Charity

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Do you give some of your money or time to charities and what are your reasons….what are the real, being absolutely honest with yourself reasons? I’m interested in the reasons people do or don’t help charities and whether some of the stereotypical reasons actually apply.

If you do give money/time to charity do you do it because you feel guilty and think you ought to do such things to make you a ‘good person’? Do you have a specific interest in that particular charity (say giving to a breast cancer charity because you or someone you are close to has suffered from breast cancer) and so give for that reason? Do you give to chairty to make yourself feel better? Do you do it to appear to be a ‘better person’ and so that you can tell people of your donation.

If you don’t give to charity what are your reasons? Do you feel it is a waste of money? Have you just not yet found a charity that moves you sufficiently to donate time or money? Are you worried that too much money goes to the people in charge of charities rather than the people the charity is working to help? Would you like to but cant afford to spare the time or money?

Do any of these reasons apply to you or are there different reasons why you do or dont give time/money to charity?

Also do you see giving money to someone on the street/a single individual in need as different to giving money to a registered charity?

I’m not trying to convince people to give or not to give to charity i’m just interested in the reasons why. Please dont take this post as being judgemental in any way as it is not intended to be.

Mods – i know there are already threads on giving to the homeless and ‘is there such a thing as a selfless task’ so if you feel that this is too similar i appologise and please lock/delete this.

 
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I don’t donate much money to charity because I’m still young and don’t have a large amount of spare money. As my wife and I grow more affluent, I certainly plan on giving more to charity. I think it’s out of a sense of duty/guilt/compassion that I would do this. I have a pretty strong guilt complex (and no, I’m not Catholic, believe it or not) and I think that would be a pretty big influence on my giving.

I think there’s a convenience factor as well. If it were easier to give money to charities I think I’d do it more often. As a specific example, Petsmart has a little option when you use your credit card to add $1 for some pet charity. I’ve done this a few times because it’s small and easy. At the same time, if there were an option to donate to some other charity in the same manner I’d do that much more often – I’d really prefer to give to people over animals.

I do try to buy newspapers off of people working traffic corners and tip street performers. I respect them and I want to encourage them for their efforts to work instead of begging. Perhaps this is naive of me, or really stuck up, but I feel much more compelled to support them than someone who isn’t doing anything.

As for time, I’m sad to say that laziness and availability are my biggest reasons for not donating. I’m not a member of a church and I’m out of college, so there aren’t really any set-up easy ways to donate my time. I could go out and find Habitat or a soup kitchen, but at this point in my life I value my time that I can spend at home with my wife. Again, as I grow older, I certainly hope this changes. But as a newly-wed in a new house I just have other priorities at this time.

I feel kinda crappy laying it all out there like that, but that’s the honest truth.

 
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I don’t have enough money to make much difference in the world. It’d be better for me to save what little I have now, then when I’m living comfortably (i.e., at least above the poverty line), then I can donate money.

I also don’t have egregious amounts of time. But I do have some.

More importantly, what I do have is talent. I have a talent for teaching others. So I do use my talent to help others as I can, to improve their lives. This may not sound like an amazing thing, but keep in mind that each act like this increases the harmony of society.

As for donating money: avoid donating money to people on the street. Give them food or blankets or whatever else might help them live, but money is ineffective. Even if they don’t intend to waste the money, they may go spend it at a convenience store on some terribly overpriced food with poor nutrition value.

 
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Do you give some of your money or time to charities and what are your reasons….what are the real, being absolutely honest with yourself reasons?

I donate lots of money. Unfortunately, its because I’m being forced to, not because I want to. (Yay Government!)

 
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I drive on public roads that are paved by YOUR donations. Yay government!

Sorry for the derail. Nothing to see here; move along.

 
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I don’t think I’d ever donate money to some types of charity. Most of them have too much overhead – I’ve heard of charities that take up to 90% of your donation to fund their bureaucracy.

If I do donate money (and when I have enough, I’ll probably do this) it’ll be to someone or something who provides a service for free or for substantially less than I think it’s worth. For instance, most webcomics only charge you a bit of bandwidth (for their ads), which I frequently think is less than they’re worth. I’ll definitely be donating money to the less popular ones I like when I can.

 
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Sadly, charities are run by people. People are essentially selfish, and corrupt, and therefore charities can’t really work. Sorry.

 
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Yeah charities have other huge payments, for all you know the money you donated is going to the janitors wages to clean there office. I know someones moneys gotta go somewhere, but if it’s my money. I’d rather take my money and just find a homeless person the street and give it to them or as Einar said, someone that provides a service you like for free and appreciates donations.

