Sanctimony is easier on a blog than in person
People who read my blog and believe in effective philanthropy, what do you do when someone asks you for money for something he or she is doing “for charity” (“sponsor me in the walk for the foodbank,” “sponsor my marathon for cancer research,” etc.)?
There are several things I always imagine myself doing at this point:
- Launching into a sanctimonious spiel about effective philanthropy. I do not do this, believe it or not. It violates the principles expressed in my previous post.
- Being noncommittal and hoping my friend forgets.
- Giving the money and seeing it as a present to my friend (See?!? I care about you and your marathon!) rather than as a charitable donation.
3. Is obviously the most comfortable option. Is it the right one?
“Easy” way out: you shouldn’t have money to give. You should be using it all between necessities, savings, and your current charitable work.
Related: Should I give from my (small) income to charity now, or should I invest it and give more later? I expect the improvements in the effectiveness of charity to outstrip inflation (not least because the effective philanthropy movement is its methodological infancy) but maybe that’s naive.