Saturday, November 29, 2014

Using the Charity Navigator to Test My Favorite Charities

I know that we should give to charity all year long, but we don't keep up that energy sometimes. So maybe it's good that there is a season. And this is the season.

My husband and One year, my husband donated our old Tahoe. It ran, but barely, and it leaked big time so there was a family of mushrooms growing in the back by the tail gate. He donated it to the Humane Society. Think of all the care and kibbles that went to dogs and cats and even Guinea pigs because of that stupid old truck. Then, he found out that he could have donated it to the Boy Scouts. That's good too, but the new truck pays homage to the Boy Scouts even now. Last week, five Scouts and some dads hoofed it in that Suburban down to Ape caves. Mike said I would have liked these big open caves, but that they were all wondering when they discovered that there were some sulfurous vents when you went deep. I'm not sure I'd want to be deep in a cave with gasses leaking into it. There could be red hot lava right behind. What a way to go, if you have to die anyway.

So we give a lot of time and a fair amount of money to the Boy Scouts. It's nice to actually see what our work does for the boys. Last week, at the planning meeting, five Scouts said they wanted to do another fifty-mile backpacking trip. That's what they did last summer, hiked for five days in the Olympic National Forest. That is so good for a soul, being among those trees. It's a way to become an environmentalist without all the lecturing. Plus, it's so incredibly good for their fitness and ability to cope. Even I'm going to benefit by trying to be ready to go if they need me at the last minute next year.

We also donate to our church who sponsors the Mt. Si Food Bank. It's all very local. Very local. I have heard of some families talk about how it got them through a hard season in their lives. Sometimes I wonder, though, if the increase in homelessness isn't linked to that free food. It's never simple, is it.  Believe that the food pantry does more good than harm. Just believe it. Feed the hungry.

I also like the Heifer International. You can send a gift card to a friend saying that you gave bunnies to a family. You can even order a water buffalo, you know, the ones with horns that look like they're wearing a terrible hairstyle parted in the middle. I think I used to have a grade school picture like that before I went back to cutting my bangs. No, I won't post that picture. You can give goats and chickens and books or just plain money to the places where they are needed most. I like giving bunnies.

One site that I use a lot when someone is hawking a new charity to me over the phone is the Charity Navigator. People call and I tell them that I'll look them up on the Charity Navigator, but that I don't give money when it's solicited over the phone. Some people are really nice, even excited that I'm doing it this way, indirect. I'm more certain that my money is going where they say it's going. Other callers hang up on me before I get a chance to tell them to take me off their list. I know where they'll turn up on the Charity Navigator.

Go ahead. Give it a shot. Do you dare look up your favorite charities on the Charity Navigator? I looked up the Heifer International and it didn't look as good as other charities. Oh, it's that cute catalog with all the pictures of kids holding books and bunnies, or hugging their new goats. It's the photos of water buffalos with their perpetual bad-hair days. I'm still putting them down as a favorite anyway.

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment