If you had ten thousand dollars to give to charity, who would you give it to? Include your reasoning, please.
EDIT: Yes, this does affect the future of Improbable Island, in a rather major way, but one that I don't have time to explain right now. You may think I'm bonkers (or just being strange) but you'll have answers soon, I promise.
EDIT EDIT: Yes, I'm serious. I'm not being frivolous (just this once), this is important, and it will affect you as a player. Come on with your answers, the clock's ticking.
EDIT EDIT EDIT: You can split the ten grand between a number of charities if you want. In fact, by all means do so, and give your numbers.
EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT:
The charity must accept PayPal - sorry guys, I know there's some good ones in there that don't.
EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT:
Okay, we can get around the PayPal thing. Check here for details.
Doctors Without Borders.
They are apolitical, serve no specific nation or agenda, and go where the need is greatest regardless of danger.
Second choice: World Wildlife Federation. Because people are lame.
Except for the Medicins Sans Frontieres.
The charity to help arm the people in Darfur to fight off the people seging there country.
A - It pisses me off countries ignore there problem because it makes diamonds cheaper.
B - The idea of a charity where your buying a hand grenade for a kid to throw at some guy that raped his mom just makes me fell all warm and fuzzy inside.
Partners in Health, if we're talking humanitarian organizations.
EDIT to add: "Partners in Health provides comprehensive health care to individuals in the developing world by creating and managing hospitals, health centers, and a network of community health workers. Operations in Haiti and sub-Saharan Africa (Rwanda, Lesotho, and Malawi) account for almost 70% of PIH's 2008 expenses." Full review from Givewell is HERE.
Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere and only 20% of the population live above the poverty line -- that same twenty percent are the only functionally literate members of Haitian society. Life expectancy is pretty bad -- estimates range from 51 - 60 years. Over ninety percent of adults are unemployed.
Forty two percent of the population is under the age of fifteen.
Living conditions are very bad and providing even basic health care in the developing world is astronomically important. PIH goes above and beyond in providing comprehensive care, and their work is outstanding.
Good question, not really sure but I would have to say something like Ronald Mac Donald house something that help children. I like kids,not in the sick way, I drive a school bus and have one myself if I had a K to spare I would want to help other people with their children.
Well, I'd have to say the Red cross, or the Salvation Army, Both are great organisations, and do a lot to help people.
United Cerebral Palsey
I would donate to them because my Brother was born with CP and I have had to watch him struggle to grow up with the disability for his whole life, it was not easy for him. UCP is all for promoting the rights of the disabled, and here is hoping that my brother can get onto the Fordham University Baseball team.
The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service.
I would donate to them because I have ADD. And support groups hosted by organizations like this one are really helpful. I cannot express enough how helpful it is to be able to talk to knowledgeable people about the problems associated with the disorder and receive help beyond medication. Having Adult ADD is a difficult thing for me, going through college and work is hard, getting this advice and support is something I cherish. ADDISS is just one example
Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD)
Feingold Association of the United States (FAUS)
Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
are other organizations to help adults and kids who have learning disabilities, and inform and provide help for the people who love them. I would donate to them so hard.
I like World Wildlife Fund since I'm an avid animal lover.
I suppose everyone has their pet NPOs, but I would gladly hand $10k over to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Providing cheap/free legal advice and defense, sticking it to the RIAA/MPAA, and attempting to keep the world from descending into an Orwellian nightmare are all admirable goals. I myself am a supporting member.
But I'm guessing you're looking for something more warm and fuzzy.
The thing is: it has to be only ONE? I know that ten thousand dollars can help a lot a institution, but one thousand could help ten a little.
Very hard to say "who need it the most", "who would use it better"...
Well, if i had to choose one i would choose one that takes care of the nature and wildlife. Lost my faith in humanity a while ago, and the planet needs to be here if we want to use it in the future.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
But this, above all. Since Cerebral Palsy, and ADD don't kill people.
Damnit I would donate all my income to this if I could, y'know, live.
There is nothing more upsetting than a child with cancer. My mother works for Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (why yes, all my reasoning is from personal experience) She came home totally depressed the day she had to take tumors from the lungs of a six year old girl. Can you imagine that? Having to watch your child die from a freak fault of nature? I can't imagine living through that, as a parent or as a child with cancer.
these kids could have a full, long life. I would be proud to give it to them.
In my opinion, since this is a game and well I'm betting that a huge bulk of us are gamers that it should go to helping Child's Play.
About Child's Play*
Here’s the deal.
Since 2003, we’ve set up and organized Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 60 hospitals worldwide. In five short years, you as a community have answered the call and come together to raise millions of dollars.
That was awesome. You guys have proven over and over again that you are an overwhelming force, and you really came through and made a real difference to the millions of kids that children’s hospitals care for each year. So we’re doing it again this year, only this time we’ve expanded Child’s Play to more hospitals around US and the globe so you can send toys to a hospital a little closer to home.
Child’s Play works the same as last year. With the help of hospital staff, we’ve set up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, and movies. You can go to each hospital’s list and buy a toy, and that toy will be sent to the hospital. Some of these kids are in pretty bad shape. Imagine being stuck alone in a hospital over the holidays, getting something from a fellow gamer would really raise their spirits. Some of the stuff the hospital will give away for kids to keep, while other gifts (like consoles) will be kept by the hospital for patients to use throughout the year.
