My Giving Philosophy
It has taken me about thirty years to realize that a person who has trouble saying no has to develop a giving philosophy and stick to it. Over the course of my life, my impressions of the world's greatest needs and the effectiveness of non-profits has changed and will undoubtedly change again. For now, these are the principles I give by:
- As a student of history, I know how dismal, harsh, and brutal the Western (Judeo-Christian) world was until recent times. Prosperity, education, and freedom have made those conditions a very distant memory for those of us lucky to have been born in Europe and the United States in the past 50 years. The discrepancy between the way we live and the conditions under which the undeveloped world lives is not only horrible to witness, it is one of the causes of the terrorism that threatens our wellbeing. I give to a few organizations that are most effectively and efficiently providing opportunity to the poor in the poorest of countries, and those studying the best way to do this. Also, since studies prove that the fastest way to raise people out of poverty is to educate women (since mothers educate their children), I support the education of women.
- Every family has its own diseases and disabilities to contend with. I support organizations working to prevent and cure the diseases that have affected my own family, especially Lyme disease, which strikes some 300,000+ new people in the U.S. every year, but is grossly underfunded by the U.S. Government.
- In particularly tough times, those of us who still have income need to lend a hand to our neighbors who have lost theirs through no fault of their own, so I support my local food banks and respond to special needs like Hurricane Katrina.
- I love animals and will always give a home to at least one rescued pet, more when my circumstances allow it. Elephants are my favorite animals, so I've now adopted three orphan elephants, and would do more if I could.
- I received an excellent education that was in part subsidized by scholarships and grants, so I return the favor with an annual donation to my university.
- I listen to NPR and watch Public Television, so an annual donation is my user fee.
My Favorite Non-Profits