Anonymous said: Might you know anything about the Greater Good Network website? I don't know if it is really a responsible organization. I thought you might know more because I've seen you post stuff about charities that are no good.
Not off the top of my head but…
…alright, ellipses over. I searched a few charity ranking services and couldn’t find anything. If greatergoodnetwork.com is the site you mean, it seems to funnel through a couple different charities and is owned by a Charity USA, LLC (from Wikipedia, “CharityUSA.com, LLC, a privately held, for-profit company based in Seattle, assumed control of the company for one million dollars. CharityUSA owns and operates various click-to-donate-sites. CharityUSA currently claims that 100% of the website’s sponsor advertising revenue is paid to the aforementioned non-profit partners. The Commercial Fundraiser Profile Report page on the Secretary of State’s web page for the state of Washington  calculates the percentage that CharityUSA returns to its charity clients as being 17% of the company’s total revenue (labeled as contributions, although the company’s explanation on the same page defines this as mix of contributions and sale of products).”
So, I’m sure they do some good but they probably aren’t as efficient or as honest with your charity dollars as you’d like.
I’ve worked for a nonprofit before and my advice (overall) is…
- Choose charities you care about. This also helps you be better at donating both money and time or resources. (Mike Rowe writes about this very well, actually).
- Local is good.
- Donate to charities you know something about (or do research).
- I’m not the biggest fan of those “buy this paper cut out to donate to [cause] at the gas station store” but I think the the cost/benefit of donations for those to a reputable charity is worth it. (You’re usually losing pocket change and it’s up to you to decide what that is worth to you, etc).
- Also for the love of all things good, can I just say something about food drives? I’ve worked at a women’s shelter and a food bank and the things people donate to food drives are sad in a weird way. We once got a donation drive from one day that included over 100 boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese. Now, Kraft M&C is great, I’m in college, awesome — but imagine all of your food was provided only by donations and most of it was friggin’ M&C. It gets tiresome, it’s not good food, and it can be very depressing if that is the only thing you have to eat for months. You know what I saw donated MAYBE three times? Canned fruit. We get it, you can only donate non-perishables, but for the price of 3 Kraft’s you can donate some canned mandarin oranges or something and add a little variety. My new rule for food drives is now, “If I wouldn’t buy it for myself, I’m not donating it to a food drive.” (Of course, personal tastes vary, but how many elementary school food drives were just made up of obscure canned vegetables the kids didn’t want to eat? So many. My mom never let me pull that crap.) As an adult, I suggest doing your non-perishables shopping as normal, then deciding how much money you can afford in charity and going back and buying some of whatever the hell you would buy for yourself. You buy people better food (instead of buying them ‘lesser’ food, even if it’s not purposeful, people do this) this way.
Charity is a weird thing. It’s fantastic and I think there is a huge net good there but it is often very complicated, not as efficient as we want something good to be and can line the pockets of a lot of people in the shadows even when the people donating mean well.
I relied on food banks for a time in my misspent youth, and I’d have killed for canned fruit, spices, cooking oil, corned beef (okay maybe that’s just me), and canned tomatoes. Canned lima beans and boxed mac&cheese do not a healthy or pleasant diet make. Especially when you rarely have milk or butter to make the mac&cheese with. Trust me, that stuff is TERRIBLE with just water to dissolve the cheese powder.
I worked on a miniature collage for the cover of a lovely book, Kazoku Theatre, by the award-winning very popular Japanese author, Mizuki Tsujimura. The book design by the super talented, Naoko Nakui. Before I stated to work, I had a chance to read the book (proof version). Each short stories & the characters were very very precious. I didn’t want to finish reading the book! The book will be available on October 22 at bookstores across the country in Japan.
Beijing-based Austrian architect and designer Florian Pucher turned a lifelong fascination with how the world looks from way up high in the sky into an awesome series of stylish area rugs.
“I have always loved to travel and tried to always get window seats on planes,” said the Beijing-based Austrian architect who even avoided travelling by night in order to see as many different landscapes as possible.
Pucher’s limited edition LANDCARPET series is modeled after aerial images, satellite photos and maps, of real locations from all over the world. Landscapes viewed from miles overhead are stylized and laid at your feet in plush maps of varying shape, color and height, made of 100% New Zealand wool.