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I do a lot of good work for charity, but I Don't Like To Talk About… - B. Henderson Asher's Moments of Mirth [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Listen in, listen Ian!

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[Mar. 2nd, 2010|02:57 pm]
Listen in, listen Ian!
I do a lot of good work for charity, but I Don't Like To Talk About It. Well, that's not strictly true, I actually donate various monthly sums of money to a few charities, and I appear to be quite happy to talk about it, as I am doing here. I'm doing that because I was doing bits of financial planning, and I noticed that donating an extra £7.50 a month would make the monthly total up to a nice round number. I currently donate various amounts to:

Oxfam
Amnesty International
WWF
Liberty
RSPB
Cats Protection League.

I'm not sure whether or not those last two are effectively cancelling each other out. Anyway, I want suggestions for what else I should donate to, so if you've got anything to plug, plug away in the comments. I've enabled anonymous ones in case you're a Japanese girl whose American fiance has gone strangely reticent towards you you too, Don't Like To Talk About It.


In other news:

1. I just had an item delivered to my place of work by Parcelforce, and within 10 minutes the signature for it was available on the tracking section of their website. That's kind of cool, and futuresque.

2. Even if you're not interested in his work, you should be on Daniel Kitson's mailing list. Even when it's jsut talking about Australian tour dates, it's a very pleasing thing.

3. Doesn't Mark Thompson look like martylog?



Only grumpier, and with wonky eyes.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: missfrost
2010-03-02 03:12 pm (UTC)
I donate £8.50 a month to the RSPCA. It used to be £6.50, but a chap phoned me up recently to ask if I could up it, and he was extremely charming and pleasant.
Later that day the RSPCA phoned me back and suspiciously asked if the man I'd talked to had been polite, and I suspect that he'd had such a successful hit rate with his phone calls that his employers wondered if he'd actually been threatening people.
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[User Picture]From: miss_newham
2010-03-02 03:23 pm (UTC)
I give money to Shelter, that seems like a good thing. I used to sponsor a child in Russia who would sometimes paint me a picture, but then he grew up and they gave me another child about whom I know next to nothing! Hmm.
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[User Picture]From: flamingkitties
2010-03-02 03:29 pm (UTC)
If I had a job I'd be donating to things regularly. At the moment I tend to be fleeting with charity - I never give in the street, I will usually give to the DEC appeals because their videos make me cry, sometimes I give money to animal shelters. Most recently, my brother's doing a sponsored thing: http://www.justgiving.com/Daniel-Lee
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[User Picture]From: the_alchemist
2010-03-02 03:29 pm (UTC)
That's a great list of charities! I complain about almost everyone's, but I like yours. I think you should just give extra to Oxfam, but if you're set on finding another charity, Unicef is pretty fabulous, and I also like Sightsavers International.

Things like Kiva, where you loan money to entrepreneurs (and then get it back and loan it to another entrepreneur) are a very interesting idea, but I've seen arguments on both sides whether or not they're better than more traditional NGOs like Oxfam.

www.givewell.net is a good website if you want to find out which charities give you most bang for your buck, but (a) they're American-based and (b) lots of people hate them because when they first started up they self-promoted in some objectionable ways (pretending to be third parties recommending their site).

I'm almost but not 100% convinced that supporting one of their top international charities is the best way of spending your charity budget even if you're based in the UK (and therefore take Gift Aid into account).
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2010-03-05 10:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks for the Kiva link - I have seen it before and meant to investigate but I forgot.
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[User Picture]From: carsmilesteve
2010-03-02 03:38 pm (UTC)
centrepoint do more direct work with the homelesses than shelter (not to do down shelter, but they are effectively just a lobbying and information org these days), plus that big ad on the back of the grauniad for SIX MONTHS finally got to me...
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2010-03-02 04:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd kept meaning to answer one of their adverts in the graun actually.

Do they send you a photo of yr sponsored homeless?

