June 29, 2013

Is charitable giving too emotional?

If you leave it to sentimental humans to determine where the money goes, you end up with a whole lot of guide dogs for the blind. Because: dogs! And: blindness!

And:
“My father gave a lot to religious stuff because he was religious... He was also a bleeding heart.” She recalled him crying as he watched the nightly news and then making a donation to a charity aimed at easing whatever troubling situation he had seen.
Remember all the money given to help the dogs seen in the news coverage after Hurricane Katrina?

35 comments:

bpm4532 said...

Morals, emotions, at this point what difference does it make?

Some would leave all charitable activities to the wise and honest people who run our federal government.

DoneGoneGalt said...

Kindness, empathy, charity, love,
Hate, fear, guilt, passions, hopes, and dreams;
Tremors in the Spiders webs
Summoning the Lords of Monetizing Schemes
The fevered calls sound out to give, to fund salvation for the world
And cash flow matters much, much, more, than results or consequence

Rusty said...

It is when you let your emotions be manipulated.
Big eyed puppies. Skinny big eyed dusky children. Skinny big eyed strippers with big tits.

Saint Croix said...
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tim maguire said...

I work too hard for my money to be allowed to waste it stupidly by spending it in ways that give me satisfaction. Far better to let somebody else, somebody more effectively caring, to spend it for me.

We're a team, you see. It all works best when I earn it but that smarter person spends it.

Michael said...

Tim Mcguire. Outstanding!

RiverRat said...

That doesn't mean government has to be involved. Ever heard of United Way and St. Vincent DePaul?

Deirdre Mundy said...

But our feelings are a path to truth! So, if you feel that giving money to "Pit Bull Rescue" is more important than supporting your local symphony, than it is!

We tend to pick one or two charities and just support those, since our small donations to more good if they're focused.

But who cares if people give irrationally? It's their money, isn't it? And the 'rational people' who claim to know how to spend money to make the world a better place give us disasters like FEMA, the TSA, and the IRS!

Saint Croix said...

But our feelings are a path to truth!

"Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge."

- Audre Lorde

"The quote — to my eye — calls you to experience your conscience, and it doesn't let you off the hook."

- Ann Althouse

Stilton Cheeseright said...

Far better to let experts run everything. They'll collect and allocate our resources scientifically. It will be Utopia. You'll see.

AJ Lynch said...

When you buy the NY Times, you are making a donation to a non-profit.

paul a'barge said...

Breast cancer.

End of story.

Mark said...

Now would be good for the usual 'conservatives are shown to give more money away', righf?

Saint Croix said...

Breast cancer.

End of story.


But you give to Komen and they give to Planned Parenthood and then you got more breast cancer.

Saint Croix said...
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EDH said...

You have to consider that all these donors are giving in an environment where the government has ostensibly occupied the field in ameliorating human poverty -- to the point of creating perverse incentives and destroying the family structure.

Were it left to charity instead, the donor streams might become less frivolous -- and less destructive.

Saint Croix said...

Being charitable is actually a mindset.

I get angry about something (particularly when I think I'm right) and then I forget to be charitable.

It's a nice attitude to have. It makes you a better person, a nicer person, and a happier person. It's far more important to be charitable than to figure out how much power you are exercising with your charity over the world.

n.n said...
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n.n said...

I thought The New York Times was emotion-driven enterprise. Perhaps their penchant for redistributive change overrides their better feelings.

Anyway, cultural corruption and subversion is the normal practice by which transformative change (i.e. change in control) occurs when a minority is incapable of staging a revolution outright.

edutcher said...

"Ah'd luv tuh give y'all a tax cut, but Ah cain't trust y'all tuh spend it raht".

The Lefty mindset in a nutshell.

Gahrie said...

Of course it is.

I propose we create a Federal Department of Charity, make it a cabinet position, and require everyone who wishes to donate to charity send the money to this department. Then, after careful study, dozens of IRS style planning conferences, and at least three layers of government bureaucrats, government employees will send the money to the unions, Lefty special interest groups, and Democratic donors.

bagoh20 said...

