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  #71  
Old 4th March 2011, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

I'm feeling guilty as I just sacrificed my principles for potential personal gain. I have been invited to a breakfast for the charity Opportunity International http://www.opportunity.org.au/. I like what they are about (micro-finance)...however...

Quote:
Our motivation
Opportunity International Australia is motivated by Jesus Christ’s call to serve the poor. We believe in the potential of people regardless of their gender, ethnicity or religious affiliation.

Sigh. I ummed and ahhhed...and looked through their website and decided that as woo was not mentioned elsewhere, and the 'regardless of religious affiliation' mention, they are probably on the lower end of mixing religion and charity and, well, the person who invited me is a recruiter in my industry who knows just about everyone I need to know. So, I said...yes thanks, I'd love to come!

Will I go to hell for this?
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  #72  
Old 7th March 2011, 11:06 AM
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Centauri Centauri is offline
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

Well, I cancelled my monthy donations to World Vision today. I'd been giving for the last two years, under the naive assumption religion wasn't involved. Recently, a little birdie* informed me that they are religiously affiliated. All I had to do was a simple Google search, and for fuck's sake, the place is riddled with christianity, and fucking preaching that shit to little kids! Even good old Wiki reports:

Quote:
World Vision, founded in the USA in 1950, is an international evangelical relief and development organization whose stated goal is "to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God."
I tried to cancel yesterday, but of course they are closed on Sundays (after all, they wouldn't want to be stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath). So at 9 am this morning, I made the call to cancel.

I told the lady at the other end, who didn't listen when I said I wanted to CANCEL. After 5 minutes of arranging what she thought was a simple change of my credit card details, she said "Ohhhh, you want to cancel?" This prompted the famous line:

Her: "May I enquire as to why you want to cancel?"

Me: "Is an explanation required in order to cancel my payments?"

Her: "No, it's just feedback that we use to improve our services"

Me : "Well, I was recently made aware that World Vision has strong religious ties and is also involved with preaching christianity. My position is that if I am supporting such an organisation, it goes against my morals and ethics."

Her: "At World Vision Australia, we don't preach to the children. We respect their religion that they may already have." (I don't actually believe this statement) "But yes, World Vision is affiliated with Christianity."

Me: "Thank you for that. Yes, I wish to cancel and instead donate my money to a charity that does not have any religious affiliations whatsoever."

Her: "OK, I will send out a form confirming this."

Me: "Can you please assure me that my regular payment on the 11th of this month will NOT occur?"

Her: "Yes, your credit card will not be debited again."


So she was polite, and I was assertive but very calm.

I'm now thinking about moving on to OxFam instead. I hear they are very reputable and woo-free.

*Many thanks to Bolero for her information on this matter - in other words, showing me the light
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  #73  
Old 7th March 2011, 11:57 AM
Seamus Seamus is offline
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

Some stuff on Oxfam:


Quote:
Oxfam was originally founded in Oxford in 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief by a group of Quakers, social activists, and Oxford academics; this is now Oxfam Great Britain, still based in Oxford, UK. It was one of several local committees formed in support of the National Famine Relief Committee. Their mission was to persuade the British government to allow food relief through the Allied blockade for the starving citizens of Axis-occupied Greece. The first overseas Oxfam was founded in Canada in 1963. The committee changed its name to its telegraph address, OXFAM, in 1965.

Quote:
On 26 October 2006, Oxfam accused Starbucks of asking the National Coffee Association (NCA) to block a U.S. trademark application from Ethiopia for three of the country's coffee beans, Sidamo, Harar and Yirgacheffe.[8] They claimed this could result in denying Ethiopian coffee farmers potential annual earnings of up to £47m.
Robert Nelson, the head of the NCA, added that his organisation initiated the opposition for economic reasons, "For the U.S. industry to exist, we must have an economically stable coffee industry in the producing world... This particular scheme is going to hurt the Ethiopian coffee farmers economically". The NCA claims the Ethiopian government was being badly advised and this move could price them out of the market.[8]
Facing more than 90,000 letters of concern, Starbucks placed pamphlets in its stores accusing Oxfam of "misleading behavior" and insisting that its "campaign need[s] to stop". On 7 November, The Economist derided Oxfam's "simplistic" stance and Ethiopia's "economically illiterate" government, arguing that Starbucks' (and Illy's) standards-based approach would ultimately benefit farmers more.[9]
Nonetheless, on 20 June 2007, representatives of the Government of Ethiopia and senior leaders from Starbucks Coffee Company announced that they had concluded an agreement regarding distribution, marketing and licensing that recognises the importance and integrity of Ethiopia's speciality coffee designations.[10]

Quote:
Internal structures and political role

In 2005, the magazine New Internationalist described Oxfam as a "Big International Non-Government Organisation (BINGO)", having a corporate-style, undemocratic internal structure, and addressing the symptoms rather than the causes of international poverty – especially by acquiescing to neoliberal economics and even taking over roles conventionally filled by national governments.[12]
Similar criticisms have been voiced by Red Pepper magazine (The New Scramble for Africa, July 2005) and Katherine Quarmby in the New Statesman (How Oxfam is Failing Africa, May 2005).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxfam


OXFAM is not a charity I support.

