Oxfam

Through the end of today, BCC will match your charitable donation to Oxfam, up to a total of $1000. Let us know if you’re in. Email admin@byc_______ with the amount you have donated if you want to keep things private.

(In 2015, Oxfam will be part of a charitable drive here at BCC. More later . . .)

Comments

  1. I’m in.

  2. In the best expository style of BCC, are you going to explain why we should donate to Oxfam?

    The last time I checked, Oxfam America (the Brit version may be different) did not have the highest score of program-to-administrative costs from folks who rate charities on such things. It was by no means scandalous, but it was not the best, either.

    Most of us have limited dollars available for donations, and want so spend them wisely, so that information would be helpful.

    Also, as a USAmerican taxpayer, I would never make a charitable donation on the last day of the year. Iffy as to whether it would be recorded in the year for which it is intended. This is why #GivingTuesday happens a few weeks safely before the end of the quarter. So thanks for letting us know that there will be further opportunities in 2015.

  3. Naismith, if taxation is keeping you from throwing $20 to Oxfam, the issue is not taxation.

    Re: other places to donate, there are many. Again, if this is what keeps you from donating that ten-spot, there are other issues at play.

  4. I can only speak for myself, but I want to believe that giving to a good cause can and should be done whenever and however the need and the ability coincides. Seeking to maximize the effectiveness of and minimize the burdens imposed by one’s gifts is presumably a good thing, but perhaps not if seeking to assure such things prevents the giving from happening in the first place.

    Our family is in. Thanks for doing this, all of you behind-the-scenes folks at BCC who are making this happen.

  5. My family is in, and I am pleased to contribute my mite to the pile. A little bit done by many hands makes a difference.

  6. Anarene Holt Yim says:

    Naismith, I totally agree that we need to spend our donations wisely. Oxfam doesn’t meet the very specific criteria of GiveWell, but it is one of Peter Singer’s recommended charities, which is saying something. (TheLifeYouCanSave dot org) Oxfam has some special abilities due to its large size and long history, like being able to take on big food companies that hurt small farmers. That’s something that small organizations like Liahona Children’s Foundation can’t even begin to combat. There are many organizations doing great work out there, and we all have to make choices about what’s most important to us. Perhaps the most important thing is that we all do what we can, whether it’s Oxfam on Dec. 31st or something else on another day.

  7. Naismith, re: taxation: in the U.S., there are very, very few tax reasons not to donate on the last day of year. The only ones I can think of, frankly, are these: (1) You didn’t itemize this year, but you’re sure you’ll itemize next year, or (2) you’ve maxed out your charitable donation for the year (which means you’ve donated to charity an amout equal to roughly 50% of your adjusted gross income). Because donating tomorrow, rather than today, delays your ability to get the financial benefit of a charitable deduction by a full year.

    I have no idea what you mean by its being “iffy” if it’s recorded in the current year; the law says that if you make the donation in 2014, you can take the deduction in 2014.

    More fundamentally, though, to Steve’s point: as much as it pains me to say this, taxes aren’t everything. Even if there were some question about whether we could take the deduction or not, that’s not a reason to fail to do good. (Also, even if the deduction were deferred for a year—which, I repeat, it won’t be—you’d be in the same situation as if you donated tomorrow. But you’d remember to donate and you’d get the BCC match.)

  8. BCC will match donations made today, up to a total of $1000. Additionally, we have learned that a generous donor has agreed to match all Oxfam donations made today, up to $100,000. So a donation today means a quadruple donation. Not too shabby!

  9. Naismith,

    Donate or don’t donate, it’s fine. I think when it comes to regular and/or large donations, it is wise to have an eye on efficiency and tax concerns. However, helping the poor need not always be run through some kind of financial planner. Just as I rather frivolously spent $20 on fast food this lunchtime without worrying about the tax implications of my adding to McDonald’s’ profit, I can probably do the same for Oxfam. I regret eating at McD’s; I can’t see how I can regret giving $20 to Oxfam, especially as it will become $80.

  10. I’m in.

  11. Remember to email us with your contribution so we can do the matching!

  12. Also, I’m in.

  13. WestBerkeleyFlats says:

    I actually have a reasonable, but convoluted question. Can I make a pledge today to Oxfam America as part of the US Combined Federal Campaign, which ends today, and have that amount be matched? The money would actually be donated over the course of next year’s pay periods based on how the system is set up by the federal government.

  14. I’m in.

  15. Super low admin cost ratios can also indicate an organization that is not paying their employees fair wages or e.g. lobbying governments or marketing enough in order to increase the impact of their charitable activities. I don’t know the particulars of OxFam, but in general the logic of shaming nonprofit org employees for making a decent living is ridiculous.

