Okay, so from the intertwining of post topics and shared reading over the past few days, it looks like my brain has entered an intentional community with that oflux living frugalis. I'm glad my brain can do one good thing on occasion.
A follow-up on "I Ask Myself, How Much Do You Commit Yourself" and my Insurance Bill musings, especially after V's comment about targeting and planning charitable giving: I am reading The Better World Handbook and on page 266 is the suggestion of setting up a giving budget.
"On January 1, make up a list of your values. Then find organizations that are working to make those values real in the world. Don't let your giving be dictated by who sends you a request in the mail[, or who makes unsolicited fund-raising calls]. Do some research to find the best organizations and the ones that best represent your ideals. The last step is to set up dates and the dollar amounts that you plan to send to those organizations. A giving budget keeps your charitable giving at the forefront of your mind throughout the year so that it doesn't take a back seat to all of the other ways you want to spend your money."
I like this because it seems to me that groups will try more than annually to get additional contributions. This way I can record my contributions, collect receipts, keep records, and say to those who have their hands out for more: "sorry, my funds have been allotted for other organizations at least as fabulous as yours."
Consider also that charity begins at home: national and global organizations like Unicef and Doctors Without Borders do good, yet making additional room in your giving budget for donating to local non-profit organizations has the added benefit of local community improvement, a difference you can see.
Not only that, but making a list of one's values can be wonderfully focusing for how one chooses to budget time and money for maximum impact. We budget for what's important for us. Time is also valuable -- we should budget time to allow us to accomplish what we want.
GuideStar - Non-profits and charities search
Charity Navigator -- how effectively do organizations put ra...