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2007 Charitable Donations

This article was written by in Charity. 11 comments.


There’s been some discussion on this site recently regarding disclosure of charitable donations. I can understand why some might wish to keep this information private but I’m not at all shy about telling you which organizations I choose to support.

This year, I made donations to the following charities:

* Oceana – The largest international ocean environmental advocacy group dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s oceans and its sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, whales, endangered species, and marine ecosystems.

* Union of Concerned Scientists – The leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

* Conservation International – Applies innovations in science, economics, policy, and community participation to protect the Earth’s richest regions of plant and animal diversity and demonstrate that human societies can live harmoniously with nature. Works in more than 40 countries on four continents to help people find economic alternatives without harming their natural environments.

* The National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Provides advocacy, professional education, research funding and support for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

* The Raptor Trust – Provides care and assistance for injured wild birds and aims to educate the public about conservation issues related to birds, especially birds of prey.

I also made material donations to the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, which benefits wounded, disabled, and handicapped veterans.

But there are a number of other types of donations I’ve made which may not count for tax purposes but count in myriad ways to me:

I’m an avid Freecycler, and donated over 35 items this year to those who needed them, including a giant standing freezer I gave to a local school for underprivileged children. Apparently this donation will be keeping them in ice cream parties for a long time to come.

I also save all my egg cartons for a local independent chicken farmer, and have brought over at least 100 cartons this year (I do a lot of baking). Since farmers in my area have a lot to contend with, this bit of recycling helps to keep at least one of the expenses down for a farm which appears to be barely breaking even.

And then, as always, there’s the active practice of channeling my spending towards organizations and businesses I believe in, using my purchasing power to support their continued growth. For instance, in 2007, 71 percent of my total grocery budget went to support local agriculture and small businesses. I hope to grow this percentage even further in 2008.

Today’s the last day to donate for the 2007 tax year; did you reach your giving goals?

Updated August 9, 2011 and originally published December 31, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Along with her partner, Sasha owns and manage six residential rental units. Sasha endeavors to support the causes and organizations she believes in through more conscientious spending practices. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Greg

I’ve always read — and I’ve written in articles — that you should concentrate donations to a small number of charities, rather than giving a little money to many.

Apparently, a big portion of small donations — $25, for example — gets devoured with administrative costs and the fundraising expense of cultivating you as a donor. Giving bigger checks to fewer charities will mean more of your money will go to the cause you’re trying to support.

Also, charities are likely to sell small donors’ names and addresses to databases instead of keeping you to themselves.

Regardless, it’s commendable you have a such a generous heart. Makes me want to rethink my own giving.

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avatar Sasha ♦644 (Dime)

Greg,

I agree with your comment, and feel that larger donations are the way to go. My general minimum for a cash donation would be $100, because of the point you make. I tried to pick the top 5 charities–there were a few more I wanted to donate to, but decided to save them to next year so I could concentrate on my top 5.

I am a bit dismayed that I gave to UNICEF last year, but this year have been bombarded by mailings from them. They even enclosed a coin in one of the mailings, and I wish they would have kept it. Charities should allow you to select an option not to receive any mailings to help optimize your donation. I do all of my donations online despite the envelopes I’m sent.

I’ve not yet had a problem with my address being compromised or sold, but perhaps I’m just lucky. Then again, I donate to somewhat smaller or more eco-conscious charities who might be less inclined to such things.

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avatar chosha

Happy New Year!

My favourite charity is the Fred Hollows Foundation. They cure cataract blindness in places where people can’t afford to have it done (even though it’s totally treatable). I think I like it because it’s so direct: $25 (AUD) and someone gets there sight back, just like that. And of course with their sight back they can function, find work, etc. I also really like helping the Salvation Army, because I’ve seen the work they do for the poor and homeless here in Australia.

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