This is something I’d thought about before but I’ve heard other views recently which have made me think further. I’ve always wanted to give a charity that won’t blow the money on red tape as this wont benefit the people who need it.

I understand the idea of helping the people who are in need ‘save face’, take responsibility, be independent, self sufficient and so on even though they are going through hardships.  

Some people feel that this can be done by selling things to them, rather than, giving items away. However, I’m not sure that I agree with that! When a natural disaster strikes do you agree with charities send clothes that we have donated on the basis that those in need buy them?

My friend, Sagar sent an email to the Jain Vegans group asking how he could choose a charity whose work did not result in or create harm to animals. Here’s what he wrote: - 

Although I do give money to charity regularly, it’s so hard to tell how effectively charities use their money.

A great new charity (New Philanthropy Capital) has been started to assess how well charities achieve their objectives (i.e. how many lives you will save with £1)…. Spending £1 there may be the best place to ensure that other people get the most of their donations… 

Peter replied with: - 


I believe that if you donate money to OXFAM you can specify where is should go, i.e. not to a ‘send a cow to Africa scheme’ RSPCA and PETA have been criticised for basically approving of ‘better’ conditions for what is still animal exploitation.

Vegfam is run by vegans and only works to give aid for non animal projects and certainly does much good work.

There is no doubt that ‘happy meats’ are muddying the water regarding true compassion.

I have to give a plug of course for Vegan – Organic Network, the only charity that exists to promote vegan-organic growing worldwide. Vegan organics is the means by which food can be grown without farm animal exploitation – an absolute necessity for many reasons. 

If you give to charitable causes, what are the values that they need to fit it with? Do you have a view on this?

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Categories: Personal


Sagar Shah · May 28, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Peter Singers new book -The life you can save ( goes through a number of areas where you can donate to charities which will have the best impact on saving lives.

I havn’t read it, but the arguments he made at a recent lecture at LSE were very persuasive.

    Heena Modi · June 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Excellent! Thanks for this Sagar 🙂

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