Annual Charitable Giving Post

Donors choose has been getting most of my charity money this year.  Whenever I see someone being anti-Trans, I donate $25 to someone in a not-Blue state who has put books for transgender kids on their list.  (Currently that’s averaging about $100/week.) Whenever I see someone being antisemitic, I donate to a teacher who has Maus on their list.  When I see CRT being threatened, $25 to non-Blue states with books that represent underrepresented minorities.   Here’s someone on my follow list whose donations currently have a match [update:  looks like the match expired :( I was gonna donate because DC1’s government teacher said a bunch of racist stuff in class today.].   Here’s the next teacher on my follow list whose list is set to expire if it doesn’t get funding.

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?

Ask the grumpies: How best to give?

First Gen American asks:

When giving, is it better to give one large lump sum or more frequent smaller quantities. I have opinions about this if the lump sum covers a big portion of a not for profit’s annual operating expenses.

Well, this depends on what your purpose in donating is for, and whose utility you are trying to optimize.

If you ask charities– they would like you to take the lump sum and turn it into a monthly payment that they know for sure they’re going to get each month.  They say they would rather have a predictable monthly stream than unpredictable lumps of the same amount.  I’ve seen an academic presentation on the topic.  (I can’t remember the details though.  It had something to do with spending and endowments and how to know how much to spend vs. save as a non-profit.)  That said, some fundraisers don’t even bother with small donors because small donations are more expensive to process than are large lump sums.

If you’re talking about what is optimal for *you*, then if you’re donating to get a warm glow, frequent small quantities are going to give you more dopamine hits than just one will.

You also get to keep money longer and any interest that accrues on it if you do smaller frequent quantities.  That said, you have to actually *remember* to donate and that you’re donating so if you have trouble balancing a monthly checkbook one lump sum is probably safer.

If you want to have a bigger say in what the non-profit does, a larger lump sum is more likely to attract their attention and their willingness to serve your wishes than are smaller quantities.

Grumpy Nation:  Do you think it’s better to give one lump sum or prorated monthly amounts?

Related posts:

Why do people give to charity?

How much should one give to charity?

Where should I donate?

Doing something vs. doing more

Here’s another post from 2011, noting an internet phenomenon.  We were going to do a big post on it, but then XKCD summed it up beautifully in just a few panels.  Here’s what we had:

People who do something small sometimes get yelled at for not trying to reform an entire system.  This sucks.

In reality, we CAN make small changes, but grappling with a large change may not help people in this lifetime.  Some people focus on only the big needs, but we only have a limited amount of resources and doing something is generally better than doing nothing, so long as your cause isn’t something based on hate.

Cueball is going to spend $10 on a game and $10 on charity, Megan(?) says he should spend $20 on charity instead. Cueball decides to buy two games instead.

As a 2022 update:  One of the things that bugs me is that white men and Republicans often get passes for not doing anything at all, or for being actively harmful, while people who are trying but aren’t at the top positions of power get condemned for not doing enough.  I’d be happier with the “you’re not doing enough” if those same people would spend as much energy shaming the bad guys who are actually doing bad things, or who are doing nothing at all.  Let’s have more protests of individual evil Republicans, even though there are a lot of them.

We Need Diverse Books: Where Revanche’s Most Commenting of 2021 Prize went

If you recall, Revanche of A Gai Shan Life won this year’s most commenting award again!  For her prize she got to choose a charity for us to donate to.

We Need Diverse Books

is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

Here’s their Charity Navigator rating.

We contributed $50 in honor of Revanche.

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?

Holiday Donations!

So, a lot of people need your dollars this year.  The federal government isn’t doing its job.  One thing that you can do even if you don’t have money to donate is call your senators and tell them to stop letting Mitch McConnell take Covid relief hostage to allowing firms to put their workers in danger without fear of lawsuit.  Because that’s what is happening– Mitch McConnell won’t even allow a relief bill to go to the floor unless companies are legally allowed to be negligent.  And if that gets passed, there will be a race to the bottom because only negligent companies will be able to compete.  People need relief and they need workplace safety.   We cannot have a bill that forces negligence on companies.

So, with that in mind, if you have dollars, people need them.  I think the best place for those dollars this year is anything that provides children with basic necessities.  So– donate to a foodbank, either your local bank or a state spinoff of Feeding America, or Feeding America itself.  Kids need food most of all.  Money is the best gift because they can use it to buy in bulk, but your unexpired cans, dry goods, diapers, toiletries, etc. are also useful.