We are arguably the largest community of gamers on the internet. The important word there being community. We are not a faceless corporation and you are not just a number tracked by a database and then relayed to hungry advertisers. You guys have proven yourselves to be a powerful force when stirred into action. Here is your opportunity to use that power to do some real good.
(*Taken right from their website)
Gamers giving back to children in hospitals and with Christmas around the bend, it would be nice.
but if it absolutely has to be only one charity. I say St. Judes.
I would give a portion of it to the action groups which advocate for the Chesapeak Bay and for an end to mountaintop-removal mining. Why? Well, the Chesapeak Bay is the world's largest estuary, it serves as a nursery and harbor for thousands of species of birds, fish, plants, and invertebrates. It is key to the survival of several major human fisheries including blue crabs. It is a meeting point for several major environmental issues. Protecting the Bay and advocating on its behalf is a very effective way to adress a miriad of important individual issues.
Mountain-top removal is the most destructive activity I know anything about. It litterally means blasting away whole mountains and filling the valleys around them with debris and waste. Not only is this catastrophic for the forests and ecosystems on these mountains, and to the landscape itself, it is also a huge danger to entire towns near sites, the workers on the sites, and communities living in the watershes of the sites. Polution associated with Mountain top removal is both worse and covers a larger area than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Most of this goes unreported, but satelite photos from google maps don't lie. I care about this alot because I live in the southern Appalachian mountains, and these practices are terrible for everyone except the mining companies. For more info, you can check out ilovemountains.org.
There are many worthy causes out there, but I would give portions of my money to these two.
I forgot to add the website.
I'd say the Cancer Society.
Its more for personal reasons. I've lost two grandparents to cancer, and have a survivor in the family.
for what it's worth, here is my donation priority list.
1: critical life saving efforts, i.e. medical care/disease research/fighting starvation.
2: child specific foundations, providing home/education etc, to children without.
3: wildlife preservation.
4: development of cleaner/cheaper energy and of important technologies for the future.
5: supporting the arts.
so if I had just one lump sum of money to donate, it'd be to the first category, Doctors without Borders seems to be a very good option, they are international, independent, privately funded and have no religious or political affiliations/agenda. they also appear to do some fighting for Human Rights, in the form of bring ignored issues to light and calling for international action.
Doctors Without Borders sounds good, as does Child's Play, for two very different reasons.
Red Cross and Salvation Army are also on that list.
If I had the money I would probably send it all to the ASPCA. I'm actively involved with animals and would like to help any organization that helps animals that in trouble.
I usually give to my local branch of Second Harvest, a food bank that distributes food that would otherwise go to waste to needy people.
I also like to give to an organization near me that trains service animals. I like them because they are enabling people to live independently and lead fuller lives.
If I suddenly came into a large amount of money I might give to one of the international aid organizations, Doctors Without Borders or the one Z describes (which I wasn't familiar with, but something like this). Just because I normally give to some local organizations, and if I had a windfall it'd be nice to give it to someone I don't already give money to.
I would like to see it spent on a cancer research charity or children's charity. These charities often struggle to find funds compared to animal charities which can run the cute and cuddly campaigns, as it were!
I think it'd be good to include a mix of American and European ones too - the world is a big place.
Doctors Without Borders or something like the Humane Society/ASPCA
If I had an extra hundred bucks lying around, though, it'd probably go to Child's Play.
I like the EFF suggestion. United Way seems OK, as a non-specific charity.
If this has anything to do with dwellings on the island, Habitat for Humanity.
My strongest inclination is towards educational charities, but I don't know what's a good one.
Definitely would have to say Ronald McDonald house... very close friend works with them. Great stuff.
My donation always goes to the JDRF. I know I'm biased, being diabetic myself, but it's a great charity that really puts the donations into a good cause, and we do keep getting closer and closer to a cure... the hardest part is finding the money to put it through the clinical trials required by the FDA. There are some treatments out there that may already cure diabetes, but they might not be available for another 10-20 years at this rate.
Also, while they don't explicitly accept PayPal, I think that almost any charity on this list would probably be willing to come to an accomodation on that score, or the donation could also be made through a (trusted!) third party.
ack.. Ok, this one is not from 'anonymous.' Ronald McDonald House.
I recommend Amnesty International: http://www.amnesty.org/
They work tirelessly to stop human rights violations all over the globe, as well as to help promote the interests of women and children.
But I also like Doctors Without Borders.
I don't know many charities off the top of my head, but anything that benefits kids, I support.
I'm going to agree with Jess on this one and give my nod to Child's Play. They take PayPal, which is apparently necessary. They are international (although, admittedly, there are way more affiliated hospitals in the US than anywhere else). They have a really great cause. In addition, it looks like they're going to come up a bit short this year. Their totals as of December 4th are significantly less than the 2006, 2007, and 2008 totals.
I wanted to also suggest a charity that fed children, but the only one I know of is Feed the Children and this:
"Feed the Children spent only 21-23% of its cash budget on its programs in 2008, and spent $63 to $65 to raise each $100 cash contribution."
Turned me off of them.
Looking back through everyone else's suggestions I'm going to add Ronald McDonald House here too.
Child's Play: $5,000
Ronald McDonald House: $5,000
I don't know if Ronald McDonald House's main site takes paypal (it won't load on my dial-up connection) but I know individual locations' sites do.