Also, I can't stop myself thinking that they must actually be housing the people in the big building at TCR station.
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[User Picture]From: carsmilesteve
2010-03-02 05:17 pm (UTC)
um, i said i didn't want their random publicity stuff although it's not quite like adopting an african child ;) you sponsor the room rather than the person staying in it, given they're usually pretty short-term.
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[User Picture]From: offensive_mango
2010-03-02 03:41 pm (UTC)
I read something that said the best way is to choose one charity and give all your charity money to it specifically, otherwise you do no good at all. I can't remember the whole argument but it made sense at the time.
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[User Picture]From: myfirstkitchen
2010-03-02 04:09 pm (UTC)
It's certainly better when talking about small amounts (under £10 per charity) as the cost of signing someone up and then the associated admin are quite high even when a chugger isn't involved. One person I know who works for Oxfam gets a bit narked when chuggers push the "Only £2 a month!" angle as anyone who only gives that much effectively costs them money.
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[User Picture]From: perdita_fysh
2010-03-02 04:41 pm (UTC)
I'd best cancel all mine then.
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[User Picture]From: myfirstkitchen
2010-03-02 04:54 pm (UTC)
Each person recruited by a chugger costs over £30, and nearly 60% cancel their direct debits within the first year. So unless they were giving a larger amount...and chuggers are reputedly more cost effective than direct mail, advertising and corporate giving - anyone encouraged to give by one of those "costs" even more. So the most effective way to give is as much as you can, for as long as you can, all to one charity (one set of costs, offset by the amount given).
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[User Picture]From: perdita_fysh
2010-03-02 10:39 pm (UTC)
What on earth is a chugger?
I've been giving 2.50 - 5.00 a month to a range of charities for many years now, so one would hope they're actually spending some of that doing charitable things now. Except for the NSPCC who are spending mine and about three other people's trying to get me to sign up and give them money or increase the amount I give or give them something a little extra for one particular thing. I've nearly stopped giving them anything more than once because of it.
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[User Picture]From: myfirstkitchen
2010-03-02 10:53 pm (UTC)
Charity mugger. The face-to-face fundraisers with clipboards who sign people up on the street.
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[User Picture]From: ruudboy
2010-03-02 04:53 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I think all the small amounts that I give (under a fiver) were actually suggested amounts on the charity's sites. I'll take this into account though, ta.
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[User Picture]From: myfirstkitchen
2010-03-02 04:59 pm (UTC)
The thinking behind it is quite good, in that it encourages more sign-ups and then the idea is that they gently encourage you over time to give more, but it does mean that your spread donations are not as effective as they would be in one lump, especially for the first year or so.
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[User Picture]From: k425
2010-03-02 04:31 pm (UTC)
Seconded.
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[User Picture]From: perdita_fysh
2010-03-02 04:41 pm (UTC)
Hmm, strangely high administration costs IIRC. We had a speaker at church once and I seem to recall their overheads are something like 15% which I also seem to recall being inordinately high for a charity.

There's a lot of potentially dodgy recalling going on there though.
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[User Picture]From: perdita_fysh
2010-03-02 10:40 pm (UTC)
Maybe she was giving the figures from the warrington office and they're really bad or something. Or maybe they've got much better as it was some years ago. Good to see it isn't a problem anymore anyway.
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[User Picture]From: azureskies
2010-03-02 04:02 pm (UTC)
Shelter and RSPCA are my two, so since you seem to have animals covered (and since I know some people have objections to the RSPCA), I'd suggest Shelter; although I'm also now intrigued by Steve's suggestion that centrepoint are a better option for those who want to help with homelessness action, so I may look into those myself...
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[User Picture]From: carsmilesteve
2010-03-03 10:09 am (UTC)
i used to work on a project which worked with recently ex-homeless learners and the people i met through that were all a bit sniffy about shelter because they had this big profile and, whilst lobbying and information *is* important i do get the feeling that the smaller homeless charities who are actually directly helping people day to day don't get the support they might.

crisis, centrepoint, st mungos, New Hope [full disclosure: my best mate works for New Hope] all, i'd argue, do what i think most people *think* shelter does but kind of doesn't...
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[User Picture]From: perdita_fysh
2010-03-02 04:51 pm (UTC)
MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES (I c&p to spell it right, hence the caps).
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[User Picture]From: cob_web
2010-03-02 08:58 pm (UTC)
Seconded! I gave a lot to MSF for the Haiti appeal. They have a thing called P/HOP - Pennies per Hour of Pleasure. They have "free" knitting patterns, and you donate what you feel is appropriate for how much fun you'll have, which I think is an ace idea. One of my favourite designers donated all her profits to MSF during january, and was able to donate £15,000 which is kind of awesome.

Other than that I regularly give to Diabetes UK, for obvious reasons. I do wish they'd fund more research into Type 1, but still, they do a good job overall, especially for people newly diagnosed.
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[User Picture]From: lurpak
2010-03-02 04:54 pm (UTC)
I give a bit to Oxfam and Red Cross every month, but I can't afford that much. If I had more money I'd look into a charity like Age Concern/Help the Aged as well.
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[User Picture]From: kerrypolka
2010-03-02 04:56 pm (UTC)
Refuge?
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[User Picture]From: flamingkitties
2010-03-02 05:01 pm (UTC)
I did forget to add that I volunteer for a charity - but only because it's something to do, not because I want to do it. By which I mean I'd do more of it if it was a charity I had some care for - which sounds awful, but if it's not interesting to me it's hard to enjoy the work.
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[User Picture]From: eyekiller
2010-03-02 05:35 pm (UTC)
Wood Green Animal Shelter. It's local and they (like everyone, I suppose) need all the help they can get.

Or give more money to albatrosses.
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[User Picture]From: safetobreathe
2010-03-02 05:49 pm (UTC)
The charity I've been most touched by is the hospice in which my Dad died. I have a monthly direct debit to them. I never knew what amazing work they did until that point.
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[User Picture]From: oldbloke
2010-03-02 09:07 pm (UTC)
Retired Greyhound Trust
www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk IIRC
The numbers they deal with are /staggering/
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[User Picture]From: pookee
2010-03-03 02:38 pm (UTC)
For selfish, rather obvious reasons, I'd suggest Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

For non-selfish reasons I'd go along with Vic's suggestion of Wood Green, or a small, localised charity that wouldn't normally get donations like the bigger charities do. I bet there's loads of little cat rescue or dog rescue centres around you that don't get half the publicity or donations that the bigger charities get.
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