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Old 12-21-2018, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Illinois
256 posts, read 154,139 times
Reputation: 237

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Do you think it is hypocritical to support and believe in the projects of a charitable association that depends on donations, but give them very little or nothing?
I give them the benefit of my doubts usually. They typically spent about 80-85% of donations on their actual work/ projects and the rest for salaries and fund raising. (Charity Navigator) I also wonder how much the executives donate to the cause.

Suppose you are an environmentalist and animal advocate, is it weird or hypocritical to give only a tiny fraction of your income to them? (Supports clean air, water, wilderness globally)
Sometimes I feel guilty writing very small checks. But then I see that they have millions in assets and the CEO and others earn salaries up to or more than 340,000 a year. But maybe these are merely excuses for being cheap. Forget the tax writeoff.
The alternative is to leave them a large sum in your will or as beneficiaries.
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,872 posts, read 1,402,350 times
Reputation: 10071
I see a couple of different questions.

No I do not feel guilty when I can only write a small check. I volunteered with my local animal rescue one year and I saw first hand how every little dollar helps.

Next, I've also spent time with the LLS (leukemia and lymphoma) in Philadelphia, again saw first hand how much work the regional director put in. When they have their "light the night" events she was pulling 14 hour days for months. She deserved every nickel. for some reason people think that because the organization is not for profit that it some how runs on pixie dust and fairies. Generally, they are businesses very similar to a for profit business.

Gift giving imo whether it's a Christmas gift, wedding gift, donation to a religious organization, donation to a cause you support is to be from the heart but using your head.
If you can only give 3 bucks, they will appreciate it.
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:52 AM
 
6,566 posts, read 1,348,237 times
Reputation: 16626
I am really torn about the whole charitable giving issue. It makes me angry to give to organizations who pay huge salaries to their executives, or when they give money to people who don't deserve it as much as someone else, imo. (My husband and I had donated a yearly camping scholarship until we found out that our last scholarship had gone to a child whose parents weren't even U.S. citizens, and that really infuriated us. Maybe we were wrong to feel that way, but it just never occurred to me that they would do that.)

Anyway, now we just give for specific causes and don't just leave the distribution of funds up to the discretion of some administrator.

But, to answer your question, we give about 3% of our yearly income, on average.
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Old 12-21-2018, 12:01 PM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
2,623 posts, read 2,576,057 times
Reputation: 3674
There are hundreds and hundreds of smaller charities out there who do not pay their execs a ton of money and provide needed services. You need to do your homework on them. We donate to smaller and, generally, local charities that provide services to address the needs we see around us. We prefer our contribution to mean something to the charity and not be just another dollar in the kettle. This year, we're donating about 10% of our income, last year it was about 35%, so it varies from year to year.
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Old 12-21-2018, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,763 posts, read 10,837,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
There are hundreds and hundreds of smaller charities out there who do not pay their execs a ton of money and provide needed services. You need to do your homework on them. We donate to smaller and, generally, local charities that provide services to address the needs we see around us. We prefer our contribution to mean something to the charity and not be just another dollar in the kettle. This year, we're donating about 10% of our income, last year it was about 35%, so it varies from year to year.
Same here (and in similar amount/s). We give to a number of charities (largely Christian) on a year-round basis - and do our homework to ensure they are legitimate and that their overhead expenses are reasonable and the pass-through amount is high.

We believe that we are to be good stewards over what the Lord has entrusted to us -- Our responsibility is to give. We also realize there are many 'charities' out there seeking donations, that are not necessarily good stewards - and try to weed those out. We do not, however, use that as an excuse NOT to give.
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Old 12-21-2018, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,664 posts, read 3,241,188 times
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Has anyone ever paid attention to how many ads on TV there are pleading for donations? Even suggesting how much per month you should pledge? Add it up sometime.

And then switch over to a religious channel. Everybody needs money. They write book after book after book. Buy, buy, buy.

I'm sure some people will be very annoyed with me for writing this. But no one can please everyone.
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:07 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,555 posts, read 39,934,465 times
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100% if possible (since it is not MINE anyway... I'm just a 'steward')

YMMV. That's fine. (and it is impossible for me to give 100% away ... tax man, tummy, and HC awaits)

Since we like to 'retire-early / retire often...' and prefer to keep our lifetime commitments to charities funded...

We set up a DAF (Donor Advised Fund) 30 yrs ago and it has been a great tax tool (Appreciated stocks / windfall profits...) and will sustain our chosen charitable giving for our lifetime.

DAF is especially helpful now with new tax bill / limited gifting and deductions.

All the big Finance firms now have DAF's (VG, FID, Scw...) + many community foundations offer DAF (for a fee / commitment / beneficiary)

Vanguard Charitable is all automated / allocated per your specification (investments and gifting) but restricts to $500 minimum grant, so the smaller amounts I give personally. Other charities get their usual amount / yr. On double demise... our entire estate goes to DAF and our kids will become the administrators. (at their discretion / choice). Otherwise it will be dispersed to our designated charities we currently support.

Just another tool, just another opinion.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:32 PM
 
1,280 posts, read 434,104 times
Reputation: 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnelian View Post
Do you think it is hypocritical to support and believe in the projects of a charitable association that depends on donations, but give them very little or nothing?
I give them the benefit of my doubts usually. They typically spent about 80-85% of donations on their actual work/ projects and the rest for salaries and fund raising. (Charity Navigator) I also wonder how much the executives donate to the cause.

Suppose you are an environmentalist and animal advocate, is it weird or hypocritical to give only a tiny fraction of your income to them? (Supports clean air, water, wilderness globally)
Sometimes I feel guilty writing very small checks. But then I see that they have millions in assets and the CEO and others earn salaries up to or more than 340,000 a year. But maybe these are merely excuses for being cheap. Forget the tax writeoff.
The alternative is to leave them a large sum in your will or as beneficiaries.

There are a lot of ways to support a charity but not give much, such by volunteering. Not hypocritical to give only a little. We all have lots of favorite causes, but only so much that we can give financially.



Church is a different story- that requires generous financial support, if that's one's favorite organization.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:43 PM
 
5,691 posts, read 8,756,281 times
Reputation: 4911
Some years I try to figure out what my tax bill would have been before the bush tax cuts vs. now and donate the difference.

With the new tax law I will be deducting every other year and contributing bigly.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:56 PM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
2,623 posts, read 2,576,057 times
Reputation: 3674
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
We set up a DAF (Donor Advised Fund) 30 yrs ago and it has been a great tax tool (Appreciated stocks / windfall profits...) and will sustain our chosen charitable giving for our lifetime.

DAF is especially helpful now with new tax bill / limited gifting and deductions.

All the big Finance firms now have DAF's (VG, FID, Scw...) + many community foundations offer DAF (for a fee / commitment / beneficiary)

Vanguard Charitable is all automated / allocated per your specification (investments and gifting) but restricts to $500 minimum grant, so the smaller amounts I give personally. Other charities get their usual amount / yr. On double demise... our entire estate goes to DAF and our kids will become the administrators. (at their discretion / choice). Otherwise it will be dispersed to our designated charities we currently support.

Just another tool, just another opinion.
We've used Fidelity Charitable for some time and it is a great way to donate stocks that have appreciated in value (although not currently a lot of appreciation). Now that we're taking RMDs, we're using QCDs instead.
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