Sunday, January 22, 2017

Skin in the Game

You can recoil, or march, or bitch about it, or you can do something about it. Contribute! Like you've never contributed before! If you're normally a $20 donor, give $50 or $100, and check the "recurring" option (one-time donations are vastly less useful than recurring). Consider giving beyond the pain point, and sell some old stuff on eBay to make it up. Bear in mind that good causes hang by a string (I speak from experience), so don't imagine yourself as a negligible part of a vast tide. This isn't like voting; in the nonprofit realm, individual contributors are way, way more than symbolic.

I'm about to write checks, past the point of pain, to the nonprofits listed below, which were smartly recommended by John Oliver on his show a while ago (note that all links go directly to subscription/donation pages; back up to home pages for background). I'm funding the opposition, the disadvantaged, and the at-risk. The following is just a start.

Note: there are services that consolidate your donations. Write just one check, and you can remain anonymous (while still receiving a tax deduction receipt), to avoid follow-up spam, etc.. They do add some overhead expense, but it's mitigated by avoiding multiple credit card fees (you'll just charge once):, and Network for Good. I think (not sure) only the latter handles recurring donations. And neither includes every charity (but I'd imagine they'd be receptive to complaints about gaps).

Ok, here goes:

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Planned Parenthood (even if you have moderate views on abortion)
Center for Reproductive Rights (if you're a bit more leftward on this than I am)
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (way more moderate than the divisive "Black Lives Matter")
The Trevor Project for LGBTQ Youth
National Resources Defense Council (environmental)
The International Refugee Assistance Project

Also, journalism will be under attack. I've bought digital subscriptions to both WAPO (which has been fantastic in doggedly standing up to Trump, and this daily emailed WaPo newsletter is spectacular) and NY Times (even though I already have a free log-on from a family member), as well as David Cay Johnston's incipient DCReport

If I find a good Muslim rights group, I'll contribute to that. Meanwhile, I go out of my way to patronize Muslim-owned restaurants, and I will join Gloria Steinem's call to register as a Muslim if such a registry arises.

Finally, I am not a Democrat. I'm a centrist/moderate, and I refuse to tribalize. I prefer a mix of thoughtful, sane, rationalize leaders from both sides. But this is an extraordinary time. So I think I'm going to contribute to the Democratic National Committee. Not because I agree with all that they stand for; not because I think people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi have The Solution. But simply because things are out of balance. I'll contribute to help restore balance, assuming that much of my contribution will be wasted in the usual posturing and tone-deaf floundering. And I will work twice as hard as ever to find and support principled (i.e. anti-Trump) Republicans. Such lonely creatures deserve our support and attention.

No comments:

Blog Archive