i might support your cause, but i do not support your charity

yep, that is the facebook status i've been yearning to write for months now. whew, maybe that will get it out of my system. there are a lot of charities out there that i do not support, and i feel like everyone i know is trying to raise money for them. it puts me in a sticky spot, especially when i love the people and i agree that the cause is worthy. 

but seriously, the march of dimes is a heinous crime against everything logical and humane, and i will not send them a penny, much less a symbolic number of dimes. i have one relative and one friend who are both actively raising money for them, and one of them is sending me emails and the whole deal. i feel like i can't really say, "it sucks that your baby was born super-premature, but it also sucks that you're raising money for the grossest charity there is," because that's what comes to mind and i know it's a stupid thing to say. and there aren't any "premature babies charities" that i've found on the Good Charities List (heh), so i can't even do what i normally do and send money to a better (a.k.a., "more acceptable, to me") charity in their honor. sigh.

…which is what i typically do with all of the cancer walks, which are plenty and frequent, and (as you may recall) touch me very personally, cause-wise. as far as i can tell, my sister is on track to do two walks per year for the rest of her life, and both of the charities (american cancer society and komen) fund animal testing, so i don't want to send them my money. but i also don't want to look like a crappy sister, so (thus far) i've been sending money to the cancer project and the breast cancer fund instead, when that time of year rolls around.

still, not every cause has a charity on both the Naughty List and the Nice List, so what to do in those situations? pick the closest health concern and go with a tangentially-related Nice Charity? shift my eyes sideways and do nothing? i've been taking the do-nothing-and-stay-silent route or the donate-elsewhere route, and i guess that's working okay for me so far, except for the aforementioned urge to say weird/sassy/explanatory things in my facebook status.



  1. I know exactly what you are talking about here, and it is so hard to say, “Yes, I feel for the problem but I cannot support that group” when someone really believes in it. I guess I’ve taken basically the same route. It’s hard to compassionately say “oh, hells no”.

  2. Yeah, I agree. And I think you are doing the right thing by trying to find an appropriate charity for the same cause.
    Maybe there is a local hospital that works with the premature babies? Wouldn’t it be similar to donate to one of those? Or just a specialized children’s hospital in general?

  3. I agree with how complex this is. I just participated in Boston’s Walk for Hunger. At least I can trace where Project Bread sends most of their money. I was considering not doing it because of all of the unhealthy food in the school systems that they are a part of, but they just started a healthy food in schools and food banks initiative that, while not vegan, i wanted to get on board with. i was impressed: this year they gave the walkers lara bars at the half way point rather than the lays we got four years ago.
    i agree: read up on your donations. causes are important, but where your money goes and if it helps MUST be considered.

  4. Thank you so much for bringing this timely subject up! I agree wholeheartedly.
    I also don’t think people fully realize how much money is spent in raising donations – it’s a bit of a vicious cycle. You give a dollar, then they spend most of that dollar to get another dollar. I prefer to give money as direct as possible.

  5. I support some good charities and avoid baddies. It doesnt feel like Im doing nothing when I ignore a charity that supports animal testing, because there are so many good charities out there- my money is never “wasted”. Also, avoiding bad charities is a form of protest, I do it for a reason- sometimes it can be difficult to voice this (people who support these charities may feel hurt) but I often contact the charity directly or the company that supports a certain charity to let them know about my boycott and the reason behind it. If an organisation routinely tortures and kills animals for human benefit, they are far from a charity in my opinion. I dont see how they are different from the meat and dairy industry- since they support exploitation.

  6. wow, this is upsetting… my husband and i, longtime vegans, got married a year ago. a few months before our wedding my mother and aunt (yes, both!) were diagnosed with breast cancer.
    in lieu of favors for the guests we decided to donate money to two charities instead… one being an animal rights org (of course) and the other being the susan g koman. im so freaking upset about this, i just wish i had known. ;(

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