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Time for Year-End Giving

December 3, 2008

It’s that time of year – to think about year-end charitable giving.  Every year, my family usually gets together sometime in December to look at how much we’d like to give and what we’d like to give to.  In previous posts by both me and Venu, we’ve talked about whether to give here (in the US) or there (in South Asia, and my case, India).  The question of where to give was highlighted in Sudhir’s recent Freakonomics post and is the subject of a raging debate in the comments.

Part of the motivation for SAPP is to involve South Asians in their own communities right here at home – through service on boards, philanthropy to community organizations, volunteering in the neighborhood.  That said, when I sat down to look at my own giving, I find that I fall into predictable patterns.  We give to our respective religious organizations first, then make annual gifts to our colleges.  Then, we tend to focus on organizations serving poor communities overseas – Interplast (mentioned below), Amnesty International, IDEX, the Prasad Project, and others.  Because I lived and worked abroad (in Latin America), the need in that part of the world is really compelling to me.

This year, I’d like to broaden our horizons and look closer to home, especially given what’s happening with the economy.  For example, I’ve read a few articles like this one about food banks being in trouble.  And, in honor of this project, I’d like to do a little research on organizations serving South Asian Americans – starting with our own organizations page.  Also, Devis With Babies recommends a few charities that might be of interest to you, and the NY Times Giving section is always a great guide for this season.

What about you all?  Where are you giving this year?  Any changes from years past?

UPDATE:  Also check out GiveList, a new site about giving during the tough times this holiday season.

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