Put Your Money Where Your Values Are   1 comment

This time of year the air is filled with… “donate now and save on your taxes.” The emphasis on donating near the end of the year has always amused me. The holidays are already busy, so why add the stress of last-minute charitable donations? For me personally, a system of donating throughout the year works quite well. With a few tweaks here and there I’ve been using the same system for the last decade.

After I graduated from college I quickly learned that it is really really easy to get inundated with requests for money from both good and questionable organizations, and that a strategy was necessary to balance limited money/requests for money. I decided to go with a charity-of-the-month type system. It allows me to donate small amounts of money to a variety of organizations; and it gives me time to research those organizations and an excuse to say “no” to the more questionable organizations.

How to select those 12-or-so organizations? That has been mostly half-hazard, and I’m not exactly satisfied with the current list. Every year I review the list, and it has evolved over time, but it really comes down to the fact that I’m not putting my money where my values are. At least not all of them.

In the category of education (and also the category of I-use-them-a-lot) is the local NPR station and Wikipedia. These are both invaluable to me on a daily basis, so I donate money to them. We don’t watch much PBS right now, but that may change in the future with kids.

We also give money to organizations that work to alleviate domestic and global poverty through active work, activism, grants and microfinance; that support victims of abuse; that provide college scholarships, and that support soldiers stationed abroad. Oh, and one environmental organization: California Native Plant Society, of which I am a member. Why haven’t I donated to Rocky Mountain Institute, or NRDC, or Environmental Working Group? I don’t know, since these are organizations that I support in theory. I do volunteer time with Weed Warriors/American River Parkway Foundation, but I haven’t donated any money.

And then there’s my church, which feels like a wallet vacuum cleaner, even though I know first hand that the money is desperately needed. It is definitely time for me to re-evaluate my list and make some changes.


Posted December 11, 2010 by mayakey in money

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Put Your Money Where Your Values Are « Love Knowledge Zeal & Fortitude -- Topsy.com

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