Who is Worth Your Time and Money?

Who is worth my time and money? Since most people have limited quantities of both, it seems worth considering who we spend extra time and money on. Most religions have a concept of tithing, of giving time and money to those who need it. Although I do not consider myself a traditional Mormon, I still wish to pay tithing, and have spent the last few months figuring out how to do that.

My understanding of tithing tends towards taking care of the poor, of empowering the dis-empowered, so I gravitate towards organizations that do just that. As a rabid feminist, I also tend towards groups that support and empower women. Because I want to make sure I’m actually doing some good, I also like organizations that are financially transparent; who show that their money is going where they said it would. Since the church is not financially transparent and uses money for things other then humanitarian aid, including things I do not support, I’ve chosen to tithe to other organizations.

I also like the idea of tithing time as well as money and volunteering for a cause or organization. Clearly, there are all kinds of good causes in the world, and you can’t give time and/or money to everyone. But in the New Testament it says Christ valued the widow’s mite; even small actions of support for good count to God. I do a lot of liking and sharing on Facebook and blogs, hoping that even if I can’t do much now, maybe someone else can.

So, my question is, who is worth your time and money? What organizations do you support, or would you support if you were able? My list includes CARE, Sister Somalia , Amnesty International, Women for Women International, and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Who do you like? Who have you had luck with? Where do you volunteer if that is your thing?

DefyGravity

I'm a graduate from BYU in theatre education and history teaching, currently living in Utah and working at a library company. I've been married since 2009. I love to read essentially anything. I'm an earring fanatic, Anglophile and Shakespeare lover.

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9 Responses

  1. I pay my tithing as you do, to organizations I believe are helping the world. The lack of transparency on LDS Church donations bothers me too. Still, the low overhead makes me willing to donate to the Humanitarian Fund even though I can’t be 100% sure some of my donation won’t be transferred to Church education or missionary work.

    I tend to favor humanitarian aid and environmental causes and local organizations over national. For national organizations, I especially like KIVA which provides micro loans to qualified applicants in developing world.

  2. EmiG says:

    I like kiva.org and also contribute to several local organizations, including the local food bank, the local crisis nursery, and Global Neighborhood (which matches refugee families in Spokane with other families in the area, helps refugees with employment, language, and other challenges – great organization!). Clothes donations either go to Global Neighborhood’s thrift store or the local Goodwill. As for volunteering, it’s hard with several young ones, but during the school year I spend a morning a week in one of my kids’ classrooms (switching between the two every other week), and then I do a Meals on Wheels route twice a month (which my three-year-old LOVES helping with, and the “grandmas and grandpas” LOVE to see him helping), and help with my local Bountiful Baskets site every week.

    There are lots of great national and international organizations, but I’ve been really drawn to local ones lately.

  3. Sherah says:

    Local food banks, because they are my people, in my town–both the served and the serving.

  4. Kirsten says:

    I volunteer for and donate money to Stone Soup Community– a local non-profit organization that helps people build bridged out of poverty. We counsel people on budgeting, help with job searches, and family development. As a “professional volunteer” it is one of the most satisfying and important work I have done. Seeing lives change and people learning the skills they need to get out of the cycle of poverty is very rewarding.

  5. rs says:

    i volunteer and donate money to local organizations. i’m not comfortable donating to a lot of the really large national/international organizations since their overhead is typically too large for my taste. i do continue to pay tithing to the church, but i put it in the humanitarian aid or perpetual education accounts…..not sure if the money actually goes there, but i’m hopeful.

  6. Jessica F says:

    The lack of transparency is weird. It does not seem right that the church does not have to disclose its financial records, but asks me if I pay tithing. Just weird.

    Question for people who do not pay tithing to the church- how do you answer the temple recommend questions and the tithing settlement stuff?

    • DefyGravity says:

      Last year I sent my husband to tithing settlement on his own. He pays tithing on his income. The bishop never addresses me anyway, since my husband “speaks for our family.” if they happen to think I pay my tithing because because they don’t treat me like an individual and let me husband speak for me, that’s their problem.

      The temple reccomend question is “are you a full tithe payer.” you determine what that means, not your bishop. If you tithe elsewhere, that is still tithing. I doubt he has your financial records in front of him. And he doesn’t know how much you make. I don’t know if I’ll be renewing my reccomend, but I consider myself a tithe payer with the things I donate time and money to.

  7. CatherineWO says:

    I contribute money to several local charities. I am also an avid environmentalist and contribute to and am a member of Great Old Broads for Wilderness. My husband and I have contributed to a coupleof NGOs in past years, organizations which help people in third world countries. Locally, I volunteer with the group Montana Women Vote, a Montana state group which tries to get women to participate in local elections, either by running for office or voting. I’ve met some very interesting people while walking around at local events asking people if they are registered to vote (and registering them if they are not).

  8. Anonymous Donor says:

    I make donations to Kiva, Choice Humanitarian, Habitat for Humanity, the Hydrocephalus Foundation, Solar Cookers International and CAP’s “See, Test and Treat” program that provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to underprivileged women.

    At this stage of my life (no tiny children) volunteering currently includes a civic arts entity, a historic preservation assistance community organization and a visiting teaching route with several brave women who are in long-term difficult situations to whom I am in a position to give multiple hours of assistance each month.

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