OT... Giving to the less fortunate

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Bill wrote:

That's how we finance our wars, too, yet no one seems to scream very loudly about it.
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Hell Toupee wrote:

But we're putting people to work and putting people out of their misery at the same time. It's a win, win situation.
TDD
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Bill wrote:

Sort of. We don't give anybody "cash." We give them trading credits that they can use to buy U.S. goods, often specific goods. They get the "aid" and domestic companies get the money.
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casey wrote:

Oh, I can think of one real obvious reason for this requirement. The workers donate the cash; the company claims a charitable tax deduction. It's easier for the company to establish the value of the deduction if it makes its employees donate cash instead of goods. Not to mention it's a lot less work to write a check (that hopefully equals or exceeds what the employees contributed), than collecting and delivering an assortment of goods.
I have some extra

Then I guess their needs and what you have to share are not compatible. You'll have little difficulty finding someone more than happy to accept what you can give. And the company can find some of its own cash to give to the families it picked to help. It, after all, made the rule. (Yes, it did, because if the charity or family made cash a requirement, the company could've moved on to one that would accept goods as well as cash.)

Not all organizations are prepared to handle physical goods. The Red Cross buys new supplies in bulk at substantial discounts.
Small charities don't run on such mass economies of scale and deal more on a one-to-one basis. If you approach a local shelter or church, odds are they'll be very thankful for your donations. For example, a nun at the church in my neighborhood has a constant list of families needing specific things. Ask her what people need; she'll tell you. Offer her something, she'll know who needs it. They dole out out silverware by the piece because so many families need very basic goods like that. If you donate a set of flatware, she breaks it up and allots it by the number of people in the family - a family of four gets four knives, four spoons, four forks. She has a waiting list for blankets and pillows. Her big dream is beds. So many people sleep on floors because used mattresses and futons can't be donated (risk of transmitting vermin), and face it - new mattresses and futons are fairly expensive donations. So that need always exceeds the supply.
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Red Cross always looks for cash unless they have a specific need like a big apartment fire, etc. Even then they usually offer a list (need 6x girls clothes) depending on the incident. Actually it makes sense for the most part. They never really know what exactly they will need until the nastiness occurs. Then they can go and get exactly what they need. Otherwise a fairly large chunk of money would go to warehousing, etc., that could be used more productively elsewhere. Check with local food pantries for the food. They are ALL feeling the pinch. As for clothes, any number of places. We get calls all the time from VFW, Goodwill is looking for clothes and other stuff, AmVets, etc. You may have some local places like the Junior League. Check in with your local churches (who may also run food kitchens that could use you food) as they usually know who does this kind of stuff. If you want to stay away from the churches, social workers at your schools or the local hospitals should be able to help, too.
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I'm with you. There are precious few charities I'll donate cash. I've got a couple ABVI Goodwill stores near me, and they take items (and sell in their thrift stores). I've been very generous with items, I am not using. I try to bring them only items that are reasonably working. They say that anything fabric, clothing, towels, sheets and blankets. Fabric stuff is always needed.
I don't think you are scrooge. I think the welfare system has changed the nature of being poor, and not for the better.
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casey wrote:

I once worked for a company that participated in this United Way organization. If all the employees contributed to the United Way by having money taken out of their pay, the boss got his picture in the newspaper and all the newsletters along with bragging rights. I got my paycheck and saw that money had been taken from my pay for United Way without my consent. I immediately put a stop to it. I had superiors trying to cajole me into allowing money for United Way to be taken out of my pay and I refused. Needless to say, I no longer had good relations with the management and didn't stay with the company much longer. I later found out that new hires had to sign a statement allowing money to be deducted from their pay for this Mafia,...er, charitable organization. This crap has been going on all over the country in both the government and private sector for many years.
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

Where I work, they bend over backwards in writing saying it is entirely voluntary, and they don't actually sign people up without a signed slip. But they sure do try to shame people into donating, with all the usual peer pressure techniques like publicly passing out the slips, and keeping running dollar totals for each shop, making a competition out of it to see who can hit their target first. I do donate, most years, but I write one check, and designate what charity I want to have the money. (There are plenty of charities in the book that I regard as left/right wingnut useless feel-good groups.) But I am not entirely convinced designating who my donation goes to, means that the worthless ones get any less. I suspect they tally up the directed donations, and just subtract that from whatever dollars were designated for that charity in the first place, so the undesignated donations flow to the politically correct groups. (Sorta like lotto was supposed to ADD to school financing, not become one of the standard sources for the money?)
-- aem sends...
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I don't know if they have changed this, but there was a time when this was a farce. The UW was structured at the time such that they had a budget of what they planned to give each entity. Say the grant for the Mental Health Association was supposed to be $100 (to keep it easy from a math standpoint). That was what the MHA was getting from the UW. All of my money went to them, but it did NOT increase the UW allocation. So, if I gave $5.00, the MHA got my $5.00 and $95.00 from the general pot.

As above, that was the way it was done last time I had a reason to check, albeit 7-8 years ago now.
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Kurt Ullman wrote: ...

