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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:13 am 
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Diamond Friendship Circle
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 7:11 am
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I give monthly to a local food pantry, and I've given to the Red Cross for some scattered disaster relief as well.

For next year, although I do also think it's really important to make a difference at home, I want to expand to some of that high-impact for the dollar international giving as well (Chase, thanks for that Peter Singer link, that looks fantastically helpful for that purpose).

Another thing that hasn't been specifically mentioned but is always worth mentioning is that a lot of these organizations need time as well as money, so if you don't have a lot of money but can spare some time, that is a fine and noble option as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:22 pm 
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Diamond Friendship Circle
Diamond Friendship Circle

Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:13 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Brooklyn, NY
I try to give generously throughout the year, but when it comes time to do my taxes and I compile my receipts, my contributions usually total less than 1% of my gross income.

When researching a place to give, I use the site Charity Navigator, a third-party site that research and ranks non-profits based on how efficiently they use your dollars and how sustainable the programs are long-term. They also have a good Giving Guide, tips and Top Ten Lists.
http://www.charitynavigator.org/

Here are some places where I give regularly:

Kiva.org (not a donation, micro-lending)
The Girl Effect
GlobalGiving.org
Providence Rescue Mission (my home state)
International Rescue Committee (rescue.org)

Additionally, I reserve money throughout the year to support requests that come in from friends and colleagues to sponsor them in charitable drives. This has been a great way to be a grassroots benefactor at a local level.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:27 am 
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Friend of the Family
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:55 am
Posts: 123
Thanks for all these thoughts and reports! I really appreciated people saying how much they gave and to whom. Since I posted the question, I found a few ask metafilter threads with even more viewpoints, if you're reassessing this yourself:

http://ask.metafilter.com/50977/How-muc ... to-charity
http://ask.metafilter.com/21933/Whats-t ... to-give-to
http://ask.metafilter.com/191716/Celebratory-charity

The last one is particularly interesting because it's by a guy who had an unexpected windfall and wanted to cash out a lot of it and walk around giving $20 bills to homeless people. Like 90% of the respondents, this strikes me as unproductive and even icky. And yet this fairly extreme approach has been advocated by at least a couple of people out there:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/inde ... woman.html
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1M7K7H.DTL

It's hard to critique without thinking very hard about why one should give to charity at all - this falls on one end of the continuum between "make a human connection and feel invested in your local community" and "rationally maximize your impact on the problems you determine to be the most urgent"


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 Post subject: yay philanthropy!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:45 am 
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Friend of the Family
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:08 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Brooklyn, NY
I like donating, and do a lot of it. Donating can be in time and/or money, and I have found some really wonderful causes that are close to my heart. It's a crazy big world of nonprofits out there, and it's tough to navigate, so I suggest narrowing a cold search by something like geography or program area. Also, if you care about these things, all 501c3 organizations have their 990 online and available to to public, so you can see where money goes. Check out guidestar.org for those and more.

Also, there's a really nifty organization called the 1% foundation (onepercentfoundation.org), to which you can pledge 1% of your income (think about it! It's like giving $20 a month if you live the smart creative type life!) and all of the money from everyone who has made this pledge is pooled to make one impactful donation quarterly. You can also learn more about grantmaking and philanthropy through them should you so choose.

I love talking about this stuff but won't bore anyone more here....feel free to email if you have questions or need a sounding board.

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 Post subject: yay philanthropy :)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:45 am 
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Friend of the Family
Friend of the Family

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:08 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Brooklyn, NY
I like donating, and do a lot of it. Donating can be in time and/or money, and I have found some really wonderful causes that are close to my heart. It's a crazy big world of nonprofits out there, and it's tough to navigate, so I suggest narrowing a cold search by something like geography or program area. Also, if you care about these things, all 501c3 organizations have their 990 online and available to to public, so you can see where money goes. Check out guidestar.org for those and more.

Also, there's a really nifty organization called the 1% foundation (onepercentfoundation.org), to which you can pledge 1% of your income (think about it! It's like giving $20 a month if you live the smart creative type life!) and all of the money from everyone who has made this pledge is pooled to make one impactful donation quarterly. You can also learn more about grantmaking and philanthropy through them should you so choose.

I don't have a ton of "spare money" (few of us do), but giving back is important. It does make a difference, especially when you do it to an organization that really resonates with you, because giving is not just for the recipient.

I love talking about this stuff but won't bore anyone more here....feel free to email if you have questions or need a sounding board.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:41 pm 
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New Sincericist
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Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:35 pm
Posts: 264
Location: NJ
When i'm in the money (which hasn't been for a couple of years) I will donate. Mostly it's donations to media nonprofit corps, though - podcasts, public radio, public TV, etc. My fiancee and I are planning a "Donation in Your Name" sort of thank you gift when we get married though, probably to an animal-friendly cause.

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