What Are Your Favorite Charities?

Who do folks like to donate to as a part of their holiday traditions this year? Taking care of the poor and needy (Give Directly, World Vision) and good causes (your church, animal protection, Biologos) surely fit in the humanitarian and Christian ideals.


RSPB, Survival International (which helps secure indigenous rights), Dwarf Sports Association (which helps people with Dwarfism), Scottish Wildcat Action.


Kiva is a really neat one – you can give $25 to help fund a loan to people all over the world, for household needs, agriculture, small businesses, etc., and once they pay it back, you can lend the same $25 over and over again. I suppose that’s not quite the same thing as regular donating, but they are still one of my favorite charities.

I also like the World Vision catalog with practical ways to help families. Compassion is another good one.


Despite the hoopla, Salvation Army does great work with low overhead. It will be interesting to see how their donations fair with the Chik Fil A controversy.


I would like to share our organization’s criteria for selecting charities which can be helpful to find the best charities for yourselves. .

Principles for the selection of projects

Help for the poorest

Donations are specifically used to support projects in the poorest regions of the world. By the “poorest” we consider children in particular and the needy who are not taken care of by anyone else.

Help for self-help

The selected projects are planned and carried out on the basis of “help for self-help” in cooperation with the local population.

Personal commitment

Local projects of clear objectives will be selected. They are managed and controlled by their founders or their successors. Their personal and dedicated commitment on site insures that the entrusted donations are used responsibly.

Use of donations

The selected relief organisations are expected to use as little of the monies donated as possible on administrative costs. Annual reports must document the actual use of the donated funds.


We prefer to support the selected local projects over a long period in order to enable the responsible people to plan for the future development of their work. To sustain the improvements in living conditions, projects should cover various areas, such as health care, education and job creation.

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Since we’re all about research here, I thought this was interesting. It talks about the positive effects of cash charities:


I like Mennonite Central Committee (their mobile meat canning is interesting :slightly_smiling_face:), Mennonite Disaster Service, and World Vision* has already been mentioned. The Mennonite ones are very low overhead, and another with relatively low overhead that I like is Samaritan’s Purse. That last is good because you can give via electronic check and not lose any percentage to a credit card company. I also like their Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift program – it has brought a lot of smiles. :slightly_smiling_face:

*The series of providences – what I call co-instants or co-instance(s) :slightly_smiling_face: – that took Rich Stearns from being the CEO of Lenox China high-end dinnerware and gifts to being the president of World Vision are detailed in the early chapters of The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us?


I agree. With hurricane Harvey, they came early and stayed late providing help. If Franklin Graham would just stay quiet and let them do their thing the world would be a better place.

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Most of the expert opinion that I have heard is to support just a few charities and do that consistently.

In addition to my local church, I support evangelism (Cru, especially the Jesus Film), feeding the hungry (a food bank), healing the hurt (a homeless/addiction ministry), and a Christian paleontologist working to bridge the gap between science and Christianity.

It is best to have a plan and work the plan.


I took some time off from tithing (that’s a whole thing), but one of the things I loved doing was using my July/August/September month’s “tithe” ordering books and school supplies off of my teacher friends’ wish lists.

I have also given to a ministry called Durihana, which is a pastor in South Korea who rescues North Korean refugees from China (often who are currently engaged unwillingly in human trafficking).


Yes, tithing is a whole ‘nother topic.

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The last 2 years, we have been trying to learn to relate our plenty to gratefulness to God… I often miss supper with the kids because work runs late during the week, so I take our 3 out to breakfast and let my wife sleep in on Saturday. We put the equivalent of the restaurant fee (nothing fancy…Mcdonald’s is a favorite) in a jar labeled “Thank You, God,” and donate it to a cause at the end of the year that the kids find worthwhile. Last year, the recipients were a family in our church whose young dad had spent months in the hospital and was getting back on his feet. This year, the kids are choosing World Vision catalogue gifts. We also sometimes give World Vision gifts in the name of those friends and relatives who really don’t need or want anything, and give them a card from World Vision notifying them of that.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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