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 A very important question from CMJ
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Anonymous: Pengy
 Monday, December 07 2009 @ 11:16 PM UTC  



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)
https://secure3.convio.net/ldsp/site/Donation2?df_id=2400&2400.donation=form1

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.


 
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XaNe
 Monday, December 07 2009 @ 11:34 PM UTC  
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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.


Some people see the glass as half full, some people see it as half empty, I just spit in the cup until it isn't a problem anymore.
 
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Binjali
 Monday, December 07 2009 @ 11:34 PM UTC  
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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.


 
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Zephy
 Monday, December 07 2009 @ 11:38 PM UTC  
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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.


 
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Ary
 Monday, December 07 2009 @ 11:43 PM UTC  
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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.


 
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Anonymous: Bakemaster
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:53 AM UTC  


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
http://www.habitat.org/

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.
http://www.vday.org/home

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.
http://www.whirlwindwheelchair.org/


 
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Anonymous: Bakemaster
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:55 AM UTC  


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.


 
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Pod
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 06:28 AM UTC  
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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.


 
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Anonymous: Max Maggots
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 06:39 AM UTC  


My vote is Medecins Sans Frontieres ftw.


 
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Mogar
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 07:55 AM UTC  
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Project C.U.R.E
http://www.projectcure.org/

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.


 
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calliaphone
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:16 PM UTC  
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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).


 
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monsterzero
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 06:26 PM UTC  
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Quote by: calliaphone

...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.


I agree. And the one absolutely necessary step people must take in order to accomplish this goal is to stop making more people.

I would probably say http://www.ippf.org, but of course here in the U.S. birth control has been politicized to the point of open warfare, so anyone with "Planned Parenthood" in their name is right out, aren't they?


 
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John Galt
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 10:09 PM UTC  
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  1. EFF
  2. SAF (Normally I donate to something State specific, but these guys do good work.)
  3. Alzheimer's / Arthritis Research


 
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trouble
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 10:34 PM UTC  
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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.


 
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Ashtu
 Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 11:52 PM UTC  
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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?


Thank you.
 
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omenesia
 Wednesday, December 09 2009 @ 07:13 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Ferryn


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'm hoping that if I ever get a hundred or so dollars that I won't be needing to use right away, that I could use that service. I've read several news articles about that. And as someone said 10,000 might seem like a lot to us, it's not much to a charity that's needing millions+. Same thing here, most of the borrowers just need a hundred or two to get a business or something started.
One could possible argue that keeping the 10,000 invested into Kiva would help quite a few people, and once they repaid it could be used to help someone else. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.


Lions. Lions the whole way up.
 
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Anonymous: threemilechild
 Wednesday, December 09 2009 @ 09:00 PM UTC  


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.


 
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Anonymous: Deej
 Wednesday, December 09 2009 @ 10:01 PM UTC  


Child's Play. This is a game afterall so why not donate to a charity involving that?


 
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Anonymous: Big Al
 Wednesday, December 09 2009 @ 10:01 PM UTC  


I would personally choose the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


 
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Raidur
 Friday, December 10 2010 @ 09:41 AM UTC  
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I'd say Childs Play, myself, and Habitat For Humanity is a good one as well. They'd be my first choices.


 
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