"What am I, USAID? Who cares what he spent it on? If those two dollars (or 10, or 20) magically disappeared from my back pocket, I never would have noticed. Why am I Jay Gatsby when it goes to making me better off, but Ebeneezer Scrooge if it does that for someone else? All that shit about enabling, it's just an excuse for me to keep what I feel is mine."
Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? Who is changing the world more for the better? Some people believe Bill Gates and Microsoft are the Spawn of Satan, while others praise him for his philanthropy. [subs. req'd] Steve Jobs has more buzz on the internets than Bill Gates and a near religious following for his products with Apple. One might not give like the other, but one definitely is much more Zen-like.
Child's Play Returns: Last year, Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins got sick of gamers being portrayed as violence-drenched dweebs and asked their readers to pitch in for a toy drive for Seattle's childrens' hospital. They ended up raising over a quarter of a million dollars in toys and cash in the space of just a few weeks. This year, they've added four more childrens' hospitals to their list for their readers to support during the holiday season. Mike and Jerry originally did this as a way to rebut the perception of gamers, but it also shows the power of personal credibility with regards to Web sites -- the people who contributed didn't just do it to redeem the image of gamers, they did it because Mike and Jerry asked them to. This political season we've seen how bloggers can add to the coffers of candidates by endorsing them to their readers, but I think this is an even stronger case of online personal credibility translating into action (a similar case, on a slightly smaller scale: Pamie Ribon of Pamie.com and her readers contributing nearly 500 new books to San Diego County Libraries). Would that more of the "big" bloggers and popular sites did more of this sort of thing.
Gift hub - Connecting Funders, Active Citizens, and Advisors. Phil Cubeta, who is known to many as the weblog world's Happy Tutor (et al.), wants to stop just talking about philanthropy and actually do something. Now this a Corporate Guy that I actually respect. He's recently decided to 'go from satire to sermon, from noting problems to working for solutions,' and brought together some other smart and influential people to talk about philanthropy, activism, volunteerism, charity, social movements, civil society, and emerging democracy, and is one of the people organizing an Open Space for Giving Conference in Chicago. Can a webby philanthropic bridge be built between the chaotic, emergent ferment in the wired world and the world of corporate wealth? I don't know, but I wish him luck.
'Tis the season to donate! How does your favorite charity stack up?
GIVER BEWARE! If you're gonna give, don't get taken. The New York branch of the Better Business Bureau has some useful material on how to spot scams over legitimate charities. "As awful as it sounds, there may be those that seek to profit from this misery." Useful tips and information are also available at Give.Org, the Urban Legends Resource Center and the Internet Fraud Complaint Center. Maybe I'm just too cynical, but even the legitimate charities sound like scams to me. Why are there so many "disaster relief funds" forming? Wouldn't it be easier if there was just one place to give? Why all these middlemen?
I've been looking for a new charity. Of course I support the Internet's greatest resource (Thanks Matt) And, I click here from time to time, but I want to do more. Are there any charities that you support/don't support? Why or why not? I'm leaning towards Literacy Volunteers of America by the way.
Yes, Virginia, there really is a Grinch. (This guy's choice of recipients for his charitable giving is lawyers. You'd think he could find someone more needy.)