General Question

poofandmook's avatar

Do you donate to charity regularly?

Asked by poofandmook (17277points) July 28th, 2008

If yes, how did you choose the charity you would regularly contribute to? What drove you to do so?

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22 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Why do you ask? I always find questions like this somewhat suspect. It does not seems like a legitimate use of the site. Are you asking because you want guidance on charitbale giving? I don’t think so.

poofandmook's avatar

@Marina: No! Not at all. I’m just interested in what drives people to donate to which organization. Because for me, it’s so hard to choose; there are so many things I feel strongly about. Some people donate to a certain illness research because of a friend or family member, etc. I’m just curious as to what drives people in a certain direction.

I donate annually to a charity already, and I knew I always wanted to donate to someone but I could never choose. Now I donate to the hospice that cared for my great-grandmother in her last days. Something happened in my life that made the decision for me.

nikipedia's avatar

I find that charities come to me often enough that I don’t have to seek them out. Truthfully, I don’t always do my homework on them—as long as I know something good about the org and the cause I’ll probably give what I can when asked.

If I’m looking to buy myself some karma, I like giving to the American Cancer Society. One of my best friends works for them and has vouched for it, and I am philosophically inclined to donate to an organization dedicated to applied scientific research. At one point years ago I looked them up on a website that show you what proportion of their money goes to overhead versus actually being useful, and they ranked reasonably highly. I think it might have been this guy, from the BBB, but I’m not sure.

Good question. Thanks for asking. I hope this thread inspires some donations to worthy charities.

marinelife's avatar

Thanks for the clarification p&m. I do use the reason you suggested for some of my charitable efforts. That is to say I allot some money to cancer research because it has taken several family members and friends. Much of my giving goes to animal-related causes, usually dogs. I feel that our legal system does not protect animal rights enough, and that as a society we are at best sloppy in the way we treat animals and at worst very cruel.

gailcalled's avatar

I give a large percentage of the money I have alloted to charity to memorial funds set up to honor several members of my immediate family. Then I give to the environmental caregivers both locally and nationally. American Cancer Soc, for me, Multiple Melanoma Society for a cousin, and some of the Third World bootstrap organizations. And the local library, farmers’ market and little cultural venues here trying to make a go of it,

scamp's avatar

I thnk this is an interesting question. I’d like to see what the others say to help me choose a charity as well. There is one I donate to, but I don’t know how to choose others either.

wildflower's avatar

My charities of choice are Irish Cancer Society and The Simon Community (helping the homeless).
I donate to their charity shops, buy ribbons and flowers when they sell them and my Xmas cards for the last few years have been from them.
Apart from that, it’s as I come across it. I’d like to support an animal rescue/shelter/rights charity, but haven’t found many around here.

trumi's avatar

I give a certain percent of my take-home to the Red Cross. I hope to do more in the future, but for now it takes the edge off the guilt. Whenever I think “Oh, I need to give more to this cause”, I stop and remind myself that I don’t need to beat myself up too bad.

I hope its not as selfish as it sounds… That’s the thing about philanthropy, it no longer feels like giving once you talk about… I always think I sound petty, or like I’m bragging….

poofandmook's avatar

@trumi: It’s your money, and your passion. Therefore it’s your choice. Who cares what anyone else thinks? :)

Lovelocke's avatar

Are you looking to donate to a charity for the benefits YOU will get out of it? Have you ever bought a homeless man a bag of $1 cheeseburgers, or do you look straight ahead when they look to you for a favor?

I don’t give money. I give food. Especially when I KNOW I’m the one helping… Not just signing checks and hoping someone somewhere gets something out of it.

tinyfaery's avatar

The LASPCA. Plus I donate lots of household items and clothing to Goodwill and such. Not to mention all the personal $ I spend on my clients each year. The work I do is practically charity; seriously, you have no idea how little social work pays.

gailcalled's avatar

@trumi: sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, the IRedCross has gotten very bad press recently for keeping so much money for their marble floors and gold fittings in their Geneva headquarters. I stay away from most of the Umbrella Orgs. There is an online site that rates the charities (too busy to Google) and the IRC does not do well.

poofandmook's avatar

@Lovelocke: matter of fact, yeah, I have physically given homeless people food. One thanked me by trying to swipe my purse. I learned my lesson. Now the facility that gets my donation is someone my family has dealt with, and we hope they give other families dealing with a loved one’s passing the same peace they gave us.

scamp's avatar

I agree. I’ve given food to people in the past just to see it thrown to the ground. We had a thread on this sugject some time ago. I’ll link to it if I can find it.

scamp's avatar

I found it here

trumi's avatar

@Gail; Thanks for the tip! I’ll look into it. I usually designate a specific cause within the Red Cross, but maybe this year’s check will go to The Harry Potter Alliance!

@Poofandmook; You’re totally right, I know.

gailcalled's avatar

Re: the IRCross;
Even the good guys screw up. Charities that have reasonable fund-raising and administrative expenses still manage to blow it now and then.

“Critics excoriated the American Red Cross when the charity revealed plans to divert money from its Sept. 11 fund to other causes; the charity ended up changing its policy so the money would benefit only victims and their families. The United Way also has had its high-profile embarrassments, including a CEO convicted of defrauding the charity in the early 1990s and a finance officer who recently pleaded guilty to embezzling $1.9 million to pay for quarter horses.”

Steve_A's avatar

I do not donate hardly at all, if I do its here and there, or I help people person to person I prefer it.

philosopher's avatar

I donate to charities that do research especially Autism research. I make very sure most of the money goes directly to research. I hang up on those that call me. I make sure to laugh at their attempt to BS me.

gailcalled's avatar

I am doing it right now, using charities that are worthy, lean, and not well-known.

Source; Nicholas Kristof’s NYT column of Dec.23, 2009.

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