Thursday, October 19, 2006

Give time or give money?

In the October 14, 2006 edition of Slate magazine, Tim Harford writes in his article, Charity is Selfish: The Economic Case Against Philanthropy:

"If these do-gooders really were motivated by the desire to do good, they would be doing something different. It would almost always be more effective to volunteer less, work overtime, and give more. A Dutch banker can pay for a lot of soup-kitchen chefs and servers with a couple of hours' worth of his salary, but that wouldn't provide the same feel-good buzz as ladling out stew himself, would it?"

Is it better, or more effecitve, to give time or to give money? Should that question matter - is it really about what will help the recipients most, or what will make you feel better - or some combination thereof? And who said that charity has to be selfless? I think of charity not as an option, but as an obligation, so it's really not a selfless act for me. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Don't Almost Give

From The Chronicle of Philanthropy (Oct 12, 2006) - "The Ad Council, a New York charity that produces public-service advertisements, has started a campaign to encourage Americans to support good works. Instead of promoting a specific charity or cause, as is the norm with such efforts, the charity says its Generous Nation campaign is designed 'to motivate and inspire Americans to translate their everyday compassion and good intentions into action by giving more often, not just in times of crisis but throughout the year.'"

Check out the campaign's website at I think the best sections are "Tips for Giving Wisely" and "Tips for Volunteering Wisely" in the "Explore Resources" section. What do you think? Will this website, and the TV ads associated with it (you can view the ads on the website) really encourage people to give more? Why DON'T people give?