Coming to the end of the year, and suddenly the usual financial questions are a little more intense. We’re reviewing our charitables, as they are called. My church is, of course, the big one. But I belong to two churches - the one I serve which is not UU and the Church Of The Larger Fellowship, a virtual church for those who are unable to join what we call a ‘bricks and mortar’ church. I was on their board for a couple of years and yes, they need money too, so we pledge to them as well. Not as much, but not nothing either.
Next comes the school stuff – my seminary where I have made a major five year commitment of which this year is the third, my college, my wife’s college, and a little something for the catholic high school my son attends.
Then come the causes – Nature Conservancy (my dad was a fan), Interfaith Alliance (a dear friend is a founder), ACLU (parents were long time supporters), Planned Parenthood (being a product of their work when PP really meant ‘planned parenthood’), and the local homeless drop-in center.
Then come the organizations we patronize - Smithsonian (my sister for works for them), our local Symphony (We are subscribers and I know several players), the local opera company (small but, like our fair city, better than a place this size ordinarily has), two local museums.
There are a few more I am sure. My memory has never been good on these details.
These are tough times, I think, and yet I can’t see how to leave any of them out. In fact, I am tempted to give more. Repairing my old suit, resoling my old shoes, eating in more and driving less are not too hard for me personally, compared to what I know about the margins of existence for most NPOs.
Next year we send our youngest to college. By the time he gets out we shall be sixty. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to grow the fabled nest egg. Yet somehow this way makes sense.
(Notice I changed the check boxes below. You seemed to respond. Cool)