aquitone (aquitone) wrote,

on charitable donations

I’m not sure if it’s liberal guilt, or the fact that I consider my job to have almost no socially redemptive qualities, or a combination of the two, but I’m considering making it a policy to donate a certain percentage of my gross income to various charities. I have a feeling that the rich Europeans that are funding our company are not doing anything particularly worthwhile with the profits that we are generating on their behalf. Perhaps this is partly inspired by jenly, who is out volunteering in Africa while I am selfishly sitting out here in Hawaii worrying about my career.

I’ve thought about this for a few weeks now, and have come up with a few initial ground rules for the policy, if I were to go ahead with it.

1) No donating to the universities I attended nor the private high school I attended. Those institutions have enough money, imho, and I don’t feel that they necessarily contribute to a social good in a fundamental sense.

2) No donating to exclusively political groups. Perhaps out of disillusionment with the political process in this country, I’m not sure of the efficacy of supporting narrowly focused political organizations. I don’t consider myself a single issue voter. Perhaps a journal entry on my political beliefs is in order in the near future.

3) No donating to organizations that cater exclusively on behalf of the interests of a single racial or ethnic group. This is probably under the second rule, but I thought it should be explicitly stated. I’m not averse to donating to organizations that will cater to a particular group of people because of the geographical location in which they operate, but I am averse to organizations that have been set up to exclusively serve the interests of a single group.

After some initial research, the organizations that have made the short list thus far:
Doctors Without Borders
International Committee of the Red Cross
The U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea
U.N. World Food Program
U.N. Children’s Fund - UNICEF
Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International

Missing is an organization I'd like to find that benefits Hawaii residents.

I have to admit, however, that part of me is worried that this is just idealistic folly, and I could potentially be hurting my financial future if I were to donate too much instead of saving the money away. Well, there isn’t exactly a time limit or deadline to decide these things, so I suppose I can think about this for a bit longer.

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