are three of my experiments in giving:
* Three years ago, a very
charitable (but not wealthy) friend confided that he wished
he had more money to give away. I thought to myself, 'the
Lord has blessed me with so much to give, it would be wonderful to share some of the pleasure of
giving.' Since then I have given $3000/year to him to
give away. All he does is tell
me how to make out the check and adds his signature to
the checks. I'm not giving the money to him personally
so he is not beholden to me. He gets a thrill out of it,
and so do I.
* For years much of my giving
has been to well-meaning whites who want to help minorities.
This year, with my wife's support, I sent a letter to
most of the 30 organizations I had been giving to and
told them I was giving all the money instead to a two-
year research project run by an African American and a
Latino to develop a inner city youth training enterprise.
It felt like a risk to invest so much in one project,
but something I had to do. It hasn't been easy knowing
how to relate to this venture in which I had put so much
at stake. I started off proposing to offer my input to
the staff of this budding organization via a monthly report
and weekly meetings. The staff experienced this as controlling
and asked me to back off. I did. They appointed a Board
member to give me reports, and we're still figuring out
an appropriate relationship.
* I sometimes give more than
I'm asked for. If an organization's membership is $25
I may round up to $30. I'll pay on a "sliding scale"
even when one is not suggested. If a course costs $50
I may give $90. I try to go the second mile to help provide
a scholarship. Giving more than what I am asked for surprises
people, even when the sums are modest, and it is fun for
me to do. When my therapist said to me, 'Why don't you
have fun with your money?" she was primarily thinking
of spending. But why not apply it to giving, too?
- anonymous author
© 1990-2005, More Than Money, All rights reserved