With ten thousand to give to any one charity, I'd choose the Heifer Project.
Good track record, good follow-through, no politics, no fancy publicity or TV ads.
It just helps people to fill their kids' bellies with food that they helped to grow themselves.
It gives an appropriate kind of "bootstrap" to help people pull themselves up.
It skips the technological glitz and goes right to poor people and the animals that live with them, treating all species with respect.
The Heifer Project was my Grandma's favorite charity, and as I get older it is becoming mine.
Thanks for reminding me, I need to write out my own check.
KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), USA-based network of open enrollment public schools which aim specifically to bump kids on to college. "The KIPP Foundation is responsible for recruiting and training principals, negotiating with the state to start up schools, and providing additional assistance in starting up schools. All students in the school's vicinity are eligible for admission, which is determined by random lottery, and tuition is free." Again, the full review from Givewell is HERE.
826 Valencia, a non-profit after school youth tutoring center based in the USA which specifically aims to excite disadvantaged kids about creative writing / reading, empower 'em by giving them the opportunity to self-publish their stuff, and generally turn them into life long learners.
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) is a self-described "progressive group that believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information." Media watchdogs. We need'em.
..but honestly, my vote is still with Partners in Health. I'd go with Doctors Without Borders in a pinch.
My list, in order from highest priority to lowest priority:
1)St. Jude Children's Hospital
2) March of Dimes
3)Feed the Children
4) Save the Children Federation Inc.
(yes, I am well aware this is all regarding children, but children are the future, and damnit that is important)
5) Classroom, Inc.
6) Human Rights Campaign
7) Planned Parenthood
8) Child's Play
9) Make a Wish Foundation
1-4) What is better than helping children? Seriously. Children need us, we can't continue on this planet without them, why should they suffer?
5) School in New York City sucks, I have been both a student in a section 1 (as in failing school, less than 50% graduation rate) and am now in school to teach in one. Any little bit helps when you go to a school that can barely afford to get supplies. My school was so poor they could not afford to get elevators for the few disabled students they had, they could not afford to have a proper gym... The school was closed for a week due to lead in the 100 something year old pipes... seriously.
6) I find that Defense of Marriage Act is absolutely disgusting, it blatantly ignores the constitution. The Faith and Full Credit Clause in Article I section IV clearly states that each State must recognize legal documents, like marriage licenses, from other states. DOMA basically enables States to ignore same-sex marriage licenses. HRC is fighting for equal rights for Gays, Lesbians, Transgendereds and Bisexuals. I agree fully
7) Six girls got pregnant while I was in high school, I am friends with a girl who has HIV. Sexual education, free clinics and the services they provide, can help prevent this, or help the people who suffer. There are many, many free clinics in New York City where anyone, of any age, can go without question, or parental permission, and get an STD test, free condoms and other forms of birth control, or an abortion. I think this should be available for everyone. How many lives can be saved with proper protection and sexual education? Many.
8) Childs play is for the similar reasons to the first four. The first four keep the kids safe, this makes them happy
9) see above
10) ASPCA is my favorite animal rights group, it cares the most about the protection of the animal, the ASPCA clinics and shelters save many, many animals every year
there you go!
EDIT: Strike feed the children, I just read Adder's post regarding them
You might be able to work around the "they must accept paypal" limitation.
perhaps use paypal to buy a visa(or any other major credit card) prepaid gift card, then use the card to donate to the charity, they should take it just like a normal credit card.
just an idea
That seems like a lot of money for one place..! I'd most likely hedge my bets a bit, cutting the amount at least in two. Heifer international is one I personally like because it helps to feed people in a long term way -- not just providing them with food but offering them the means to feed themselves. However, it is not that highly highly rated for efficiency by Charity Navigator. Carnegie Institution for Science is another personal favorite for its efforts to move knowledge and mankind forward as a whole, and it is one of the most efficient charities out there.
It's a very important thing to think about, I think, when this much money is involved; it's not just about the cause you want to support, it's about getting the money somewhere where it can be most fully put to use.
As such, regardless of my own preferences my vote would go for whichever of the most favored charities by others appears to use the money as efficiently as possible, when checked by as many sources as possible. There are many systems available to check.
(Could I have been more wordy, do you think?)
Umm ... is there a time frame/limit on this?
Of the one's listed so far, I'd go with Medicins Sans Frontiers. (sp?) Some of the others sound good as well, but this is the only one I'm familar with.
Basically ... anything that meets the (in no order of priority) checklist of:
2. No religous affiliation
3. Focused on 'third world' help.
4. Focused on aid to child welfare is preferred, though 'disempowered' in any form might be a better way of putting it.
Happy to put more thought into this if there is a couple of days leeway, but figured I'd get something in for now.
Afterthought: I occaisionally participate on http://www.freerice.com. Before I started doing so I checked that they do in fact operate a legit food donor program and found verification on the UN web site. Just a thought.
I'm with the folks who are behind Child's Play. Anything that helps kids out was gonna get my vote anyway, but Child's Play is just so cool.
Human Rights Campaign also gets my vote, cause they're a little more personal for me. Mostly I vote for the kids, though - someday they're gonna grow up and play Improbable Island, and we want them to be awesome.
okay, for some reason I can't edit my other post, but only March of Dimes and Child's Play take PayPal out of the ones on my list.