More importantly, what I do have is talent. I have a talent for teaching others. So I do use my talent to help others as I can, to improve their lives. This may not sound like an amazing thing, but keep in mind that each act like this increases the harmony of society.

It is a talent. Most teachers at school couldm’t be called teachers, because all they do is hand out printed off assignments from a set schedule and tell them what chapter of a book to read for it. They could easily be replaced by self running robots.

 
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Beeing a student I rarely ever give anything to any charity.
That is the main logical reason, I can’t afford it now without sacrificing my lifestyle for a uncertain gain for someone else.
Besides, you can’t walk down the streat in my city without seeing a handful of humanitarian organizations wanting to grab your money to save the world.

Since I can’t afford to give to all, I give to none. If I were to give to someone it’d be amnesty. Seeing how they are affordable.

Sure, I could sacrifice some of my money and cut back on some of the indulgence, but when they are so many, constantly trying to sell you their way of saving the world, then I can’t help but to become a bit jaded.

I might give more once I get more money between my hands, but as of now I tend to toss a few coins to the street musicians (if they don’t suck), but that is about it. I can’t afford to save the world without needing saving myself.

A note on giving money to beggars: Perhaps you ought to be glad they aren’t doing something to get the money. Most of them only have one alternative. Criminal actions. So perhaps we should honour them a bit for degrading themselves by begging, rather then by stealing and robbing.

 
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I generally buy the Big Issue if I haven’t already got it that month; mostly to help the person, partly because it usually has some pretty good articles, and partly to assuage my liberal guilt.

However, as a student I don’t have the money for other charities to be leaching money from my bank account on a monthly basis; and I get more annoyed than anything by people in fluorescent jackets coming up to me and waving buckets and clipboards in my face.

 
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I don’t like the cop-out defense that “all charities are greedy/corrupt/whatever”. There are legit charities who give most of what you donate to the cause, and there are good ways to do research on the charity before you donate to them.

To quote one statistic from that site:

Our data shows that 7 out of 10 charities we’ve evaluated spend at least 75% of their budget on the programs and services they exist to provide. And 9 out of 10 spend at least 65%. We believe that those spending less than a third of their budget on program expenses are simply not living up to their missions. Charities demonstrating such gross inefficiency receive zero points for their overall organizational efficiency score.

So no, you cannot make the argument, as DarkFlame tried, that charities can’t really work.

 
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Sometimes when I go to petsmart, I donate to the adoption buckett. Usually I drop in 5 dollars or something for my love of animals

 
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What I meant was that Petsmart gives you the option to add $1 to your total purchase on your credit card as a donation. It’s a very effective method since you hardly miss the dollar, it’s instant and easy to add, and it’s accurately targeted. I imagine they have tremendous success with it.

 
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Wow quite a few conflicting thoughts on this! One that interested me is the conflicting view on the difference between charities and individuals. Haver and eggy, you took completely opposite viewpoints on which was more effective. Personally im undecided on that matter, but wouldnt mind hearing more about your reasons behind your thinking.

I’m going to have to agree with phoenix on the charities wasting money thing. Unless its a fake/scam charity they majority of the money does indeed go to the people/cause the charity is working to help. Of course some of it will go back into helping keep the charity running but for the most part charities are staffed by volunteers so this tends to be quite a small amount that gets spent on things like advertising and supplies etc.

I like the petsmart scheme, sounds an easy way to do it and in such small sums that surely add up. What do you think about paypal buttons on websites and collection boxes next to the till in a shop for random change as they are also quite an easy way of donating.

 
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Since I began making an income at the age of 18, I have donated to Katrina recovery (my first donation), Comedy Central’s Autism fund night thing that they do, the Don Imus Cattle Ranch for children with cancer, bought a copy of Meteos through the PennyArcade Christmas charity for children’s hospitals, and a few other small donations that escape my mind.

In 2007 I made significant political contributions and did not donate as much to causes as I had previously, but I anticipate returning to donations once the elections are settled. I haven’t made any political contributions in 2008 yet.

I personally donate to children’s funds. Battling tough diseases, and things of that nature. I do not like to donate to causes outside of the US, and I am not big on helping poor/needy adults. Although I feel they are probably worth the money in many cases, I prefer to stick to children’s causes.

My charity donations usually range between $50 and $200. I gave away about $250 of the first $1000 I ever made, simply because I had nothing that I really wanted so badly to justify spending the money on. Was too used to being broke.