Shhhhh. Don't tell anybody, but IT'S THERE GODDAMNED MONEY TO GIVE TO WHOM THEY PLEASE.

Some people believe that this should be decided by the state to create Solyndras, which the money from just just a single one could probably solve a number of real problems, save lives and not simply enrich well placed rich guys. But the State is pure genius with this stuff.

And what do you want to bet that the people suggesting other people's money be redirected don't really want that done with their own money by someone else.

Petunia said...

It's the giver's responsibility to research where their money goes. If you give to Komen, less than 30% of it will go to breast cancer research. If you give to the Red Cross for a specific disaster, it might just go into their general fund instead. If you give to the Humane Society of the U.S., it won't go to any actual animal shelters.

Caveat donor.

Calypso Facto said...

Better guide dogs than more Nerf footballs in the file cabinet.

CWJ said...

Petunia,

I can't believe the coincidence. Just five minutes ago my wife received a call from a "paid calling service" on behalf of the Humane Society of the US. They wanted to know why we had stopped giving to them, and actually argued with her when she replied that we now give to our local animal shelter instead.

Afterward, she turned to me and said our donation wouldn't pay for even a half day of this person calling people.

Freeman Hunt said...

Some is, some isn't.

Give intelligently.

Freeman Hunt said...

I like to give through my church because the people handling the money are extremely intelligent, diligent, and performance-oriented when it comes to charity.

Sam L. said...

Government "giving" is not sentimental. Stupid, badly decided, picking winners and losers, no recourse--it's a bummer

ken in sc said...

Good for you Freeman. I agree.

cold pizza said...

Charity begins at home. I just wish I could write it all off. -CP

cold pizza said...

I do not donate to Boy Scouts, especially when their local paid administrator makes 3x my annual salary. When I get that United Way flyer, I'll look at how much goes into administrative costs and how much actually goes to the cause. I will give to Red Cross. And, of course, to the Girl Scouts in exchange for those tasty, tasty cookies. I'm also a sucker for the local high school (band, volleyball, whatever) that comes by with those coupon deals--but then, I do use the coupons so it's a win/win. Appeal to my enlightened self-interest if you want to get money from me.

But, yeah, I donate time for events, blood at the blood drive, items we've no need for go to the thrift store, old cars to Kidney Kars (5 so far), etc.

I will help my tribe, because I know my community. The rest of you living in flood plains, or hurricane zones, or tornado alley--that was YOUR choice. I moved my family out of there when I decided I would take responsibility for my family's safety. About the only thing we have to worry about here is a meteor strike or Yellowstone blowing up, in which case it's game over, man, for all of us anyway. Love y'all, though. Good luck! -CP

Timotheus said...

Many people are emotional givers. I'm a trustee for a local church, and when there's a humanitarian crisis (the earthquake in Haiti, for instance,) certain people will make a large donation, others will make a much more modest donation. But the latter are more consistent, giving to the church benevolence fund every month even when there's not some crisis. And if you look at those people, I would guess that they give a far greater percentage of their income to charity than the emotional givers.

Ken Mitchell said...

In Jewish tradition, the best form of charity is when the giver and the recipient do not know each other, or at least, do not know who gave what. The Rabbi acted as the intermediary,

The next best is when the giver knows the recipient, but the recipient does not know who gave it to them.

Rusty said...

Ken Mitchell said...
In Jewish tradition, the best form of charity is when the giver and the recipient do not know each other, or at least, do not know who gave what. The Rabbi acted as the intermediary,

The next best is when the giver knows the recipient, but the recipient does not know who gave it to them.

Charity is a compact between the giver and god. The recipient is incidental.

Nichevo said...

Actually, according to Maimonides, the highest of the eight kinds of charity he describes is what we would call "teaching a man to fish," IOW putting him on the path to self-sufficiency. Naturally he put it more elegantly. I could be wrong but that is how I recall it.