Most of us take 5-10% of our income, and send it off to some impoverished nation to feed a starving child for a day. And, that child is pretty thrilled, don't get me wrong.
The problem with this method, is you no longer have that money, and that child needs it again tomorrow. You haven't solved anything, you've simply delayed something.
The analogy of burning money verses using the money to buy some wood or a gas stove, is appropriate. The money gets burned/spent so quickly in this method, that it does very little good, especially when you consider many charities have "administration costs" which burn up the majority of your donation before the starving child ever gets to see it.
So, those of you who read regularly know, I'm not a downer - You're thinking that I wouldn't say all these discouraging things without a solution. You're right.
I've found one charity that actually multiplies the money donated, and fixes the economy that was previously improvrished.
What that means, is you donate $25, and they multiply it into hundreds of dollars throughout the year. Oh, and, they give the money back to you when they don't need it anymore - allowing you to donate it, plus your regular 5-10% of your income again, next time!
I'm going to say that again, so that it sinks in.
Lets make two examples.
1) say you donate $1,000 to one charity (feed the children, let's call it)
2) you donate $1,000 to the one I love.
One, uses this money to buy powdered milk for starving children to eat, and administration costs.
The other, uses this money as a micro-loan to fund a starving family's business. They make $1,200 in a year, and employ that starving child who is living off of powdered milk.
Now, in the first example, you've lost the $1,000 to powdered milk, and the starving child is still starving.
In the second example, the starving child is no longer starving, has a job, and THEY GIVE THE MONEY BACK TO YOU.
So, let's say you donate $1,000 every year to charity. In the first example, you saved up $1,000 and donated it again to the starving children.
In the second example, you can now donate $2,000 - effectively doubling your charitable contribution the next year. Next year, you'll donate $3,000 and so on.
Multiply the awesome.
So, what is this fantastic charity, you ask? What kind of charity could multiply my donations, and improve the economy so that charity will one day no longer be required?
That'd be Kiva.
Their minimum "donation" is $25. Remember, there's a very good chance you'll get the money back. Please give today & tell others either about Kiva, or this blog post. Make the world a better place.