Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Good Place to Stick a Few Dollars

It's not often you come across a charity where 100% (well, as close to 100% as possible, allowing for mailing costs and other very minor incidentals) of your donation goes to where the money belongs, rather than to paying for offices and utilities and, worst of all, salaries. But I have one here for you, along with my personal recommendation that, if you want to throw some money to a good cause, this is a good place to go.

It's called the Northern Uganda Development Foundation, and is run by my friend Chris Opio, a professor here at UNBC. To quote a portion from their web site, the NUDF first consults "individual villages and depending on the needs of the village [they] endeavor to supply locally sustainable, clean and safe drinking water, farming practices, health education, small business enterprise and technology.

I don't know if the PayPal feature works (they use an email, rather than a button, and I just handed over money in person), and I'm pretty sure there is no tax deduction here, but a smaller amount of money goes further, remember, and you can always email if you're having a problem sending money.

So? What are you waiting for? Go help do some good. You can pretend you're buddies with Bono or Clooney.

Just exactly how is a charity supposed to do it's work if it can't use money to pay for offices were the work is done, pay for the utilities to keep warm while doing the work or "worst of all" pay the people who actually do the work.

Consider being realistic when investigating charities to donate to. Rather than refuse to accept any operating costs, look at whether their operating expense are relative to the work that they do.
Love the name (the last: you misspell your first).

The answer to how it's supposed to do its work is that Chris runs if from home (with helpful oversight from the other folks listed) and he pays expenses out of pocket, I imagine. In Uganda, the work isn't done in offices, but rather in the field, helping the locals make their own decisions. If locals are paid for their work, then that (IMO) counts as a non-expense.

Not all charities need to be expense-free. I only single this one out because of my experience with it, because I trust Chris and the work he does, and because it's small enough it could use a little extra talking up.

Your first statement implied that all charities should operate this way. When I am not on the internet under an fake name (yep, not a real name) I work with non profits and charities. It is a huge challenge to raise money to cover the cost of doing business. I applaud your friends willingness to cover his own expenses. It isn't realistic for all charities to do this. It is far to say that there are many charities in Canada that are a little too heavy on the admin side so it is important to do some research when donating.

As for the missing spell of the first name, that's what my mom says.
That's fair, Daryl. I didn't intend it to come across that way. In the meantime, I'll refer you to the second part of this post:

You can see that I have no problems with other charities. Obviously some work at it better than others.

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