Give As You Earn is a wonderful system; I can donate to charity directly from my monthly pay cheque. I don’t have set up any Direct Debits, or standing orders, I get a tidy tax break, and the charity gets a chunk of change. For every tenner I donate, it costs me £6 – and the Government chips in the rest.
These are the charities I support.
I believe in Human Rights. It’s an old fashioned concept, perhaps – but I don’t think people should be arbitrarily detained, I don’t think people should be tortured, I dislike discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexuality, or race.
Amnesty have been fighting for human rights around the world since the 1960s and has successfully reinvented itself as new challenges arise. I’m proud to support their work.
While it would be nice to think that human rights abuses occur only in hot countries, with medal-decked dictators – the sad truth is that the British Government often denies basic rights to British citizens.
Liberty have been fighting for our right to protest, have challenged the Government on unlawful detention and extradition, and successfully run dozens of other campaigns.
(Technically, donations are made to the Civil Liberties Trust (registered charity no. 1024948). That’s the charitable trust which fund Liberty.)
This is the only “tech” charity I give to. mySociety run WriteToThem – the site to help people contact their elected representatives. WhatDoTheyKnow – the site which opens up Freedom of Information requests to everyone. They also have a bunch of tools which they use to help people engage digitally with the powers that be.
I think we suffer from a democratic deficit in this country – it’s too easy to leave politics to the politicians. mySociety are breaking down the barriers between the population and those who seek to rule over us.
(Charitable donations are actually made to UK Citizens Online Democracy)
We used Oxfam Unwrapped for our wedding gift registry – we didn’t need any more toasters, and were rather pleased with the fine selection of toilets, school books, condoms, and educational resources we we had donated in our name.
Shelter – The Housing and Homelessness Charity exists to help people who are homeless or those who risk being homeless. It’s really easy to take a home for granted – to know that you have four walls and a solid roof waiting for you at the end of the day. Not everyone is in such a fortunate situation.
It’s easy to believe that homelessness it a choice – or the result of poor decisions. The reality is that there is a systemic problem in this country with poor quality housing, unscrupulous landlords, and unregulated rent rises.
I have a split between domestic and international charities, yet I’m aware that I don’t give to certain charitable sectors. That’s more out of ignorance of where to give rather than the fact that I rabidly hate donkeys.
While mySociety are a charity which heavily use technology – they’re not a charity which helps to spread to technology. I’ve taken a look at WorldReader who distribute Kindles and eBooks to the developing world – but they’re a non-profit, rather than a charity. I wonder if there are any charities specifically dedicated to the technology sector?
So, I wondered what other charities people give to? Where do you donate money? What causes do you think people should care about?