Definitely something like everyone else has said: Animals, or any of the children-saving foundations.
I've heard some bad things about March of Dimes and their methods, although I won't repeat any claims because I'm not completely sure I trust the source, or the accuracy/recentness of the claims. On behalf of someone I know, I have to suggest NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I can't explain their goals well, but their cause is more important than most people realize. I flat refuse to argue who's better than who, though. Just wanted to add this name to the hat, as it were.
I would choose Doctors Without Borders, for one.
Mostly because they work independent from any politics, military, and religious stuff, as I have seen other people agree with as well.
And of course, World Wildlife, too. I love nature and would not want to see it destroyed.
Hmm.. well, there's two for you.
As far as I can tell, my two favorite international charities, Doctors without Borders and Heifer International, who have already been mentioned, do not accept PayPal. And I do think any donations associated with the Island should go to an international organization.
I chose World Vision International.
You can do pretty much the same thing through World Vision as Heifer International, such as donating a goat or a sheep to a needy family, who also gets training in caring for the animal. These people, however, are under no obligation to pass on their animal's offspring to another family. (Which is why they're not on my 'A' list.) But you can also, among other things, donate to build a clean-water well, stock a school with supplies, dig and stock a fishpond, offer microbusiness financing for a woman (with the repayment of the loan going back to finance another businesswoman's project), care for widows and orphans of the AIDS epidemic, send a girl to school in a country where half the girls don't even finish primary education, or help sexually exploited girls.
There are instances where governments and manufacturers have donated items which just need money donated for them to be shipped and distributed.
Below is some information from their gift catalog.
World Vision, while a Christian charity, serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
World Vision works hand-in-hand with families and communities to tackle the causes of poverty, helping nearly 100 million people in nearly 100 countries each year.
World Vision is the largest food distributor for the UN's World Food Programme.
87% of the money donated goes to help families overcome poverty. (8% is used for fund raising and 5% for general and administrative functions.)
(Yeah, we donate here ourselves. My one brother is getting a goat for Christmas. Or rather, we're donating a goat in his name.)
[grumbles about being locked out 'cos I forgot my password]
Many of the appeals mentioned have me scratching my head and thinking "Whozat?"
Most of the charities that I would suggest would probably get the same puzzled look from you lot. [shrug]
By elimination, that leaves me with Red Cross or Salvos as my preferences, being truly international and ones that actually forward on a significant part of the donations.
Whatever charity it goes to it is very important that one investigates exactly how *much* of the donation actually makes it to it's cause. Many many charities though non-profit give out fat paychecks to their administrations.
My vote would go to Child's Play and/or helping stop the slaughter in Darfur (the VICTIMS, not the government)
i've got to offer additional votes for the EFF, Doctors Without Borders, and the Cancer Society..
and as far as the split, if it were *my* $10k, it would be 33% apiece.
I've learned, over the past hour or more of clicking and arghing, that most charities don't take PayPal. Which baffles me, but there it is. None of the charities I would initially have recommended, and none of the ones I would have recommended after discarding that list and starting a new one, have a PayPal button. And hardly any of the charities you people have recommended do either, though there were many I would enthusiastically have seconded.
Correct me if I'm wrong (please!) but I was unable to find a PayPal link on any of the following sites: Doctors Without Borders, Partners in Health, 826 Valencia, KIPP, Ronald McDonald house, Carnegie Institution for Science, NAMI, World Vision International.
Amnesty International and the Heifer Project don't take PayPal, but do take Amazon payments. Would that cut it, CMJ?
The organizations suggested so far that do accept PayPal include (but may not be limited to): EFF, Child's Play, FAIR.
If you're absolutely solid on the PayPal thing, CMJ, I'd pick the Native American Heritage Association (http://www.naha-inc.org/) over any of the above three. Like those three, it doesn't help people in Third World countries, but it does help people living in Third World conditions.
I like Medicins Sans Frontieres, and all them Kids charities are just adorable, but they all focus on individual bits of happiness, spending money on case by case stuff. But if I would have the cash to spend, I'd rather go with some serious oncological or stem cell research. Both have to be completed if not to be useful for us, then at the very least for our children. In Humanism vs. Humanity I pick Humanity.
I apologize in advance if there are duplicates here - I tried to get caught up, but there's no guarantee of perfection.
I do care that the charity(ies) be run in a fashion that is sustainable, fairly lean, and non-religious. Some good meta-links for that kind of information; the first two also have good charity search tools:
Just Give - focuses on online donations
BBB (for US charities)
With those, I think you can readily find almost anything you need about most charities named.
I think I'd donate to several charities:
Child's Play, Heifer, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Doctors without Borders.
I'd also want to donate to one of my favorite radio stations, KEXP. And then divide up the 10,000 USD into five donations of 2,000USD each.
Personally, all of my donations to non-profits/charities has been to radio stations - The afformentioned KEXP and WUVT. Because I really do love music.
I'd offer 75% To doctors without borders.
13% To The Humans Development foundation. And the rest (12% To child's' play)
But If I actually had 10000$ to donate. I'd just post in a forum and look for choices.
I have two suggestions, with the money split down the middle.
