On Choosing Charities.

charity |ˈtʃarɪti|

noun ( pl. -ties)

1 the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.

2 an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.

 

Big Heart of Art – 1000 Visual Mashups

Charities are all about voluntary giving to those that need our help and support. But what makes you choose to support that particular charity when there are so many charities out there waiting for your contributions? How do you decide which charity to support, and how much to give to that charity? Do you contribute greatly to one, or distribute your funds among a variety of organizations?

As I haven’t much to give, I concentrate my donations on a few organizations: World Vision, UNICEF, and WWF, each with an average donation of around 20-30HKD a month. But these questions bug me more with each passing day: should I or should I not contribute to the smaller organizations that are pleading for donations? If I do, what about UNICEF etc.? Does World Vision or a charity for the deaf need my money more?

Wait. Does this matter? As long as we’re helping people, that’s fine, right? Who cares about which organization you contribute to? Unless it cheats people of their cash, that is.

The problem is, there are difficulties arising from uneven distribution of funds among charities. People in a certain region will get more help, while those in another may suffer dearly because of insufficient funding.

Can we be fair to everyone? Should we try to label some people as ‘more in need’ than others so as to better allocate our resources? How can we do this fairly?

Life is not simple.

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Author: Jessica Y

Economics student at the University of Cambridge. Aspiring data scientist.

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