Charitable Giving

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pugchief
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Charitable Giving

Post by pugchief » Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:43 pm

As is always my Thanksgiving tradition, I typically write donations checks to my 10 favorite charities this weekend each year. I mentioned this to a friend at dinner and his comment was that we are all already donating a huge amount of money to a variety of social programs that we may or may not believe in or agree with, and therefore he felt he was already contributing more than enough to social programs, the poor, the sick, etc., without the need to make any additional donations to official charities.

Well, I wrote the checks anyway, but he did make some persuasive arguments. It really got me thinking more about the whole issue.

1. Anyone care to contribute to the pros and cons of this viewpoint?

Also, another friend at the table commented that while he does give to his own favorite charities, he is a little offended when friends and family members ask him to contribute to their favorite charities, as he would rather direct his allotment of donations to the causes he holds dear, but generally feels not only obligated to honor the request, but also not look cheap in the process.

2. Is this a valid thought process?

And I thought politics and religion were the only taboo subjects.  ::)
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by Mountaineer » Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:02 pm

pugchief wrote: As is always my Thanksgiving tradition, I typically write donations checks to my 10 favorite charities this weekend each year. I mentioned this to a friend at dinner and his comment was that we are all already donating a huge amount of money to a variety of social programs that we may or may not believe in or agree with, and therefore he felt he was already contributing more than enough to social programs, the poor, the sick, etc., without the need to make any additional donations to official charities.

Well, I wrote the checks anyway, but he did make some persuasive arguments. It really got me thinking more about the whole issue.

1. Anyone care to contribute to the pros and cons of this viewpoint?

Also, another friend at the table commented that while he does give to his own favorite charities, he is a little offended when friends and family members ask him to contribute to their favorite charities, as he would rather direct his allotment of donations to the causes he holds dear, but generally feels not only obligated to honor the request, but also not look cheap in the process.

2. Is this a valid thought process?

And I thought politics and religion were the only taboo subjects.  ::)
I distinguish between that which I am forced to give (e.g. via taxes and the like) and what I choose to give (e.g. charities and church).  My attitude is relative apathy or grumbling acceptance for those I am forced to give to, which do not seem in my head to be giving in the spirit charity should be, and cheerful giving to those I choose to give to.  I give because it just seems the right thing to do and could care less what anyone else thinks - in fact, I rarely if ever tell anyone what I'm giving or to whom.  I give because I might be in the needy situation some day and hope that someone would help me.  I give because I like to think I may have helped someone less fortunate that I am.  I give thanks that I'm able to give.  Just me.

... Mountaineer
Last edited by Mountaineer on Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by invst65 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:12 pm

pugchief wrote: As is always my Thanksgiving tradition, I typically write donations checks to my 10 favorite charities this weekend each year. I mentioned this to a friend at dinner and his comment was that we are all already donating a huge amount of money to a variety of social programs that we may or may not believe in or agree with, and therefore he felt he was already contributing more than enough to social programs, the poor, the sick, etc., without the need to make any additional donations to official charities.

Well, I wrote the checks anyway, but he did make some persuasive arguments. It really got me thinking more about the whole issue.

1. Anyone care to contribute to the pros and cons of this viewpoint?

Also, another friend at the table commented that while he does give to his own favorite charities, he is a little offended when friends and family members ask him to contribute to their favorite charities, as he would rather direct his allotment of donations to the causes he holds dear, but generally feels not only obligated to honor the request, but also not look cheap in the process.

2. Is this a valid thought process?

And I thought politics and religion were the only taboo subjects.  ::)
Yes, I think it is a valid thought process and one that I share.

According to the Bible, charity should be without coercion and when I see coercion involved in whatever form I tend to rebel against it.

And I also don't like it when businesses at the checkout line ask me if I want to make a contribution to some charity. My answer is always no. If I wanted to give I would do it in my own name and not that of the business.
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by Benko » Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:12 pm

I view myself as fortunate in many ways and feel it important to give back (beyond what is "required").  And yes it should be voluntary if and to which organizations you give to.

There is a "day of giving" in my city where contributions are matched, so I time my yearly contributions to that day.  There are probably other ways to give donations that get matched at or near the end of the year.
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by murphy_p_t » Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:37 pm

A friend of mine runs an after-school program in a disadvantaged area...the participants are 100% black. He's there with the kids every day after school.

One time, he made a comment to me, as I recall, that the cause of the poverty in this area is largely liberal government programs which destroy the black family. If this is true, paying lots of taxes seems like the opposite of charity in that the programs funded are actually detrimental! I think this is what is meant by "white man's burden"?

I think this also applies to the US overthrow of Saddam Hussain when I heard this speaker (http://www.iraqichristianrelief.org/) recently, who was smuggled out of Iraq as a girl. Her presentation was about the genocide being perpetrated today by Islamic State against the Assyrian people.

MY INTERPRETATION: By the US overthrowing Hussain, we (US taxpayers) enabled Islamic State....quite the opposite of charity in my view...regardless of whether taxes were paid "voluntarily".