I would give half the money to help the developing world, by donating to a single charity such as Medicines Sans Frontieres or Doctors without Borders. There are a few big charities such as these which do excellent and selfless work providing medical those who really need it but couldn't otherwise get it. Because the vital work they do is on such a large scale, their overheads are HUGE. Any donation is helpful, obviously, but if any charity needs big donations, its charities such as these.
The second half i would donate for the benefit of the Western world. Now there are countless charities out there which address various specific problems, but if there's one area to donate to which will make a positive impact on EVERY MAN, WOMAN & CHILD in the western world its gotta be cancer research, without a doubt.
Everyone knows someone who's been touched by cancer, and depending on the statistics you read one in four of us will get it ourselves. We're tantalisingly close to getting the upper hand in the battle against cancer, but like the overseas aid charities the costs of cancer research are huge. We've reached the stage now where every little bit we can give will get us one step closer relieving untold pain and suffering from every family in the developed world.
There are a lot of worthwhile charities out there, but one that stands out to me is Medicines Sans Frontiers.
But the electronic frontier foundation is also fighting for something which while not benefitting a lot of pain directly will have a stark effect on the future.
So 10% to EFF, 30% to MSF and the rest to a mixed pot medley.
As many fellow contestants, I'd choose Doctors Without Borders. A great cause without borders.
Now, I would like to add a suggestion to the (already big) list.(Most of the time,) I am not good to juggle with words, so please bear with me.
I suppose everybody heard about this disease. By the time you read this post, there are probably many(I won't count) who become infected.
I found some statistics of the year 2008 around. I don't know if they are accurate, but:
-More than 33.4 millions are living with HIV/AIDS
-About 2.7 millions in the World were newly infected (with HIV).
-The amount of death caused by AIDS is estimated to 2.0 millions
Again, I cannot say if it's the entire truth, but something has to be done. If I were to be able to donate, I would give money for research of AIDS cure and/or prevention.
I do not personnally know of any charity program concerning this problem (and don't have much time, sorry), but I believe that there are many, even on the Internet.
So here's the deal: 10000 american dollars, split in two; 30% of this goes to Doctors Without Borders while 70% goes to any HIV/AIDS-fighting organization(s). Or however you might want, Dan.
50% - The Humane Society. Because animals can't help themselves, and people are usually responsible for any issues dealing with pets.
50% - Habitat for Humanity. I have done projects with them, very helpful/useful charity.
I would say 50/50 to these two organizations
http://www.cff.org/ - Because I have two nieces that have CF and I want to see them live past 30.
http://www.aspca.org/ - Because I love animals and they can't help themselves.
Well, if we're talking what I personally would do, I would donate that money to an arts association or a library or similar. The national ballet, a university library, a non-income-based merit scholarship at my old school, etc.
But this is Improbable Island. We are From the Internet. As such:
Something apolitical, something worldwide, something that is not religious. Something that spends most of its donation money actually helping people, rather than funding the organization's mini-bureaucracy.
I can't really add any charity name that hasn't already been said. But these are my criteria: if the organization fits these criteria, I'd probably support the donation wholeheartedly.
Looking through what everyone else has said, I'm tossing my opinion towards ASPCA, 826 Valencia (a new discovery for me, wow) and were it me personally? I'd throw some of that towards American Rivers and First Book. Probably split it 25% each way.
two choices for me, first would be ASPCA (animals play a big part in our lives, even if some people dont see it)
and.. the Cancer Research Foundation (i dont think i really need to explain this one) atleast thats what i would donate to, probably 50/50
I'd donate to a single organization - mainly because bureaucracy would take up less of the total amount in that case.
I'd have suggested AVERT.org (AIDS prevention and treatment mainly in Africa and India, for the same reasons as Paul Lo) and the newTree.ch project (planting trees/green belts to keep deserts from spreading, improve soil, and create/protect a habitat in the endangered Sahelian zone, my school's supporting it as well), but neither of them seems to support PayPal... (Not that I am particularily fond of PayPal to begin with.)
Lots of suggestions so far. We don't really need any more, unless anyone has something that's particularly close to their heart that they'd like to add. What we really need to know now is - Which charities accept Paypal. That seems to be the limiting factor. CMJ, some alternatives to Paypal have been suggested. Are any of these feasable?
Next, how efficient are these charities? Spending 65% of your income on fund raising doesn't seem particularly effective to me, even if I can understand why they do it. Their primary concern is the cause they're working towards, not giving the likes of us a warm fluffy feeling. If devoting 65% towards fundraising ultimately gives you more money for the cause, then that's the best thing to do.
In the end however it comes down to charities fighting each other for funds. I know some people who work as chuggers and they all say that it's a serious jungle, and can get quite vicious. They might be increasing their share of the pot, but the total pot is more or less fixed, and overall, less money is getting spent on the various causes. Hence I believe in supporting efficient charities.
My personal list of priorities would be :-
1) Childrens charities. Especially charities that combat child abuse. Kids are our future. If they're getting abused then that leads to more problems in the future. Shit breeds shit breeds shit breeds shit. Kids who've never been shown any respect never learn to respect anyone or anything else. Sort that out, and I think you're nipping a lot of future problems in the bud, especially things like animal welfare for example, but also all the many problems caused by mans inhumanity to man, and they form a significant chunk of the worlds problems. Of course there's always the immediate concrete 'This person is being severly harmed. We can do something to stop it.' moral imperative as well.
