Interacting with formal charitable organizations: choosing, donating, volunteering, following up, etc.

Paying My Way

Regular readers of this blog know that giving money is not usually at the top of my list of ways to do good. But something has made me realize that I might want to move it up the priority list, under a particular set of circumstances. For example, I recently started attending a play group [...]

By | 2017-08-10T21:54:56+00:00 March 12th, 2015|Blog, Savvy Giving, Uncategorized, WhatNot|0 Comments

Who Deserves The Big Money?

"People working for good causes deserve to get paid, but not too much. It's offensive that someone who's supposed to be dedicated to important issues would buy a luxury car, a huge house, and expensive vacations." I hear this argument a lot. It begs the question: if someone who's devoted to making the world a [...]

By | 2017-08-10T21:54:56+00:00 February 19th, 2015|Blog, Savvy Giving, The Do Gooder at Work, WhatNot|1 Comment

We Day

A teacher who accompanied her students to one of the Kielberger brothers' annual  We Day events found that it left a bad taste in her mouth, and wrote about it. What, some Twitter friends asked, were my thoughts on the matter? After doing some research, I found out that my thoughts are not as straightforward [...]

By | 2017-08-10T21:54:56+00:00 November 13th, 2014|Blog, Savvy Giving, Uncategorized, WhatNot|0 Comments

Charity as a Status Symbol

Nowadays, just about every dwelling has a patch of green out front. But about 200 years ago, only the very rich could afford to use their land for anything other than producing food. So having a lawn was a way to say, "Look everybody! I'm so well off that I can afford to ostentatiously waste [...]

By | 2017-08-10T21:54:57+00:00 October 23rd, 2014|Blog, Savvy Giving|0 Comments

Why I’m Against #GivingTuesday

American Thanksgiving is coming up, and so is the newer tradition of #GivingTuesday that attempts to balance its glut of over consumption. Some people feel uncomfortable and even guilty about eating and buying so much over the holiday. So many charities try to take advantage of the guilt and discomfort by offering a solution: "Feel [...]

If You’re Not Part of the Problem, It’s Tough To Be Part of the Solution

We've all heard the old saying: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Let's flip that on its head. "If you're not part of the problem, it's tough to be part of the solution." We're best equipped to solve problems when we're contributing to them. If the cause of a [...]

The SDG Way to Make A Difference

I'm in the midst of an epiphany, friends. Over the past couple of days, all my swirling thoughts about doing good have coalesced into one, unified, clear framework: The Savvy Do Gooding Way. It's a general philosophy about how the whole shebang should work. It offers: Reconnection with the drive to do good Freedom from [...]

Learning to Live With Darkness, Part 2

Last week, we looked at how the idea that we can eliminate all suffering puts us at risk of trying to take people's freedom away. Another piece of it is that there is no light without darkness. Pain and suffering have value. We learn from them. We are motivated by them. They are the consequences [...]

By | 2017-08-10T21:54:57+00:00 July 2nd, 2014|Blog, Savvy Giving, The Do Gooder Lifestyle, WhatNot|0 Comments

Charity as a Tool of the ‘Never Enough’ Culture

Ever feel like no matter how much you do, it's never enough? If so, you're not alone. Scarcity is one of the most pervasive elements of modern culture. Blame the media, blame consumerism, blame whoever you want, but we're constantly surrounded by the message that we're not rich enough, beautiful enough, successful enough, masculine-or-feminine enough, [...]

By | 2017-08-10T21:55:02+00:00 February 20th, 2014|Blog, Savvy Giving, WhatNot|1 Comment

Charity as a Tool of Oppression

Charity acts as a distraction and a barrier to real change Karl Marx famously said that religion was the opium of the masses. What he meant, according to one scholar, was, "religion does not fix the underlying causes of people’s pain and suffering — instead, it helps them forget why they are suffering [...]

By | 2017-08-10T21:55:02+00:00 February 13th, 2014|Blog, Savvy Giving, WhatNot|0 Comments