  16. Donating, and excited to see this develop over the coming months (and hopefully years)

  17. Another suggestion: when you click on the donation link at Oxfam, the page helpfully provides a button asking whether you want to make the sum you have decided to donate today into a monthly donation. Please consider whether this is something that you can do. If household budget concerns make this a difficult decision, consider making a New Year’s Resolution to forego that McDonald’s lunch once a month (or the other frivolous consumer spending that we all engage in) in that amount and let the money go to Oxfam.

    I can attest to the influence for good that Oxfam has because of its long history and reputation. As a result, it has enormous reach, far greater than many of the other charities available, including LDS Humanitarian Services.

    This BCC drive is NOT an appeal to replace donations to the Church or LDS Humanitarian Services with a donation to Oxfam. This is an appeal to donate to Oxfam in addition to the Church, thus drastically increasing the reach of your charitable donation.

    Remember that making a $20 donation to Oxfam today will result in $80 actually being donated to Oxfam because of the BCC matching pledge coupled with the Oxfam donor match pledge Steve mentioned above.

  18. Jennifer in GA says:

    Just sent you an email!

  19. Made the donation. Fwiw, it’s tremendously easy–I did it on my phone while out for lunch. And I got my emailed receipt instantly.

    And even better, this wasn’t a donation I was planning on making until today. But how can you pass up a quadrupling?

  20. What’s that email address? Does it really have all those underscores?

  21. Villate, Ronan was being coy. Look on the ‘About’ page.

  22. Just did. I figured it was something like that. Thanks.

  23. Also, in 2015 consider discussing with your ward or stake councils the possibility of holding an Oxfam sponsored Hunger Banquet in which the ward or stake reaches out to the broader community (perhaps by coupling with another nearby church congregation for the event) to put on a Hunger Banquet, the donations from which all are donated to Oxfam.

    Here is a review of BYU’s annual Hunger Banquet: https://bycommonconsent.com/2014/03/02/hunger-banquet-2014/

    See the last paragraph for a discussion of Oxfam sponsored hunger banquets.

    Here is a ready-to-go memo if you want a starting point on how to discuss the Hunger Banquet with your ward or stake council: https://bycommonconsent.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/hunger-banquet-memo-jan-2005-anonymized.docx

  24. Anarene Holt Yim and john f did a lovely job of explaining more about the unique role of the charity. I would have expected more information if we are being asked to contribute to a cause, whether it time, money, or whatever. BCC has not advocated for mindless sheephood on other issues.

    So I made a $20 donation (despite Steve Evans’ snarky comments about what must really be going on).

    Sam Brunson, I’m not a lawyer but my average-consumer experience is that a donation is made in the year stated on the IRS-boilerblate letter received from the charity. One year I made a donation on Dec. 26 and they insisted it was on January 3 of the following year. So we do try to make any adjustments to our ongoing charitable giving by the first week in December.

  25. Naismith–that’s some truly sloppy accounting and management on the part of the charity you donated to. I once worked in fundraising at a small nonprofit, and we took special pains in both our bookkeeping and our correspondence to ensure that donors received written confirmation that indicated when their gift was received.

    Now, if you want to get cynical, we should talk about the actual implementation of challenge grants and matching, which don’t generally work the way they’re presented.

    But I won’t spoil the party! In fact, I’m in for $25.

  26. I’m not one that gets too hung up on the administrative vs program costs, but there is a significant danger that a non-profit begins to concentrate more on self-perpetuation than on its original objects. For example, I personally feel that the Boy Scouts of America has reached this point — the district executives seem far more interested in recruiting and fund raising and the meaningful service seems to be provided by unpaid volunteers. And BSA is expensive.

    I’m in – I donated $100 to Oxfam on their web site.

  27. N. W. Clerk says:

    I didn’t contribute, but I had a bucket of ice water poured over my head. I hope that helps.

  28. It wasn’t a snarky comment in the least.

  29. We’ve hit $1000! Thanks everyone. Note that contributions today will still be matched by Oxfam’s other donor.

  30. Awesome. Well done, everyone! Happy new year.

  31. Left Field says:

    An endorsement from Peter Singer sounds like a good reason to never give them a dime.

  32. Anarene Holt Yim says:

    Left Field, You don’t have to agree with everything (or anything) Peter Singer says, but he is extremely discriminating when it comes to charities and social goods. If you’ve read much of his work or taken a class from him, you know how exacting he is. You can still appreciate Oxfam even if you don’t like Singer’s philosophy of ethics.

  33. Left Field says:

    If Singer’s evaluation of charities and social goods is informed by his misguided and ill-informed “ethics,” then I take no comfort in how exacting he might be in that evaluation. I’d be happier if he were less exacting. I guess it could be that none of Oxfam’s resources go to promote the Singer version of a “social good.” But his endorsement doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

  34. What do we need to do to prove our donation?

  35. Just let us know the amount in an email–honor system.

  36. The match is no longer in place, but donating to good causes is still an awesome thing to do, of course.

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