Annual charitable giving

Political action is really important.  Voting rights are under major attack and fascism is creeping every closer in the US.  So you can and should call your political representatives and donate to the campaigns of people you want to be your representatives (also donate locally!)!  It’s just as important this year as it was two years ago or four or six or eight.

That said, you can also donate money directly to charitable concerns.

One thing I’ve been doing a lot of lately– every time I see news about Republicans trying to censor LGBT books, I go over to donorschoose and search for LGBT and donate $25 to one of the classrooms.  There aren’t many (and half are in California…).  I initially tried to look up books by authors of LGBT YA that I liked, but came up blank.  Still, rainbow face masks and pride stickers aren’t nothing.  (There are a few books, but mostly non-fiction.)  Maybe you want to do the same thing but every time you hear someone trying to ban “critical race theory” you search for “diverse books.”  Or fund teachers buying books on those banned lists!

You also may want to check in with a local librarian to see if they’ve been getting threats from organized fascists about stocking books that support underrepresented minorities, and if so, give them your thanks and support both verbally and with a donation.  (I’ve been deliberately checking out books on the new banned lists– some of them have been pretty good!  Though there are a LOT of angsty graphic artists out there who are maybe not my middle-aged demo.)

Planned Parenthood needs your money.

We need the ACLU  to help us fight fascism.

Help pro-choice women Democrats get elected to office with Emily’s List.

Here are some charitable donations pages from previous years.

Grumpy nation, who are we missing?  Where should charitable dollars be going this year?

22 Responses to “Annual charitable giving”

  1. bogart Says:

    The amount of mail they send annoys me, but Doctors without Borders is another group I like to support (in addition to those you list). I haven’t fully vetted them, but in the international LGBT space, I have sometimes given to Rainbow Railroad (I may have found my way to them through George Takei’s Twitter, I forget). We have some local affordable housing and food bank groups I like, and my kid’s school system asks for donations of $10-$25 gift cards to local grocery stores and gas stations that the school social workers give to families that need help.

    Reminder that for those sitting on the edge of the should-I-itemize-or-take-the-standard-deduction point in the tax tables, clustering charitable donations, perhaps every other year (which is what I do) may be useful at the margins.

    • Debbie M Says:

      On clustering/bunching your charitable contributions and property taxes, note that SALT (state and local taxes, usually state sales or income tax + local property tax) maxes out at $10,000 as of right now, though the BBB (Build Back Better) bill increases it and has passed the House.

      Example: For me this means that my property taxes for two years (~13K) + sales tax only counts as 10K. Because the standard deduction is 12.5K, I’d need to exceed 2.5K in donations to just match the standard deduction. So I’d have to double those, too.

      Note that you can also deduct contributions this year without itemizing, so add those to the standard deduction. Unfortunately, contributions made via donor advised funds (DAFs) don’t count toward that though they do count toward itemized deductions. (I mostly contribute through DAFs to stay anonymous so they don’t waste money, resources, and time sending me crap, so only my non-anonymous contributions to public radio/TV, etc. count.)

  2. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    I donate to CAIR, which provides pro bono services for refugees. (I also volunteer with them very intermittently.)

    Food bank, domestic violence shelter, and public library are the biggest three recipients of dollars from our house.

  3. delagar Says:

    I’ve been donating $$ to my local food bank, which I hear is better than donating cans of tuna fish (though I am also taking some cans of tuna to the library for their food drive today).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Very important!

      Some of the it’s better to donate money is a bit oversold because some of the reason that foodbanks get food at a discount from Feeding America is because other because donate to Feeding America. So there’s donation dollars coming in from two streams which isn’t really money going farther. BUT there are legitimate reasons– Feeding America partners with farmers to take their overstock and their ugly fresh produce at a discount, and money goes towards that. They also buy pantry foods in bulk which is generally a discount over buying individual packages at the grocery store.

      • Bardiac Says:

        I’ve been told that part of the reason money is better for foodbanks is that they can spend it where they see need. If they’ve got lots of canned goods, then they can buy feminine hygiene products, and so forth.
        I had a sort of lean year last year (furloughs at work and such), but now that things are better (including that I’ve paid off my mortgage), I just sent a bigger than usual check to the food bank. I hope they can help some people in my community have a less hungry month/season.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yes, they can also spend money on salaries, rent, and other overhead.

        Feminine hygiene products is an odd one– our school foodbanks have to request all non-food items separately because the local foodbank isn’t allowed to supply them to the school foodbank for some reason I don’t understand (also we’re not allowed to donate food items to the school foodbank but we can donate cash and non-food items and we can donate food items to the local foodbank). I occasionally send bulk flats of tampons and pads and soap and deodorant and so on to the middle school off their amazon wishlist.

        Congratulations on the mortgage!!!! Furloughs suck, but I am glad things are better!

  4. accm Says:

    In Canada. I’ve been giving a lot to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, and also to Indspire, which provides post-secondary scholarships to Indigenous students. Plus the usual food bank, etc. Probably flood relief soon.

  5. Debbie M Says:

    I can’t donate to everything I want to, of course. We still need to fight climate change (I help the Rainforest Foundation). For poverty, I’m still focused overseas (Give Directly). Then I also feel that Planned Parenthood helps with the environment and poverty. If there were something to help other countries get more covid vaccines, that would be good, too.

    I’ve actually been donating $3/month to AOC, who is not my rep, but she’s the one who taught me that having regular donors means you don’t have to waste a bunch of time begging for donations, and focusing on rich people who want to bribe you because it’s quicker. And I just love her and how she does things and lots of the things she does. I’m thinking of adding $3/month to Beto O’Rourke, who is local to me and is running to replace Greg Abbott (who can be decent, but has instead been deciding to cater to Trumpists).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Maybe we should all donate to Beto and AOC… Who do you favor for lieutenant governor?

      • Debbie M Says:

        Ballotpedia only shows 2 people currently running for lieutenant governor of Texas, so the obvious answer is anyone but Dan Patrick. But when the Democrat has a biography that “includes working as an employee at Exxon, auditor with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and founder and chief financial officer with a Texas oil company,” I’m not sure this is really a person you want to be funding either. (I don’t yet know anything about Mike Collier besides what I just typed.)

    • revanche @ a gai shan life Says:

      I’m so glad you mentioned this, we do support good candidates in other states irregularly but I hadn’t considered regular small donations and I think we ought to add that to our list.

  6. revanche @ a gai shan life Says:

    We donate to: Yellowhammer Fund to support abortion care in AL, the local Jewish community center to support refugees, center for reproductive rights, mid-south immigration advocates who provide affordable immigration services and specifically help the most vulnerable, children and victims of DV, CASA, the Navajo Water project, Raices, KIND, and direct aid to people in need. Our current direct aid is through our Twitter/PF friend who is helping a scared mom of two small kids escape an abuser:

  7. First Gen American Says:

    Since I am changing jobs, I have to relook at who gets my money and the matching gift process is a little different. Everything was routed through United way at last job..although I did do directed giving. Add one more thing to the to do list.

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