Tomorrow is my day to go through mail and pay bills. One of the things I always dislike about this activity (other than typing all those large numbers into Quicken when the student loan check comes up) is that, each week, I have to make the painful decision to discard a large stack of solicitations from worthy charities.
Even disregarding the ones that are suspicious and/or get a low charitable commitment rating from Forbes, there are a lot of wonderful organizations out there! Just last week I received pleas for help from reputable charities that help everyone from impoverished Native Americans to the elderly to abused children to women in crisis pregnancies to kids who need scholarships to the poor of America to the poor of the rest of the world. Every time I’m done going through mail I have this discouraging feeling of “SO MANY people need help SO DESPERATELY and I have SO LITTLE to give!”
I always struggle with whether to give a little bit of money to a lot of charities, or to focus on giving as much as possible to just one or two. Currently we’re going with the latter strategy. We decided on Food for the Poor as our charity of choice and planned to give large amounts (by our standards) to them…although the effective outcome has been that we just blow our charitable giving budget because I end up writing lots of smaller checks for all sorts of causes that I just can’t say no to.
And now Shannon and BooMama have me yearning to sponsor a Compassion child, which is going to mean re-thinking how much we give to other organizations in order to work it into the budget (after we look at other ways to cut back as well, although that’s a whole different story).
So I ask you: Does anyone else struggle with this? If so, how does your family deal with this dilemma? Do you give a little bit of money to a lot of different organizations or reserve your available funds for just one or two? And advice?
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