I really don't see a compelling argument that paying taxes in 21st century USA is "charitable". The reason, the only reason, to comply with taxation, is to avoid messy entanglement with government agents.
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by MachineGhost » Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:00 pm

pugchief wrote: 1. Anyone care to contribute to the pros and cons of this viewpoint?
I'm unclear who the "we" is that thinks "we are all already donating a huge amount of money to a variety of social programs that we may or may not believe in or agree with"...  is he talking about taxpayers and Congressional spending?  If so, I think he over grossly estimates the types and impact Congress has on charitable causes and he's just rationalizing his inactive selfishness as well as the ability to use the free market to favorably support charitable causes he deems most effective.  If he wants to be a wimp and give up his personal power, that's his choice.  But he should be called on it.

There's 79 means tested Federal welfare programs.  Very few, if any, of these are designed to incur social reform:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... l_Programs
2. Is this a valid thought process?
No.  Charitable giving and one's choice of charities is like being a member of a jury.  "Shut your fracking mouth!"  That friend needs to grow a pair.  He's halfway there already.

Wiser people than I can find a way to enable and communicate these actions with tact.
Last edited by MachineGhost on Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by vnatale » Mon May 25, 2020 9:38 pm

It is possible that almost six years ago was the last time Charitable Giving was discussed in this forum?

I believe in giving large amounts to about three organizations rather than giving much smaller amounts to many more organizations.

Setting up extremes, if a 1,000 people were each giving $1,000 total to 1,000 organizations, which is better for the organizations?

A. Each organization receives $1 from each of the 1,000 people
B. Each gets just one $1,000 donation from just one of the 1,000 people

Obviously I believe in B.

But back to the real reason why I am here.

For various reasons I no longer donate to those three organizations that I had donated to for many years, some of them for decades.

Therefore I'm looking for suggestions of some worthy charities.

What are you favorites and why?

Obviously I'd like to donate to ones which have the least amount of overhead with the greatest amount of the donation actually going to accomplish the organization's mission.

Although I do love animals so I generally do not donate to animal shelters because I just have to put humans on a higher plane than animals. Thus, my first priority is going to be an organization which benefits humans. However, as I'm writing that I can see how someone can make the case that assisting an animal shelter does end up helping humans (and, no one should know that any better than me).

I do have a deadline here in that my charitable foundation is automatically going to make a donation on my behalf to something if I do not initiate my own transfer by June 1st, which is only 7 days away.

One organization that caught my eye recently was Doctors Without Borders. Have to admire high skilled, highly paid professionals giving up their time and $$$$$ to help others and those generally (always?) not of their own country. True humanitarians.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Vinny
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by Mountaineer » Tue May 26, 2020 6:22 am

Most of our charitable monetary contributions go to our church. I am on the Board of Trustees. I know where and how the contributions/financial gifts are utilized and for practical purposes, none is wasted and all goes to worthy needs. We also give to our local volunteer fire department and a couple of local food/clothing/housing help organizations. Most of our "time and talent" donations go to our church and a few local food distribution services.
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by sophie » Tue May 26, 2020 8:52 am

As someone with a high tax burden who lives in a deep blue zip code, I think there is something to be said for factoring in the amount of taxes paid to fund social programs.

That requires that you quantify how much of the state/city budget goes toward social programs that you personally don't benefit from, as opposed to maintaining city services that you do benefit from e.g. public transportation, police, trash collection, maintaining parks etc. It's not actually as much as you might think, but in my case it accounts for over 5% of my income. If you use 10% income as a rule of thumb for charitable giving, that gives me a rough guide for the amount I think I should shoot for in charitable giving.

I do find it annoying that half of my allotment goes to "charities" I personally wouldn't choose, but at least I get to choose the other half.
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by vnatale » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:52 pm

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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by dualstow » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:39 pm

vnatale wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 9:38 pm
It is possible that almost six years ago was the last time Charitable Giving was discussed in this forum?

No, that is not the case. See ‘Donating Appreciated Assets’ or the Powerball thread, for example.
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Re: Charitable Giving

Post by Ad Orientem » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:23 pm

pugchief wrote:
Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:43 pm
As is always my Thanksgiving tradition, I typically write donations checks to my 10 favorite charities this weekend each year. I mentioned this to a friend at dinner and his comment was that we are all already donating a huge amount of money to a variety of social programs that we may or may not believe in or agree with, and therefore he felt he was already contributing more than enough to social programs, the poor, the sick, etc., without the need to make any additional donations to official charities.

Well, I wrote the checks anyway, but he did make some persuasive arguments. It really got me thinking more about the whole issue.

1. Anyone care to contribute to the pros and cons of this viewpoint?

Also, another friend at the table commented that while he does give to his own favorite charities, he is a little offended when friends and family members ask him to contribute to their favorite charities, as he would rather direct his allotment of donations to the causes he holds dear, but generally feels not only obligated to honor the request, but also not look cheap in the process.

2. Is this a valid thought process?

And I thought politics and religion were the only taboo subjects.  ::)

"And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way." -Matthew 22:20-22

Taxes are Caesar's by divine ordinance. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." -Romans 13:1

Charity, like the tithe, exists by divine ordinance. "But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?" -1John 3:17

Neither is contingent on the other.
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