I feel uncomfortable every time I see a charity commercial. On the one hand, I would like to help the people I see, but the way they present the commercial makes me feel used a little bit. It’s contrived sentimentality that relies on guilt to “sell” the product.
I’ve looked around for charities that don’t use pressure tactics, and here are two that I really like…
Kiva. This is a great idea. Maybe you’ve heard about microloans. In the third/developing world, a $10 loan can get a business started. Kiva connects people willing to lend money with businesses all over the third world. I found a group of ladies in the Dominican Republic that sell orders for clothes, then take out a loan from Kiva to fill the orders. they’ve paid back 7 other loans. Can’t really be called “charity”… just folks helping other folks 🙂
Heifer International. This is another good idea. Heifer takes your money to raise domestic animals that are then given to farmers in the developing world. It’s a “give a man a fish…” kind of charity. Part of their program teaches the farmers modern husbandry techniques with the proviso that any animals born have to be given to another farmer in need.