How else would you propose they do it? Their job is to raise funds for their member organizations, whichever they are; they're not in the business of judging one group's merits over another other than in relative size of needs to provide the services of the organization itself (having sat on Board in multiple communities at various times over a rather long time span dating back to the "Community Chest" days...).
If you really want your contribution to make a difference to a particular organization, do it directly to the organization of choice outside the UW path. (All, though even there, if they're a member organization there will be some of the same effect as budgets are based on including historical abilities of the individual organizations' fund-raising of their own in setting their UW support.)
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dpb wrote:

Don't large employers match a percentage of contributions to UW? Yeh, the PR campaign used to bug me, but where I worked it was strong encouragement, not force. And you could stop contributions at any time.
Have to remember that there are cheaters in any group one can think of, including clergy and law enforcement. I don't have any problem with the national orgs paying their CEO what private sector CEO's are paid - running billion-dollar enterprises isn't for amateurs. What once was called "service" - medicine, nursing, law enforcement - now demands the same salaries as other fields. I don't know a physician or a dentist who isn't a freaking millionaire. Of course, gotta be a millionaire so every other patient can sue ya' for failing to cure. First $100K goes for malpractice insurance.
When I volunteered at the Red Cross, the new volunteers that I met were not the wealthy stock brokers; they were working stiffs who probably volunteered because they have been a lot closer to disaster than a lot of wealthier people.
I'd like to see a nationalized health insurance plan that covers everyone for up to $100K per year. Want more? Buy it. No fancy stuff like transplants - one time around, fix what's broke if it can. Include work-related illness/injury unless states opt out. Require agreement not to sue for malpractice in excess of financial loss. The states that take up the plan now have businesses that don't have to worry about WC insurance....come on down and start a small business. Along with all of that, adopt Canada's system for medical malpractice - one org. and they don't "settle out of court", which is legalized blackmail.
When I worked in nursing, I could have been prosecuted if a client developed a bedsore. I had no time to care for clients the way they should have been cared for, but my employer kept building new nursing homes.
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Actually that was brought about by the way MCaid is figured (since much of NH's money is from governmental program). They payments were based on a base year and then an increment from there. It did not take too long before this increment fell behind reality. If they built new ones, the baseline was higher and they usually made money for a couple of years. The same thing happened when a NH was sold, which is why every 5 or so years, one company would sell a home to another. The baseline was adjusted upwards and they made more money for awhile. I don't know how it was in your area, but you were actually ahead as an RN if you quit your job every 5 years, went to another for awhile and then came back. The starting salaries were based on "market condition" while the yearly jumps were usually less. Same idea here.
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I would propose that if they are going to do it that way, they don't tell me that all of my money will go to the organization. This is usually in response to "I want to give to X organization". They then respond that all of your donation will go the organization, w/o mentioning the fact that no MORE will go. I just don't like to be purposely mislead (or at least not given ALL the information).

ALthough more recently it has been that they are getting less money from UW period.
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Never said otherwise. But I also think that they way it was phrased, especially when it came in response to "I would give to the UW but I want to give to this group instead" is intentionally misleading at best, borderline fraudulent at worst.

Why not? Especially in response to the I would give but statement. THAT is exactly how I worded and that was exactly the response.

I would say right off that we can get that money to them, but it won't be extra. All I ask for is transparency.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:
...

How, pray tell -- they would credit your contribution to the charity of choice in its entirety. What they do w/ other contributions is, fundamentally, none of your business to put it bluntly... :)

I don't see how you can interpret that that way other than by having a beef against UW given the following statement of fact. That you included a "but" doesn't change their mission nor obligations nor does their using other donations than yours violate any trust or implied promise about what would happen to your particular contribution amount were it to be made so-designated.

Where precisely do you think there's any implication of "extra" somehow implied? All the UW says is your particular contribution won't go someplace besides where you designate it should help. Again, you can't expect to control somebody else's choice(s).
And, there is complete transparency--you're entitled to and can get a full accounting of every dollar simply for the asking from any UW local (just as w/ _any_ 501(c) organization).
I have to say I think you're making an argument here to justify that you only want an organization to support specific others with which you are fully in agreement so you create the strawman to justify that attitude.
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dpb wrote:

(snip)
1 question I never got an answer to, over the years- What would happen if some group got MORE in designated donations, than the overall split that was penciled in for them? Would they still get it all?
I realize it is rather unlikely, but I am curious.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote: ...

Certainly w/ any Board with which I have been associated, yes. (Not to mention of all the rules/regulations it would violate to do otherwise...)

Extremely highly unlikely ime. I've never seen any campaign in which the designated total comprised more than few percent of the overall total raised.
The only way I would ever see that eventuality coming to pass would be a single large donation directed for a small organization but it would be more likely such a gift would be made directly ime.
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aemeijers wrote:

Sounds kinda like "Card Check."
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

Check with your state's Department of Labor. Most states, if not all, have a law specifically forbidding that type of extortion, and most of the laws were passed specifically due to United Way's past practices of pushing the employer's to harass the workers to give. A lot of people have long memories about that going on, and once in a while you still read a story about a workplace that has gone overboard on pressuring workers to give. In my opinion, the only benefit from involving one's workplace in one's charitable efforts is to make the employer look generous, when it's actually the workers who come through.
I personally prefer to donate direct to the charities of my choice, as that way they get 100% of my donation.
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Hell Toupee wrote:

Since it happened 35 years ago, I doubt any government agency would pay any attention to me. That freekin boss is long dead. *snicker*
TDD
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