Because we Can

I’ve never been much for charity prior to now. I participated in the Combined Federal Campaign for several years while working for the military, but gave that up when I saw how high a percentage “administrative fee” the United Way was cutting off the top of everything. I prefer deciding how my dollars are spent.

At the time, the charities I gave to were mostly environmental-related, i.e. World Wildlife Fund and Sierra Club. As I got more into the technology space, my occassional charity became the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I still give money to them every year, but mostly to get the cool T-shirt.

I’ve now decided to become more interested in charitable giving. There are a couple factors involved, but one of the biggest is my daughter. She has absolutely taken over my heart and I want the world to be a better place for her. I’m also working now for a company doing software for the non-profit space, which has raised my awareness.

As a senior technology worker, I make well above the national average salary. I would look at $36K a year as the poverty line, not a working salary. All us geeks should be very appreciative for how well off we really have it. To demonstrate some of that appreciation, I’m going to contribute $100/month to a different charity each month in 2009.

Actually, I’m cheating a bit. I donated $100 to Toys for Tots this month, since I couldn’t imagine any parent seeing their child go without a toy for Christmas. Each month I’ll look for a new worthy cause and let you know what it is.

I challenge all my fellow geeks to share in the challenge. Please feel free to share your ideas for worthy charities, and I’ll let everyone know where my $100 goes for the month. $100 is not a lot of money, but it can make a great deal of difference for a lot of people. Toss in your $100 too and let’s see if we can make the world a better place.

Charity Log:

January: Doctors Without Borders

February: Amnesty International

March: Electronic Frontier Foundation

April: Direct Relief International

4 thoughts on “Because we Can”

  1. I’ll match your challenge and raise you 10% of your income (gross or net … your choice). I’ve found that those who follow the practice of “tithing” are, more often than not, also the most generous when it comes to additional charitable giving. So, for example’s sake, if a “geek” makes 100K per year after taxes, I would ask him/her/herm to consider 10% on that net + your stated goal of $100 per month — regardless of whether or not the person is religiously inclined. Change the world? It’s possible! Like you, I have high hopes for the future of my four children. Hopefully others do, too.

  2. @DroppingBy, thanks for doing so, but I’m not interested in paying a medieval church tax. If you’re comfortable with it, more power to you, but I’m just taking my baby steps.

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