you give to these people or do you try and determine if they are really in need before giving?

(I am not making any judgement calls here, just curious to know how others approach giving in these situations)

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I think the world need more kindness @Moore Income. But kindness is often exploited and used as opportunity. One need to be extremely cautious indeed. I also believe that random acts of kindness is better than donating. Because you're quite right, in many cases very little of those donations go to the actual cause. 

Rather than just giving someone money, I would prefer buying them some groceries for instance. Some can be very convincing and quite trained at misleading you.

MOORE INCOME I give at Christmas time to Salvation army
outside the store. I all so give to angel tree. Than when I
can i'll give to spreading joy. I all so have helped people out
at store when they are short of money.

I've all so given to homeless people on the street.

Last person my family gave to was a war vet and the store
owner in town would even give him water. she called the police
on him. Our son seen it and took the man to a spot where he
would get in trouble with the police. We gave him left overs heated up
coffee,water,blankets,jacket. Made him a hot breakfast and coffee
and this man was so thankful. We never seen him after that.

I remember when i helped a lady in a story she had a really bad cold
and didn't have enough money for ever thing so i paid for it.

Our children do the same thing to pay for other people in the store.

I all so like to pay other people's lunch at a fast food place when
you go threw the drive up pay for the person behind you.

All so you can do this at some gas station and pay for coffee for some
one else. 

MSKIMBERLY I bet it does. Its one reason I give to spreading joy.
Maria started a non profit when her daughter and son was young
her daughter had health problems at the time. Now her kids are
grown and married. But she had an idea and just went with it.
She started it on twitter with 1 tweet about helping kids with back 
pack and supple for school.  Than she did it for Christmas and now
it has become a non profit. You should check out her site. 
If you google spreading joy Making a Difference One Person At a Time One Day ...
you will.

 

I started a nonprofit that grew from local to national. I lost a baby in 2007 at 17 weeks gestation. He was tiny and fragile, and there were no suitable clothes for him.

Over the next year, my mother worked on making things, but they were too big. I wanted no part of it... but at the same time I wanted it to be right. I consulted pathologists and OB nurses for the design.

Ten years later, this organization is growing exponentially and I allow the Holy Spirit to run it. Totally donation funded and volunteer driven. I have 2 part-time employees who are grant funded, and they have to write grants and earn their own salary! I’m a research scientist by day, and I know next-to-nothing about running a nonprofit... which is why the Holy Spirit does it! www.holysews.org providing a burial layette/kit to hospitals across the country FREE OF CHARGE to families.

We BADLY need corporate sponsorship and new sewing/distribution chapters! We have a Facebook page, Holy Sews, Inc.

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A few years ago our immediate family agreed that the adults would not exchange gifts at Christmas but would use the money to make a donation to a charity of each person's choice.  At our family Christmas celebration we each take turns announcing the charity we've chosen and tell a bit about the charity.  In my case it put me on some research to find local charities where I felt the money was used appropriately and wisely.  They were not hard to find. 

Where I wish I could help everyone, I've decided to concentrate on kids and education.  I couldn't think of anything more important to this world and it's future than to make sure children have opportunities to learn.  I am a consummate reader and when pondering solutions to major issues, it becomes overwhelming, costly and complicated. It makes more sense to me to give young children tools to make the best choices they can and have a strong desire to break away from bad influences and environments they may be stuck with in life.  Education is the best answer. 

I am all for and do give to charities, gofundme stuff, and sometimes people on the street (if I have cash on me). I have 3 jobs, but despite my financial struggles, I am still doing far better than the people charities and the like are helping. 

I also love shopping from places that directly support causes, such as CAUSEBOX and Nao Leigh Boutique.

Moreover, I donate 10% of my profits from merchandise sales from my Red Bubble store I created as an extra income source for inspirwing (professional development and inspiration blog) to charities.

I genuinely believe that compassion/love, providing opportunities for growth, and teamwork are the keys to ending poverty and creating world peace. Sometimes people at their lowest points in life just need someone to believe in them, and sometimes people just need a second chance.

That doesn't mean some people or charities won't fake their needs--But if I give to someone and they need it, I could really help or save someone. If I give to someone and they don't need it, I see no shame in finding out someone took their wife to dinner or bought their kid nicer things because of me.

Giving is giving. It is up to us to uplift each other. How others use our kindness is not something we have control over.

