Charities – dot the “i”s and cross the “t”

I don’t really know what I’m setting out to say today.

There are many news items I could tackle:

*  GM deciding not to continue the Holden Brand and ScoMo having a pretty PR style hissy fit about being hard done by.

*   Joshua Frydenburg having his citizenship questioned  (apparently his lawyers say “it’s likely” his Hungarian citizenship has been revoked.  Huh.  It’s likely I’m a genius.  But I don’t get paid for the likelihood.)

*   The massive music concert on the weekend that raised $10million dollars for the bushfire appeal.  Another example of the community giving where the government has failed.

Maybe that’s what I should write about.

I am BAD at charity.  I don’t trust that the money will go where it’s supposed to.  Last year, I gave money to a woman in a shopping centre who vowed she needed it so that she and her kids could catch a bus.   Later I saw her alone with a big bag of shopping hopping into a car. What did she really spend the money on and why did she lie about it?  So even individuals aren’t a safe charity.   But being part of a $10million dollar fund raiser organised by I-don’t-know-who…  How (physically) will it be distributed?  Who will get the money and how much?   And why?    I want to know.

I admire those people who organised the concert.  I admire the musicians.  I admire the crowd and all the donators.  I really do.  I think they do it with fabulous intentions, warm hearts and great hope.  And I hope that it all works.  That the money gets funneled in a trustworthy and appropriate and timely way.

In the case of the concert, I didn’t know it was on until it was over.  So I didn’t choose not to give.  And perhaps, had  I been watching Channel 7 that day (unlikely – I don’t think I have watched Channel 7 in at least 5 years), I might have been moved to make a donation.   But I am afraid I do distrust the bureaucracy.  You get all this money and then you have to figure out who to give it to and how they want to receive it and then, perhaps, they want some special registration of it as a gift so they don’t get taxed on it.  And then, they have to distribute it.  How quickly can all that happen?  And if it takes months, what does that do to the usefulness of the gift?  Is it still used for the purpose it was intended?   There is just a total lack of transparency or accountability.

I dislike the number of charities there are and how, once you give once, they pester and pester you.  And it’s all that their convenience.  You have to give money during their campaigns.  You have to give it by credit card.  They even suggest amounts.  Pretty much the only way you can opt out of the phone calls / mail is by changing your phone number/address.

And yet, I fear that I am not doing my duty as a citizen of this country.  I fear that I am letting the side down.  My brother once read a book which suggested that the best way to save the world was to give as much of your salary as you can afford to charity.  I can’t fathom this and yet… what if it’s true?  What if not eating meat, having solar panels, driving electric cars, buying second hand and worrying constantly is simply irrelevant?

Oh world!  Why can’t any answer be simple?!





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