plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

November 21, 2007

I don’t give to charity because…. debunked

Filed under: giving — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

I’m a big fan of giving to charity. Obviously I’m not sufficiently organised to do this in any other way than automatically, so I’ve got some direct debits set up to my favourite charities. Not everyone donates though, and when called on this, they usually cite some dubious excuse. I’m going to go through a few of these and explain why they don’t stand up to the cold light of day.

1. I don’t believe in charities

Honestly? I can assure you that charities do in fact exist. Here’s a list:

2. Charities waste a lot of money

All charities have to spend some money on running themselves. Telephone bills and stamps don’t pay for themselves. And with the biggest charities, volunteer work may only go so far. It’s quite difficult to find people willing to volunteer full time, but you can find people willing to work full time for very reasonable wages. Some charities do spend too much on adminstration, but it’s really a very small number.

3. I don’t have very much money

It’s unlikely that you don’t have enough money to give away a little. Plan for it. Cut back on one luxury a month. If you are reading this, you are privileged to have access to the internet. You can afford to give to charity. If you really, really, really can’t find the room in your budget, give time, donate clothes to the charity shop or food to the soup kitchen, or try to persuade your employer to donate.

4. I can’t find a cause that I like

You haven’t looked hard enough. Seriously, there’s a charity for every cause. In fact there are charities for diametrically opposed causes. So you don’t want to supportĀ the military, there are charities thatĀ work for world peace. So you think that atheists have got it all wrong, there are charities that try to convert the unchurched. You can donate to support capitalism for heaven’s sake.

5. I’m too lazy

As a deeply lazy person myself, I have to say that this is possibly the worst excuse yet. Walk through any shopping street and you’ll probably find yourself accidentally signed up for a direct debit scheme with a charity that you’ve never heard of. Make it automatic. If you can’t be bothered to think of a charity to donate to, click on this link, which will take you to one of my favourites and donate there.

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