Where to donate?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by smallcoffee, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. smallcoffee macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Hi friends,

    So I do some philanthropy (very small amounts). I am considering adding a couple of organizations which promote the conservation of wildlife - particularly ocean wildlife and in South America. I’m also open to other areas/organizations. I was wondering if anybody here has an opinion on reputable organizations which donate a vast majority of their money in an effective way? I know there are some scams out there and organizations that spend more money paying people to speak than buying land or planting trees or cleaning up garbage and I would like to avoid those organizations.

    We could also discuss philanthropy in general here if that’s of interest.
     
  2. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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  3. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #3
    http://donorschoose.org You can pick a particular classroom project to support. And everyone is grateful for anything they get.
     
  4. smallcoffee thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Thanks. I’m familiar with Saint Jude’s but I’m interested in focusing on high-impact environmental causes at the moment.
     
  5. Zenithal macrumors G3

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    #5
    Local schools. Make A Wish foundation for terminally ill children.
     
  6. Starship67 Suspended

    Starship67

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    #6
    Wow it’s amazing how many people can’t read.
    Hers a few.

    Friends of the earth
    Rainforest alliance
    Earthjustice
     
  7. willmtaylor, Mar 15, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018

    willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #7
    Whatever you do, make sure your money isn’t being wasted and check out any nonprofit on Charity Navigator first

    https://www.charitynavigator.org/
     
  8. smallcoffee thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Yes that’s what I said in my post - was looking for good recommendations.
     
  9. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #9
    My point being, after collecting suggestions—or when considering them—look them up on that website to be sure they’re even worthy of consideration.
     
  10. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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    #10
    I CAN read, but I can also jump to conclusions and fly off the handle, that happens to be how I get my exercise so I quit reading where I saw fit and jumped to the conclusion that suited me and after that offered what I wanted :p
     
  11. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #11
    I personally like Doctors without Borders.

    In case anyone doesn't know, if you shop at smile.amazon.com for your Amazon purchases, 0.5% of the purchase price goes to the charity you've selected. It's not a lot, but it's "free" for to you to do. Here is the "about page" with more details:
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/ref=smi_aas_redirect?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

    Well, there's this:

     
  12. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    #12
    Surfrider Foundation is one I've frequently donated to that has an environmental focus.

    When I was active duty, we used the Combined Federal Campaign to do charity donations. Using payroll allotments made it really easy.

    The full CFC catalog from last year is posted at this page (and if it goes away, you can search DuckDuckGo for "Combined Federal Campaign List" or something like that). It's got charities sorted by their causes, and it has stats on how much of the funds get used for overhead costs.
    https://www.cfcnca.org/campaign-materials/2017-list-charities
     
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

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    #13
    The WWF maybe.

    Personally I sponsor a child through Worldvision. But there are many worthwhile causes out there. We all have different preferences.
    The most important bit as you say is making sure it's not a scam.
     
  14. statik13 macrumors regular

    statik13

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    #14
    The two that I contribute to regularly are https://www.savetherhino.org/ and https://gorillafund.org/ Both are reputable and I trust them to do the best possible work with my donations.

    I'm also currently looking at https://wildlifewarriors.org.au/ to see if I should start donating there as well.
     
  15. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    #15
    Some other interesting charities to which I’ve donated —

    * Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation - they donate musical instruments to struggling school bands and orchestras;
    * Local pet shelters, including a rescue group focused on Boxer dogs (found a sweet stray Boxer once and had the county animal control pick her up; never found out what happened to her, so I felt bad and happened to find the rescue group in the CFC listings later);
    * Local AIDS clinic. My mom has volunteered at one for a couple decades, helping people in physically or financially difficult circumstances get the help they need;
    - The aforementioned Surfrider Foundation;
    - A local Korean Community Center. They help the significantly large Korean population here, hosting social events, career seminars, English tutoring, health screenings, and more;
    - Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, who helps support children of fallen Marines;
    - Orbis, which is a “flying eye hospital” that travels the world in a repurposed DC-10 to give free eye surgeries and doctor training;
    - PFLAG, Human Rights Campaign, and at least a couple others in the same category;

    There’s been a bunch more, too.

    I don’t mind talking about them all here because this forum is relatively anonymous. At work, I never revealed the dollar amount of my annual donations.

