Charity. Hard to talk about and hard to do. My principles are:
- Give consistently. One off donations do not sustain business models.
- Be Quietly Public. I would prefer to keep my donations private but there are two counter-aspects. First, public giving inspires other giving. Second, too much publicity about donations provides egotists opportunities for grandstanding. So, I aim for quietly public.
- Business Models. Look for charities that are run well and can deliver big results.
Here is how I do it.
For the last 4 years, I’ve been donating at Kiva to support people in some of poorest countries in the world. Kiva is about micro finance where sums as low as USD$75 can fund a startup business. In rural Kenya, a loan of $500 can transform the business of shopkeeper or farmer.
- Kiva lets me donate consistently using PayPal. I donate a portion of profits from my e-books and banner advertising on my blogs.
- I can do this quietly. The information is available at Kiva if it is important to you.
- I have travelled through Eastern Africa and seen the damage and waste caused by well meaning but misguided charity. Church-related charities especially have delivered poor quality outcomes. Supporting business people and stimulating the economy is a lasting change and let the community decide their own futures.
I would hope that you will join me at Kiva – http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/etherealmind and give consistently to charity and support long lasting change through supporting local entrepreneurs.
These amounts of money are too small for traditional banking. The cost of simple administration plus shareholder mean that these business struggle to grow and people remain in poverty no matter how hard they tried.
I can’t go back to Africa to help them myself (although I wish I could and one day I hope to do more),