The Gift of Giving - Where to Contribute? - Posted by JohnWe (NoCA)

Posted by SDRyan on January 28, 2000 at 09:40:02:

Hi,

As you can tell from the responses, there is no shortage of places to give. There are several ways that you can begin checking your local community. You can search the internet for the area you suggest, as many agencies nowadays are embracing this like other organizations. Also, check the yellow pages under social service organizations for your community - the United Way (and similar organizations) also have fairly extensive directories. You can then call to either visit or get their literature/financial data sent to you to help in your decision. I am not sure where you live, but you could also contact your local university’s school of social work - who often know of innovative community programs. I recently conducted a workshop on Budgeting & Finance for local small non-profits and church-based organizations which ran the range of issues. Many of the organizations’ efforts are laudible, but no one outside of their small community knows of their existence - thus the need to connect with local groups.

For example, I would love the opportunity to work with members of the REI community to mutually work on neighborhood building issues - which could be beneficial for both you as an investor, and the many families currently living in the neighborhood. That type of goodwill goes a long way to establishing yourself as a community leader (who do you think people will contact when selling their home). As a social worker, I know many good families (who can and will pay) who are in need of homes and others wanting to sell; however, for ethical reasons I cannot do REI with them. The possibilities of collaborations such as this are endless, and beneficial for all parties. I hope this provides some areas to look and consider.

Thanks,

Scott

The Gift of Giving - Where to Contribute? - Posted by JohnWe (NoCA)

Posted by JohnWe (NoCA) on January 27, 2000 at 13:38:53:

Consistent with popular doctrine on creating wealth, I would like to consistently contribute 10% of my money to a worthy cause. However, I can’t seem to find anything worthy enough!

Actually that’s not true. I care a lot about certain issues, but I’m uneasy about giving money to a charity where most of the money goes to the organization, and only a little goes to the actual cause. I’ve tried the MDA, but it seemed pointless. I would just send checks to them, and wouldn’t hear anything from them about what my money was being used for. Not even a, “Thanks for the donation!”

Here’s some of the areas that I care about: Muscular Dystrophy, Alzheimers Disease, Education of the Kids.

Does anybody have any good ideas for contributing, where you know your money is going to good use, and you can see the direct results of your contribution?

Thanks, as always, for any and all advice.

Re: The Gift of Giving - Where to Contribute? - Posted by nellb

Posted by nellb on January 28, 2000 at 08:39:08:

I have a 3 1/2 year old granddaughter that so far has survived against great odds a neuroblastoma cancer. She received wonderful treatment from the Denver Children’s Hospital oncology unit. Any contributions to their acitivity rooms such as games, educational toys, videos, etc would be greatly appreciated by all those families and children that are going through so much terror, agony and distress in their struggle to overcome this medical tragedy.

Happy investing and God Bless!

Re: The Gift of Giving - Where to Contribute? - Posted by Bert G

Posted by Bert G on January 27, 2000 at 20:46:21:

Although I haven’t investigated them, I think “Habitat for Humanity” might be an appropriate charity for those of us who make our livings by buying houses.

BG
(This is my 2nd year as “Block Mother” for the March of Dimes. Me, a 47 year old bachelor. Go figure.)

Re: Please visit these daily. - Posted by Chris

Posted by Chris on January 27, 2000 at 15:08:59:

John-

Please add these to your sites to access daily. Just clicking on them makes a free donation at no charge to you:

http://freedonation.com/

http://thehumanitariansite.org/

-Chris

Re: The Gift of Giving - Where to Contribute? - Posted by SDRyan

Posted by SDRyan on January 27, 2000 at 15:00:03:

As a social work educator and researcher who is also interested in real estate investing, I would recommend when giving to conduct a ‘due diligence’ type search on any organization your are considering ‘doing business’ with - which in essence you are doing when supporting them through your generous donations. You must also consider where you would like to focus you efforts - as there are fine organizations (as well as some not so good) that do direct service to kids/families/etc. (small local type programs), work to change/build communities, as well as such efforts as research and policy advocacy (such as Children’s Defense Fund) - all may be worthy, you just need to decide the mix. I would also suggest examining places that can use your money to build and obtain more money or services. For example, I once utilized some money to establish a play therapy program for children and parents in the schools - but built in connections with professionals who wanted to learn play therapy skills to volunteer their time. This money was used to seed this program which now helps many families with little on-going monetary needs. You may also request from any 501c3 a copy of their IRS form 990 - which details how their money is spent (you can also ask for annual reports, but they can often be self-serving - the 990 is better). I applaude your efforts, and if I can be of any assistance please feel free to e-mail me.

Take care,

Scott

Re: Here’s a Great Cause! - Posted by NJDave

Posted by NJDave on January 27, 2000 at 14:44:18:

Though we are based in New Jersey, we assist families from all over the United States. The Mortgage Bankers Association of America has referred many cases to us for handling from many different states. We utilize e-mail, FAX, telephone and FedEx to reach our Clients.

I represent Society For The Preservation of Continued Homeownership, A NJ Nonprofit Corporation. We are an approved, 501©(3), charitable organization dedicated to helping the financially distressed keep their homes without bankruptcy or additional borrowing. We take a hands on approach to helping to resolve problems.

To date, everything we do is paid for from our own pockets.

We would greatly appreciate your (tax deductable) contribution. Our IRS registration # is 22-357 2697.

S.P.O.C.H.
David M. Petrovich, Director
P.O. Box 142
Oakhurst, NJ 07755

732-571-9464

Re: The Gift of Giving - Where to Contribute? - Posted by NellB (ID)

Posted by NellB (ID) on January 27, 2000 at 14:16:56:

You can make direct gifts to schools and take it off your taxes. If you feel uncomfortable giving money, then buy a computer or computer supplies and give that directly. If you know a teacher or someone directly involved in the school system, ask them what they need in their classroom that isn’t supplied.

Just an idea from a teacher.

Re: The Gift of Giving - Where to Contribute? - Posted by Chris

Posted by Chris on January 27, 2000 at 13:46:09:

John-

I don’t know if this is what you are looking for, but if you go to the web site of the charity or request a mailing you will be provided with a breakdown of where the money goes. This will help eliminate those charities that seem to spend a little to much on “administrative” expenses as compared to research,etc.

-Chris

Where do I find them? - Posted by JohnWe (NoCA)

Posted by JohnWe (NoCA) on January 27, 2000 at 18:16:29:

How do you suggest I find an organization to research. For instance, if I wanted to help educate kids how would I locate a charity to supported this?

Thanks.