I give by monthly pledge to Doctors Without Borders and ad hoc to The Fred Hollows Foundation.
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  #74  
Old 7th March 2011, 12:43 PM
Emmy Emmy is offline
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

I also donate monthly to Doctors without Borders, and have for about three years now. Pretty happy, aside from the one time they send out a glossy brochure with all the things they had been doing, which I thought was a bit of a waste of money for a charity! They do some amazing work and keep you updated on what they are doing on their website as well as emails and occasional letters.

I also donate blood to Red Cross every three months. I would like to encourage more people to do this. Its not the most pleasant thing in the world, but its only once every three months and you will be having a direct impact by saving lives. Plus it doesnt cost you anything and I guess its more meaningful, giving something of yourself rather than money, which is easy come, easy go. Only 1 in every 30 people donate, yet 1 in 3 will need blood during their life. I do it because I would hate for there not to be enough blood for my children or someone I care about if they needed it, so please consider it. I hate needles, really hate needles, and have a low pain threshold, so if I can do it, anyone can.

Wow, I did NOT realise that about OxFam. I did know that they are big on fair trade - they have a shop in Melbourne CBD with fair trade items from around the world, as well as a catalogue you can order from for delivery, I thought that was a good thing. One year, about 10 years ago, I bought my parents a grotesque wooden cd holder with tribes people carved into it. I thought it was fantastic, but I have never seen it since and now realise how out of place it was! Anyway, how disappointing.

Last edited by Emmy; 7th March 2011 at 12:53 PM.
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  #75  
Old 7th March 2011, 07:35 PM
(*steve*) (*steve*) is offline
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
The Fred Hollows Foundation.
It was brought home to me how much Fred Hollows (and his foundation) did and are still doing for people when I caught a taxi in Indianapolis. The driver asked if I was Australian, and then "do you know Fred Hollows?".

It turns out he was Eritrean and I think he was thankful for having an Australian in his taxi so he could tell of his great respect for the man and his work.
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  #76  
Old 7th March 2011, 11:52 PM
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Logic please Logic please is offline
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmy View Post
I also donate monthly to Doctors without Borders, and have for about three years now. Pretty happy, aside from the one time they send out a glossy brochure with all the things they had been doing, which I thought was a bit of a waste of money for a charity!
I acknowledge your point. IMO though, they still need to market and promote their work, in order to attract further donations. So relatively, I can cop some donation money spent on that glossy brochure, far better than a portion of donations being used to support some religious edifice, like say, priests and church bureaucracy/buildings, y'know?

A great choice of charity, nonetheless - please don't get me wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by (*steve*) View Post
It was brought home to me how much Fred Hollows (and his foundation) did and are still doing for people when I caught a taxi in Indianapolis. The driver asked if I was Australian, and then "do you know Fred Hollows?".

It turns out he was Eritrean and I think he was thankful for having an Australian in his taxi so he could tell of his great respect for the man and his work.
Nice
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  #77  
Old 8th March 2011, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmy View Post
....aside from the one time they send out a glossy brochure with all the things they had been doing, which I thought was a bit of a waste of money for a charity!
Just a side note to the conversation...

I don't have evidence for DWB, but in the UK I worked indirectly for a couple of charities on the design, advertising and print side of things and if you had a 'good/big name' as a charity the agencies were queuing up to do the creative gratis, and in many cases the print price was reduced massively or even stood by the printers, so don't feel to bad about the odd brochure.

I guess they are stuck with the need to constantly inform and maintain their donations. They probably haven't much choice but to get involved in the odd bit of print.
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  #78  
Old 8th March 2011, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmy View Post
I also donate monthly to Doctors without Borders, and have for about three years now. Pretty happy, aside from the one time they send out a glossy brochure with all the things they had been doing, which I thought was a bit of a waste of money for a charity! They do some amazing work and keep you updated on what they are doing on their website as well as emails and occasional letters.
The borchure is how DWB is demonstrating to you that they are putting your money to good use. Otherwise how would you know what your money is being spent on? I know in my days in External Audit, I worked on a few charity audits and the big thing for them to demostrate was how much money they put into their charitable activities. Often analysed as a ratio of administrative costs to revenue. Charities tended to be crappy work as they were tight fisted organisations, but they also often had the BEST parties. I went to a Careflight fundraiser one year, loads of booze (at Lowenbrau) and prizes, bought a Lowenbrau teddy bear, dressed in a careflight jumpsuit. Hilarious (sorry no pictures, I gave it to the girlfriends little girl).

Also, coming up for worthy charities is Movember. Zero woo, just way too much facial hair. Charities supported by Movember are prostate cancer research and Beyond Blue (anti depression).
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  #79  
Old 8th March 2011, 07:07 PM
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Lord Blackadder Lord Blackadder is offline
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

I donate to Red Cross and WSPCA. I also donate to the Good Friday Appeal. For those outside Victoria, the Good Friday Appeal is a telethon that raises money for the Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital. As a wee tacker, I spent two months in hospital, so I know how sucky it is.
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  #80  
Old 12th March 2011, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: What are some good secular charities to donate to?

I'm seeing a lot of anti Red Cross stuff go past on Twitter recently - something about discrimination?

Does anyone know?
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