    If you can imagine a group that needs help, chances are there’s a charity for them. The trick is to find them, and I’ll tell ya, I wouldn’t have known about most of those charities if it wasn’t for the CFC.
     
  16. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    #16
    Great topic.

    I will go through my usual spiel here... when I was 13 my parents taught me how to donate to money. Every year since then on my birthday I select what causes I’m going to donate to and how much (after researching of course- Charity Navigator is a great resource- also discussing with your financial advisor isn’t a bad idea either for tax purposes). That makes it very easy to avoid many of the people canvassing the streets looking for long term donations. I pretty much stick to that plan and don’t really deviate unless it’s like buying girl scout cookies or a personally significant cause pops up. I generally donate 5-10% of my disposable income, so it’s a significant enough amount that I should know where it’s really going.

    One cause I never donate to are political parities. They have too much money already and I’d rather support people/agendas with my vote than blowing the money on something that may or may not really help in the long run.

    I also find environmental funds often to be a little sketchy- especially in the green energy and carbon offset arena. A lot of the donated money seems to go to insuring projects, paying off interest, and excessively high administrative costs. Some of these projects these charities invest also don’t necessarily have proven positive environmental outcomes or unforseen evironmental consequences. I know there have been cases of charities/carbon offset programs buying up rainforest only to evict the native tribespeople who have lived there forever -with nature- only to be forced into cities and poverty. Or planting new forests with invasive speices or ones that cannot survive. Another example would be Greenpeace, who has questionable tactics and methods- like harassing Apple who is probably one of the most enviro-conscious companies meanwhile other less enviro-conscious companies don’t get bothered at all.

    I haven’t donated to a specifically an environmental cause in quite some time. But I would suggest being very thorough with environmental in your research- not to say other areas shouldn’t be either. I don’t want to make it sound like Environmentalism is not a worthy cause either, it is, just as long as the money is being put to good use (as with any charity).

    Charity Navigator allows you to filter charities by type, location, and other factors. I highly recommend it. Charity Watch is another great resource.

    I would also suggest considering donating your time. I donate a fair amount of time most every month- either giving out free vaccines in underprivileged areas or providing Narcan training for families, teachers, police/fire, etc.
     
  17. Scepticalscribe macrumors Westmere

    Scepticalscribe

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  18. Zenithal macrumors G3

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    #18
    What's the one for dentists who go overseas to treat people in third world countries for free? That's another good one.
     
  19. smallcoffee thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #19
    This is something I never understood. I know people do it but I’ve always thought donations should be something you do with your own money and should never be a tax write off. Grumble grumble.

    Thanks for the advice here as well. Right now I’m very strapped for time (most days I’m booked 5:30 am - 9:30 pm). I previously held learn to program sessions though and I’ve always enjoyed teaching that to people, kids in particular.
     
  20. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    #20
    I see it a couple different ways —

    Being able to write it off acts as an incentive. Some people might not think so much of the good they’ll do for others, but if you say, “You can write it off on your taxes and get a bigger refund,” it’ll push them over the fence and they’ll donate more.

    It’s also money that’s going back into the community, much like how tax money goes back into the community. It doesn’t really count as income for yourself because it’s going straight to someone else. That’s why it makes sense to deduct it from your taxable income.
     
  21. smallcoffee thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #21
    I get it. I guess I largely just don't agree with it. But I shouldn't have even mentioned it - outside the scope of this thread probably.
     
  22. statik13 macrumors regular

    statik13

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    #22
    Ive always seen it as a way to donate more.

    So why not calculate your tax savings and use that to increase your original donation amount? If you wanted to donate $1000 and are getting a 25% tax break, donate $1250 instead.
     
  23. smallcoffee thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Because then you’re not paying taxes for things like schools, roads, etc. in favor of whatever organization. If you’re a true philanthropist I don’t think you take a tax write off.
     
  24. statik13 macrumors regular

    statik13

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    #24
    Also a good option.

    Depends on where you place the higher value. For me donating to wildlife preservation outweighs pretty much every other cause.

    Less than 500 mountain gorillas left in the world. Frankly, I’d rather my money support their survival instead of paving a road.
     
  25. smallcoffee thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Then you should vote accordingly.

    "I'd rather my money go to gorillas than food stamps or unemployment benefits"
     

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