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    The Charitable Giving Escape Valve

    I spent most of this week at a disaster planning conference. At the closing luncheon, some of the experts were commiserating about people who don’t want to put in the effort/money to be properly prepared.

    It seems that there are a lot of people (in industries, mostly) who just want to do the minimum; follow regulations to the letter but not in spirit. They want the quick fix, the simple method. The problem, of course, is that good preparedness doesn’t work that way. It’s a lot more complex and requires meaningful involvement.

    I understand how the industry folk feel, though. It seems like every profession, from dentists to fashion experts to fitness gurus, has a long to-do list for us all to complete. If we tried to take the advice of every expert as to how we go about our business, we’d have no time to sleep. Which would make the sleep gurus angry. ;-)

    Of course, I’m no different, with a whole system of proper giving for people to consider – a variety of issues to ponder before doing anything with a charity. Sometimes, people feel overwhelmed by that, and I get it.

    But here’s the difference: unlike disaster preparedness, if the work of giving to charity is too much for you, you have another option. If you’re too busy trying to get the non-optional elements of your life (parenting, working, health, etc.) right, you may not have time to also do charitable giving properly.

    Maybe that’s ok. If that’s the position you’re in, rather than “just giving”: writing a cheque to an issue or organization you haven’t had time to vet properly, for example, maybe you should just let yourself off the hook. Since poorly thought-through giving can do more harm than good, maybe it’s ok not to give unless you can do it properly.

    Anything worth doing is worth doing right – from disaster planning to charitable giving.