@mintjulep that is an awesome idea for Christmas giving! I appreciate the fact that you have chosen to give to children and their education! I personally have chosen St. Jude's as one of my charities of choice, they provide children with cancer some of the best care in the country and never charge the families who go anything.

I have recently started a travel company with a focus on inspiring people to travel more but also raising money for St. Jude's.

Reading the other posters I realize how lucky I am to live where I live with the amount of opportunities available.  I give money to some of these and nationally/internationally to Heifer Project International, One Great Hour of Sharing, and Habitat for Humanity. But mostly I give of myself and money locally. Somewhere on any given day in our community a hot lunch or supper is served to those in need of food.  This has grown organically - with different churches and organizations funding and serving and writing grants.  We all pitch in in some way to help this, providing food, transportation for workers, etc.  In the 1970's A Center for Lay Ministries group was founded - pulling in folks from all of the churches, to start a Food Bank - which is open most days of the week.  Again it involves volunteers and donations and grants to keep it going.  CLM also is the umbrella agency for the Bliss House - a halfway house and addiction rehabilitation program for women who have spent some time in jail.  The women, in addition to receiving help, provide service hours working at various downtown events and aid locations.  EXIT 0 is another organiztion helping the homeless in our community - they focus on a Thursday evening meal, and in providing socks and shoes.  EXIT 0 received a donation of a trailer that with the donation of services from plumbers and carpenters, has been turned into a free laundry and shower facility.  Another church is two years into a center where homeless and those in need can learn job skills/interview skills/parenting skills - all using volunteer teachers. These are just a few of the organizations that help.  I get the idea of giving to an individual, but I've seen what can be done to help restore dignity by giving opportunity. The Homeless Coalition of Clark and Floyd Counties tracks all of the organizations helping, one of its efforts is providing a binder of resources to each library.  The police, social workers, and local volunteer groups pass along the word that the library has this book, which includes phone numbers to help the homeless and those in need with locating help through the VA, finding glasses, information on medication aid plans, etc. Giving money is not the only way to help.  I volunteer at the public library, I volunteer at a school. I see how these organizations do help those who want the help.

A few years ago we formalized our donation strategy. For about a year I collected requests sent to us. I separated them into broad categories: seniors, homeless, children, education, veterans, animals, illness, etc. This helped us identify which organizations supported our philosophy. This led to local organizations we settled on supporting: foster children, aging, hospice, and food bank. Each year we decide on a budget and split it in varying amounts among the organizations. Because the organizations are local, we see their efforts at work in our community. We didn't include donations to public radio and TV because we regularly use them and we consider those amounts as a usual cost of consumption. We have three rescue dogs and we view their upkeep/keeping them off the streets as our support for animals. I'm a proponent of volunteering, too. I found online tutoring which lets me help children improve their reading and I do it from my desk.

jcclark1976 posted:

A few years ago we formalized our donation strategy. For about a year I collected requests sent to us. I separated them into broad categories: seniors, homeless, children, education, veterans, animals, illness, etc. This helped us identify which organizations supported our philosophy. This led to local organizations we settled on supporting: foster children, aging, hospice, and food bank. Each year we decide on a budget and split it in varying amounts among the organizations. Because the organizations are local, we see their efforts at work in our community. We didn't include donations to public radio and TV because we regularly use them and we consider those amounts as a usual cost of consumption. We have three rescue dogs and we view their upkeep/keeping them off the streets as our support for animals. I'm a proponent of volunteering, too. I found online tutoring which lets me help children improve their reading and I do it from my desk.

I love this strategy @jcclark1976! Thank you so much for sharing. I love the local approach as well, getting to see exactly how the community is impacted.  

I give weekly to my church, and make sure that I note that the money has to go to benevolence. I am a Social Worker and so, at least in my community, I am very aware of what local charities or services most benefit the people they are serving. Because of my work, I am also able to know some people directly who could use some help outside of what my agency can provide. So, I am able to give directly to charities/agencies that can directly help people I know to be in need. 

@Mary G true. The administrative expense percentage is a telling sign to weather the majority of your money is actually going to the charitable mission or if it is paying for salaries and office space. I understand that these are costs that have to be covered, however, some charities take too much for such expenses in my opinion.

I donate to Save the Children each month at a minimum.  I sometimes do Extra Life, which is a video game marathon to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospitals, which is a more interesting way of giving.  I prefer to do volunteer work or give food instead of money.  I've been homeless myself twice, and know that there is a such thing as "homeless by choice", but most of the time it's due to addiction, mental illness, or domestic violence.

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