A lot of people are having more troubles with anxiety, family problems from too much proximity, and so on.  There are a number of different crisis hotlines you can donate to.  The suicide prevention hotline, the crisis text line, and for LGBTQ folks, the Trevor project.  For victims of abuse, there’s the domestic abuse hotline, but you may want to look up a women’s shelter near you to donate to, either cash or in-kind.

If there is a non-profit for refugees near you, check out their webpage.  I bought some things off an amazon list for the one in our nearest city.

As state and local budgets get cut, you may want to donate to libraries.  I donated to the state library that’s letting me get free e-books, though I do that every year.  They have a lot of programs for kids in the city in which they are located, which has been having spotty schooling, and I want them to be able to keep that up.

If you’re on twitter, a lot of folks have been spreading the word about smaller projects– when they look legit and the donation is in-kind (like, on their list are things that probably don’t have a ton of resale value but are things that people need), I will often buy something off the amazon list of one of these projects.  It’s not that I don’t believe people with gofundmes are deserving, it’s that I don’t know if the person running the gofundme is actually legitimate or a scammer.  So I bought some reasonably priced kitchenware off one of these lists.

Here are some charitable donations pages from previous years.

Grumpy Nation, what charities would you like to highlight? Post in the comments below!

Where did Debbie M’s donation go?

Debbie M won our “most commenting of 2019″ contest.  That means she got to pick where we donated our previous month’s blog earnings to.  How much did we donate?  We topped it up so that we could give $50.

Where did she pick?  Rainforest Foundation, Inc.

According to Debbie M:

They work with indigenous communities to help them continue preserving rainforest habitat. This protects the environment, fights climate change, and protects human rights. They explain all this better themselves: https://rainforestfoundation.org/what-we-do/

Here’s their Charity Navigator site.

Don’t forget to update your community rewards

Community rewards being when a company gives some % of what you’ve purchased to a charity of your choice.  They get the tax credit for donating, but you get to say where to the donation goes.

We got an email from the local library that noted they’ve got a community rewards thing going with our local grocery store.  I checked to see what we were signed up with, and it turns out to be the local private school that DC1 went to that has since gone out of business.  Our grocery rewards ($4.51 in the last quarter) were going to support their daycare center… which isn’t really a great use of the grocery store’s money.  After determining that DC2’s elementary school wasn’t signed up for rewards (though the richer elementary schools out by our favored grocery store were…), I went and changed ours to the local library, even though it’s closed for renovation until the summer.

I had remembered to update our amazon smile when the private school went out of business (our amazon smile now supports the closest planned parenthood)– though I need to be better about remembering to actually use it and not just the regular amazon as I buy this year’s holiday presents.

Do you use community rewards?  Where do you send your reward dollars? Do you remember to update them?

Where Leah’s donation went

Leah won our “most commenting of 2017″ contest .  That means she got to pick where we donated our previous month’s blog earnings to.  How much did we donate?  We topped it up so that we could give $50.

Where did she pick?  Advancement Project

According to its website:

Advancement Project works in deep partnership with organized communities of color to dismantle and reform the unjust and inequitable policies that undermine the promise of democracy through the development of community-based solutions to racial justice issues.

Here’s their charity navigator page—  looks pretty good.

 

Our annual charitable giving page

Time to get those charitable ducks in order, especially if you’re not going to be able to itemize under the new tax laws next year.

This year is probably a good one to do the Donor Advised Fund.  We’ve opted not to just because we want more flexibility right now with so much uncertainty, but your situation may be different!

Planned Parenthood : They need us more than ever before

RAINN :  help people impacted by sexual violence

CAIR :  Help Muslim victims of prejudice

Donors Choose (though, to be honest, I think the wobble chairs everyone in my [not poor] town wants are expensive and a waste of money– but there are a lot of teachers in lower income districts that want books and pencils and math supplies)  Note:  I am incapable of clicking on this without donating something.  I am such a soft touch for learning.  Ugh, #2 just sent me another link I had to fund.  Stahp!

WNDB:  We need diverse books!

ACLU :  One of the things standing in between us and fascism

EveryLibrary.org :  Helps political actions to fund public, school, and college libraries

EFF (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) seems pretty relevant right now

Emily’s List:  Help pro-choice women Democrats get elected to office!

Previous posts:  2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, (we have a couple posts in 2012 on charity, but I’m not finding a holiday one), 2011, 2010

Grumpy Nation:  Link us up to your favorite charities!