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Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 02:32 PM   #1
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Donating to Charity

Hello,

How do you decide which charity to donate to? My primary concern is the judicious use of donations.
I've looked up give.org, charitynavigator.org etc but still don't feel completely confident about the
some of the ones I've looked at. As usual, I seem to be afflicted with information paralysis. I guess ultimately I'll just have to have some trust...

Any suggestions for charities will also be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 02:55 PM   #2
 
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Re: Donating to Charity

...by looking at the address on the tuition invoice.
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 03:12 PM   #3
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Re: Donating to Charity

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 03:16 PM   #4
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Re: Donating to Charity

It ain't easy. * I took a top-down approach. * First figure out the charitable cause(s), then find the orgs, then dig into their cost structure. * Most of them aren't very transparent, but the good ones should be.

FWIW, I established a charitable remainder trust, which has some tax advantages if you have some large cap gains and want to give a portion to charity. If you're retired, then volunteering your time and energy might be a more effective way to contribute.
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 04:13 PM   #5
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Re: Donating to Charity

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderALot
How do you decide which charity to donate to?*
Like Wab says, volunteering your time may be more valuable. It'll also give you an idea how the charity is doing with other assets.

Another method to do it would be to spend a small annual amount on charity, like $10 a month or so, and plan to use your estate to establish your own charitable foundation or endowment. You can dream big and have it your way.
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 04:59 PM   #6
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Re: Donating to Charity

Plug for my favorite charity: http://www.modestneeds.org/
I really like their target group, which is people who are poor but have jobs (so don't qualify for aid) and have a small immediate need (such as a little extra money to not get evicted).

Tim
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 05:11 PM   #7
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Re: Donating to Charity

Other than the Red Cross we give exclusively to local charities.
1) Our local city's community foundation
2) Humane Society
3) A religious affliation

And I'm a sucker for education trusts set up for children whose parents were killed/died tragically.
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 05:51 PM   #8
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Re: Donating to Charity

Quote:
Plug for my favorite charity: http://www.modestneeds.org/
I really like their target group, which is people who are poor but have jobs (so don't qualify for aid) and have a small immediate need (such as a little extra money to not get evicted).Tim
Have you checked this group out as "for real" and above board? I've never heard of them before. I like their gig but their website made me read so much they pissed me off. All I wanted to do was write a check. I still might
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 06:03 PM   #9
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Re: Donating to Charity

Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz
Have you checked this group out as "for real" and above board? I've never heard of them before. I like their gig but their website made me read so much they pissed me off. All I wanted to do was write a check. I still might
No, I guess I'm just too gullible. I can say that every month they take exactly as much money as I want to donate out of bank account. The FAQ says: "Modest Needs is a designated 501 c 3 (tax-exempt) organization." which should be easy to check somewhere. The site is awfully well done and has a lot of content if it's just a couple of scam artists. I actually like all the words. I much prefer that to a graphic of a starving child with a caption saying how I can make a difference. If you just want to write a check, I've dug up the information for you:
Quote:
To make a one-time gift by mail, please make your check or money order payable to Modest Needs. Then, mail your gift to:
Modest Needs Foundation
150 W 22nd St, Fifth Floor
New York, NY 10011
Tim
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 06:33 PM   #10
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Re: Donating to Charity

You made me curious. I checked out Modest Needs at guidestar.org, where I am able to download Modest Needs' '02 and '03 Form 990, which guidestar says the received from the IRS themselves. That's good enough for me. According to their financials page, in the year so for 91% of MN's money has gone to helping people (as opposed to overhead):
http://www.modestneeds.org/features/financials/

Tim
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 06:57 PM   #11
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Re: Donating to Charity

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuisance
You made me curious. I checked out Modest Needs at guidestar.org, where I am able to download Modest Needs' '02 and '03 Form 990
That's an excellent thing to do before you give.* *I checked them out too.* *In 2003, they brought in $209K and distributed $94K.* * And they have a very low cost structure.* *Imagine what some of the other 401(c)(3)'s look like.* * Some pay salaries in the millions (I think over $5M was paid to the City of Hope CEO).* *Some of them farm-out their fund raising, and the fund raising org might keep 90%.* * And some of them are scams.* *For example, many "credit repair" companies split themselves into a non-profit org that works exclusively with the for-profit half of the company.

Edit: Clarification on the City of Hope salary.* Arthur Riggs is CEO of their Beckman Research Institute.* *His salary was $5.7M, but $5.5M of that was in royalty payments (I believe from a drug he invented and licensed).
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 07:45 PM   #12
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Re: Donating to Charity

We give to our church, support a child through World Vision (I'm a sucker for the starving children), some local charities and usually the charity that I choose for CFC is for children overseas.

Dreamer
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 07:53 PM   #13
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Re: Donating to Charity

Quote:
The site is awfully well done and has a lot of content if it's just a couple of scam artists
I thought the same thing. But they could just be very conscientious scam artists. Like any salesman they like to hear themsleves talk

Be that as it may... it appears they are legit.. after I go back and read more of their stuff they might be on my regular list. Thanks for bringing them up.
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Re: Donating to Charity
Old 08-04-2005, 10:37 PM   #14
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Re: Donating to Charity

We are pretty active in our church so all our donations and volunteer
work are directed there.

Cheers,

Charlie
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