One of the most common objections from people who choose not to donate money to charity goes something like this: “I know that I should, but I just don’t think I’m a charitable person who cares enough about others.” Based on my own experiences, the vast majority of the time my decision to donate is not emotional, but intellectual. At a certain point, I also believe those with excess have a moral obligation to help those with very little or none, Peter Singer’s 2009 article in The New York Times first convinced me of this fact. If you are also convinced that we should really help the less fortunate, I encourage you to take action.
Sometimes I am surprised how little emotion I feel, even during great upswings. I think this numbness is a fairly common response. On Crypto Twitter, I frequently see memes along the lines of “Looking forward to a 30% drawback just to feel SOMETHING.” At a certain point, money has severely diminishing returns.
But even if spending money on yourself doesn’t bring you joy, giving it to others in need can. I am so proud of the work that Double Up Drive has done, and how much suffering that work has helped alleviate. I find Double Up Drive’s successes particularly comforting when I am grieving or just generally down. Every time I look back on this tweet from Strongminds about a 2019 fundraising drive, it gives me chills. Strongminds was only 1/12th of that drive, but the impact of even that portion was still incredible, and being a part of it still brings me joy to this day. .
Lastly, I have two quick thoughts on the logistics of giving based on my experience. FIrst, I’ve heard many people say they intend to donate once they have a much larger pile of money. I think there is definitely merit to this line of thinking. However, with myself, I don’t find it particularly challenging to cut cheques at the end of the year. If I had to say, make a donation for the previous 10 years of giving today, it might feel more challenging. Logistics such as “Well, I just don’t have the liquidity…” might be harder to overcome.
Second, if you have a plan of giving a porition of your yearly income, but your income is volatile, I’d recommend a donor advised fund (DAF). I use Fidelity. The benefit of a DAF is that it gives more time to decide where to deploy the funds without any end-of-year time crunch.
Thank you so much for the support we receive year after year. I am truly grateful. If anyone is interested in increasing the size of our matching fund this year, $50,000+, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org