2) Environmental charities. The planet as we know it is going to hell in a handcart. If we're not careful then there's a real chance that we'll face a situation which makes the EMP which hit the world II is set in, look like a walk in the park. If civilization as we know it goes down the Swannie, then most of our other problems will just not be problems anymore, in a bad way. Cancer for example will be competeing against so many other painful exotic and nasty ways to die that it just won't seem that much of a problem.
3) Third world poverty charities. Reasons similar to 1) on a larger scale. Also I think that most of what these charities are trying to do is just basic morals. It won't make any of us a great saint, just stop us being great sinners.
4) Animal welfare charities. This is my fluffy side coming out. I like animals. Also basic morals, as in 3).
I'd also prefer some sort of global charity. Whilst schools in New York, for example, is a very worth while cause, I tend to empathise more with British charities for the entirely subjective reason that I'm a Brit myself. Presumably Americans are more likely to empathise with American charities, the French with French charities and so on. Something that we can all empathise with equally would be good.
So far 'Medicins Sans Frontieres' gets my vote, although did someone say they didn't take PayPal? That would be a pity.
I don't know many charities, but I'd go with-
Feeding hungry folks-25%
Human Rights (darfur, amnesty Int.)-25%
Also, would have to be a group with no political agenda, who uses the lion's share of the donations for the work itself.
I personally would like to donate a bit of money to Child's Play, mainly because I admire when games are used for good things, like brightening up a child's life. Another organization I'd consider would be the American Cancer Society.
Personally, I'd go with the one I run, Lost Dimension Games. Probably not a good choice for II, though, because (a) you don't know me, and we haven't accomplished much visible yet, so it's not obvious that the money would be used well, and (b) we're not 501(c)(3) yet, so it's not tax-deductible and arguably doesn't count as a "charity" despite being non-profit.
For II, I'd recommend EFF. They do a lot of great work. If you're not familiar with them, think of them as the "digital ACLU".
I somehow feel that MSF is the most appropriate choice for Improbable Island, but I just checked and they have donation pages (for MSF and doctors without borders, same story) that only accept cards. Now, I don't know much about paypal, but I do know it is possible to get a paypal debit card.
There's a $3,000/day spending limit, isn't that funny? Maybe you could get around that by calling paypal? I don't know, I try to avoid talking to the credit card companies whenever possible.
I know it's already been said, and I don't know if there's really a chance to contribute anymore, but my feelings are towards Doctors without Borders. I respect what they do to an incredible degree.
It takes so much dedication to help people in areas of conflict, where your own life is at risk.
Another organization (i don't know if they count as a charity or if it's been mentioned) is Kiva.
Borrowed from Wikipedia: "Kiva Microfunds is an organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to microfinance institutions in developing countries around the world and in the United States, which in turn lend the money to small businesses"
I've had no experience with them, but it seems like a good idea.
I vote for St. Jude's, as to my knowledge they run entirely on donations, and give free medical help to those in need.
If not, maybe Red Cross.
I really don't have any detailed reasons to give, I'm afraid.
This is a difficult question to answer. I did a little bit of poking around online to look at options before I settled on Children's Cancer Center and American Wildlife Foundation.
I like kids and I like animals, so I was drawn to these groups. Both of these organizations are highly-rated. I would split the money two ways and give equal portions to both of these groups.
I like heifer international, they give animals to people in developing countries. If you get an animal from them and can breed it you have to give some to your neighbors too, so one gift can have a large impact after a while.
The PayPal requirement knocks out several of my favorite charities from the get-go, unfortunately. Right now, if I didn't have time to do some more research about who does and doesn't take PayPal, I would say split the $10,000 evenly between the following two organizations:
Rape, Abuse & Incenst National Network (RAINN)
The benefit of this is that the money paid to Kiva would be repaid to you so that you could continue to reinvest it in impoverished nations again and again, or if you'd rather, you could invest once in Kiva and then take the money once you are repaid and donate it to a third charity. It's almost like being able to give 50% more money than you actually have.
The American Cancer Society.
Cancer has claimed several of my loved ones. For a cure to be found is one of my hopes.
Plan International. Or a deserving cancer charity, i.e. not one of the research ones, but one of the ones on the front line, offering support.
I really love the whole World Community Grid idea, so I would probably do the following: I would buy a PC (or a Mac ;p ) for a bit over 9000 (pun intended) with as much CPU-power as possible (and as little anything else as possible) and use it to run the BOINC client 24/7 (the remaining <1k$ would go for its electricity bills ;p )
I would have to say split it between ASPCA, AIDS research and treatment, and cancer research. Though I can't recall off hand any charities that take paypal.
Amnesty International, every time. The work they do is, in my opinion, amongst the most important there is - they state their mission as:
Just a quick pointer: That last one? That were me. Also, I'd like to point out that Amnesty are about as humanitarian as it gets, are particularly supportive of children, for obvious reasons, and are entirely nonpolitical.
I don't know about paypal, but there is one charity I can recommend because I personally know that every penny donated goes to the hungry and poor all over the world:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormons)
I realize you probably want 'Non-Religious' but everyone knows that the Mormons are usually the first to arrive on the scene of any disaster of any kind all around the world. You don't have to believe what they teach or even like them; but you can't deny the effectiveness of their charity efforts.
Also, their online donation forms let you set up recurring billing and let you be very specific where the money goes, if you wish, whether it be for clean water, neonatal resuscitation training, or teaching modern food production techniques to new farmers, etc.
