How much should any of us give to charity? When? Which charities?
I raise these questions being troubled by my own charitable giving. In large part, I engage in random acts of charitable giving with no thought out plan. Instead, I respond to solicitations, making gifts on how I feel about the organization and how flush I feel at the time. My feelings about each group may be influenced by important factors, including:
- Personal connection.
- My sense of how effective the group is in its mission.
- The need of the people helped by the organization.
- Whether my donation will have a significant impact.
- Whether my donation will be noticed, in other words will people in my community see my name on the list of donors.