My tummy's sick and I can't sleep, so I'm on this thing at 1 am EST. I recently finished the book Give A Little: How Your Donations Can Transform Our World. I was interested in this book because, in part, it's about nonprofits and how they use the money we give them to fo good things. The last portion of the book is about how to move beyond the examples of decent nonprofits to donate to and how to find your own, or look at the nonprofits you already donate to and rate them. I got a whole degree in public administration and had to take several classes in nonprofit management etc., and I found this book more useful than most of the stupid textbooks I had to spend hundreds of dollars on.
I read the book slowly over a few weeks so that I could have time to sit and think about what the author was saying, what i know to be fact, and what i was told was fact while in school. Many great debates were sparked off at our house talking about different ways to help out. There are several theories on the best way to give and i liked how the author not only explained the theories, but showed sucessful charities that use each theory. No matter what your political, religious or social position, you can help someone else out.
Here's a quote that I loved about the 2004 tsunami (the worst natural disaster in recorded history)
"...Despite the highly publicized million-dollar gifts from corporations and celebrities, most of the giving to tsunami relief efforts came from gifts of less than $50 made by millions of Americans across the country." Patrick M. Rooney (he studies trends in giving)"
"...45% of all charitable giving from around the world for tsunami relief was given by American households in donations. "
After presenting further data, the author later summarizes that Americans love to give, in fact, we're frequently the most generous int he world, but we hate to give against our will.
It's a great book, and a fast read if you don't put it down to talk about it, so think about giving it a chance next time you're at the bookstore.
One of my personal favorite nonprofits (not mentioned in the book) benefits adults with profound disabilities and provides them with a job while ensuring that old plants at garden centers don't go to waste. they collect plants that will be tossed out at garden centers and then give them away "free" on the internet, but you have to pay a reasonable shipping and a packing fee (used to pay for the jobs they give to the profoundly disabeled).