I'd have to say cancer research. Not really interested in saying why, but definitely something in that category, although no specifics come to mind.
Everything's pretty much been covered, I think, by other people, so I guess I'll just add my two cents. I don't know of any charities that haven't already been mentioned. I personally think the order of importance is
1. Third world relief
2. Environment and wildlife
3. Families working well. In my mind this is:
3a. Any organization that works to mitigate or heal abuse
3b. Any organization that makes available thorough, accurate sexual education classes and birth control methods (Planned Parenthood is my favorite of those, although I don't happen to know if they're international)
3c. Any organization working for equality for families that don't fit the norm (I'm mostly talking about gay rights here, but my focus is on children getting good family support, which is easier if your family is recognized under the law and socially...)
I personally feel there's enough focus on curing diseases already. Even if there wasn't, there's no point in curing diseases when half the world is starving, the other half of the world is destroying the planet, everyone is having too many children, and not enough people are able to take care of the kids and each other. With this as some generalized someone else's money, I'd say find the best charity in category 1 and category 2 and split it 50/50. If it were my money, it would probably be more like 50 for 1 and then 50 evenly split between 2 and 3. On days when I like people less it would be the same only 2 would get 50, etc.
I agree with about half of the people who have already posted that whatever charity/ies get chosen, they must have a very high use percentage, and I'd vastly prefer an international, non-political, non-religious organization (although any religious organization that manages to keep their religion out of the faces of the people they're helping would probably be alright by me). The PayPal thing is utterly crippling, and if there's some way around that prerequisite I'm all for it.
If I had the money, I'd split it equally 3 or 4 ways
The charities I know and like are:
Doctors Without Borders
Habitat for Humanity
Right to play
The fourth 'cause' being something to do with mental health*,
though I'm not sure what spesific programs or charities are out there for it.
*its a pet cause of mine- I'm mostly too sick to live a normal life, but not sick enough to 'need' help.
Its also an an invisable illness that most people don't know enough about.
I'd probably break it down like this:
$4,000 to Doctors Without Borders
$4,000 to St. Jude's
$1,500 to Heifer International
$500 to my local food bank
Like most people in this thread, I think it's important to focus on food and health care/research for everyone, especially kids. My uncle helps with his food bank, and they do a lot of good stuff. I also like to support organizations that do things in my community, but as someone else pointed out, Improbable Island is a global community. So charities that do things everywhere or that benefit everyone might be a better fit.
Now that the question's been expanded to include charities that don't accept PayPal, I'd like to voice my support for a few more international/global charities, some of which have already been mentioned.
Habitat for Humanity has for a long time been my single favorite charity, hands-down. I believe in improving the world by helping its inhabitants to improve themselves. A person without a safe, secure home in which to live is at a huge disadvantage in all aspects of life, and may find it extremely difficult to improve their personal situation. Add in dependents, illness or just plain bad luck, and "extremely difficult" can easily become "impossible". I live in the United States, a country which likes to believe it has limitless ability—and yet, we are home to
V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. I believe abuse perpetrated against women is one of the least-understood problems of our day, and the first obstacle that must be overcome is a serious lack of awareness in the general population of how common these crimes are in every corner of the world, and the extent to which violence against women affects us all.
Whirlwind Wheelchair International is an organization which designs wheelchairs to be used in areas that are typically inaccessible to people who rely on standard hospital wheelchairs, such as many third-world countries. The wheelchair is designed to be built cheaply from local materials and easily modified, using readily available parts such as bicycle tires. This wheelchair can go up and down stairs and navigate muddy or rocky areas without falling over or becoming stuck. This Google video demonstrates some of the chair's capabilities—if you're able to ignore the cheesy music.
Whoops, I fucked that right up and posted before I had finished my little blurb for Habitat for Humanity. I was going to mention that we're home to over half a million homeless people, and this is not only a travesty, but one that we in the U.S. have the power, ability and wealth to address any time we want to—we just don't seem to want to.
Let me play devil's advocate for a sec here. I think most of us think of ten grand as a LOT of money (I know I do). But in terms of most of these causes - curing AIDS or cancer, humanitarian aid, saving the kittens - it's a drop in the bucket. A very worthy drop, but still.
What if we fixed something? What if we took a relatively small problem and turned it right around? Specifically, I'm thinking about Mrs. Spider Robinson's medical bills, but another problem would do if that one got taken care of (did it?). Because US$10,000 (or whatever donations accrue in the next few months) is enough to make a big difference... for a small cause.
Also: yay, Ryan North! Having a link to Improbable Island up at qwantz.com even briefly is going to send a tsunami of players our way... and he can suggest other conscientious geek-famous types (Scott McCloud? Craig Thompson? Ron Gilbert?) who might be interested in helping out.
My vote is Medecins Sans Frontieres ftw.
Project C.U.R.E. is an amazing non-profit that works to receive, package, and ship donated medical supplies to poor areas in I believe over 120 countries internationally. Also, they send teams of doctors to help give free treatment to such impoverished areas and hospitals. However, they also need money to pay for containers of these medical supplies to be shipped out.
Well, I was really stumped by this question to start with, but reading everyone's responses has been really helpful to me in getting my thinking together a bit. Whatever happens to any (hypothetical?) 10k on behalf of II, I'd like to say thanks to everyone - because I have a much clearer idea now of my own priorities for charitable giving.
I am going to write myself a list to use when I'm giving in future (it might have certain things in common with Binjali's and Jingy's lists, earlier). But for CMJ's specific question, I think I'd probably give it all to a charity promoting global ecological sustainability.
My reason is simply this: until we can achieve a measure of sustainability in our activities on this planet, everything else (including all the medicine, the food-production, the electronic development, the education...all of it) is at risk.
From the small amount of research I've done today, I would probably pick Earth Island Institute http://www.earthisland.org/index.php/aboutUs/
(For info: I found Earth Island Institute through the American Institute for Philanthropy's list of top-rated charities: http://www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html).
I'd never even heard of Heifer International before reading this post, but it really seems like a good option. I like that they're so widely spread, and work on such a large number of projects, and generally seem to have a very holistic approach.
Although a lot of people have suggested splitting the donation a number of ways, my feeling is that a single charity that spreads it's focus to so many important programs is a better choice.
I'd like to believe that less money gets lost in processing and overhead that way, and that more would make it's way to the people who need it the most.
I'm not even sure who suggested them first, but whoever it was, thank you! You just helped make my xmas gift list a little simpler.
Doctors without Borders and Heifer International, for sure.
And a brief editorial to some of my fellow Americans - ahem - this IS an international forum - are you sure you meant to recommend a U.S. only charity?
Back when my mom was working, we were looking at various microloan charities directed particularly to women. Some of those were a bit dodgy, though, getting their very good repayment rates with some really questionable tactics, and others had (sometimes related) issues with the womens' male relatives taking the money for their own use, though, so I don't know how well those have ended up working out, in general. If there are some that are actually functional, though, that would be the way to go -- when women have economic power, both the status of women in the society is better and the standard of living for the whole families rise.
Specific more traditional charities that look good are Women for Women International (similar reasons as above, this one focuses specifically on women victims of war, and Pathfinder International, which emphasises reproductive health. (A little like Planned Parenthood, but without having that name, which as m0 said, can be divisive.)
I don't think that problems can be solved just by providing birth control -- women also have to have the social and economic power to actually use it -- but I don't think that social and economic power is possible without reproductive health (keeping women from dying or being severely injured during pregnancy and childbirth) and birth control (allowing women to choose when they will have children) so I'd probably split the donation.
Being an American,I'm tempted by Reading Is Fundamental, because I've worked with them and I know that what they do is good. Also, I'd probably find a good Veterans' charity, possibly one focused on mental health; whether I believe the wars that these people fought in were justified or not, the fact remains that they risked their lives and I think the country owes them better care than they sometimes get. But I don't know of any multinational veterans' groups, and this IS a very multinational game.
Child's Play. This is a game afterall so why not donate to a charity involving that?
I would personally choose the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
I'd say Childs Play, myself, and Habitat For Humanity is a good one as well. They'd be my first choices.
I'm pretty much in line with Binjali and Jingy at this point.
I'm probably biased, being neither white nor Western, but I'd like to look away from America and the other wealthier nations- because there are people in awful conditions with no way of getting out in so many other countries that aren't as rich as America, that have enormous mortality rates, that don't have these resources and charities that Western countries do have set up within them.
Poverty, abuse, lack of education, healthcare and AIDS are problems that continue for generations and are like this hellhole that just sucks you in. I'm thinking of Cambodia, Haiti, Thailand, places in Mongolia and India, where women are uneducated and easily replaced, and children are forgotten and live on rubbish dumps and are sold and exploited in the sex industry. Places where staying alive is the most difficult thing on earth. We have all that in the English speaking world. We've moved past basic survival, most of us. These people haven't.
But yeah, charities that work in third-world countries are really important, I think. They're the highest on my list. Whatever charities provide education for women and children, especially in areas like that, and things like World Vision or Oxfam does- giving gifts of animals and equipment or microfinance loans to benefit communities and villages.
Actually, has anyone looked into microfinance? From what I've heard, it kind of grows itself, doesn't it?
Oooo. Also, take a look at this game- Ayiti, the Cost of Life. Browser-based, Flash, I think. You try to keep a small family alive in Haiti (Ayiti!) for four years (and it ain't easy!).
Please READ before you post, people - this thread was opened a year ago, and has long since been settled!!
Hey, anonymous person. Stop shouting on my forum. Someone says something interesting but not helpful 'cause it's too late, you tell them how interesting it was first. Oh, and big-font-double-! makes you look like a twonk.
I'm disabling anonymous comments, I think. It seems the only people who post anonymously are complete fucking muppets.
I'll never be able to post again! I might be lost forever! NOOO!
Yeah, see, the glass of water bothers me. Or rather, her feeling that she needs to remain anonymous bothers me.
(she's not, BTW - the IP address she posted under can be cross-referenced against the information in the game. I just haven't bothered to do so, because... well, she's posting anonymously for a reason)
What does she think I'm gonna do, jump down her throat for daring to have an opinion? I don't think our forum works like that. An unfortunate side-effect is that, on the one hand, I have players who will thoroughly agree with some of the things I say/do/propose and vehemently disagree with other things, and aren't shy about it. The glass of water, on the other hand, only ever disagrees. The aspect of her that goes with the flow is probably the aspect that isn't anonymous.
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