Monday, October 17, 2011

One Less Charity...

I've got no children, and, aside from pretty nice vacations, I live a fairly simple and frugal life.  I am reasonably sure that I will have money "left over" when I die, so I have been filtering through in my mind which charities I am going to make an endowment to upon my ultimate departure.  Today, I learned there is one less charity to consider; the American Cancer Society.

According to a news story today, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has rejected the Atheist group Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB) from participating in the big fund raising event known as Relay for Life, despite FBB figuring that they could likely bring in somewhere on the order of $500,000 of donations.

Now it seems to me that if your goal is to combat one of the largest causes of death across all of mankind, you would not care where donation money comes from.  You assume, rightfully so, that people who are giving money to combat this disease are genuinely interested in saving their fellow man, or fellow woman.  It is an act of altruistic love.  Such donations often come from people who remained behind while they watched their loved ones whither away in pain before their very eyes, and they do not want anyone else to suffer the same fate.  Anyone.  Regardless of faith, or lack thereof.  Cancer doesn't ask if you believe in a god, or which god you believe in, before it starts festering in your body.

However, the ACS is prejudice where cancer is not.  It does not want freewill love offerings from those of no faith.  So, thank you ACS, for making my charity selection a little easier.

There should be no hard feelings, though.  I probably would have crossed ACS off my list upon learning (as I did tonight) that the Deputy CEO of this "charity" makes $1,407,719 a year for leading the organization.


  1. I just shared this with my family. Even my 9 year-old was shocked. Oh, I didn't tell them about your looking for a charity, for I am sure they would have written you a letter to ask for help for their college education. :-)

    Nah, I told them about FBB rejection. Thanx for the news.

  2. Laugh. :-) I do have some nieces and nephews to spoil...

    You are welcome.

  3. That rates right up there with my former pastor saying he wouldn't allow the church to accept tithes/offerings from lottery/gambling winnings. That money is from the devil, doncha know? ;~)

  4. Yeah, heaven forbid that they use such tainted money! ;-)

  5. What charities have you found that look promising? I hadn't thought much about this as I do have 2 boys. Of course, that doesn't mean my vast fortune in its entirety has to be bequeathed to them. :)

  6. @DoOrDoNot, there are so many to choose from, it is difficult. Right now, I am most attracted to charities that 1)provide clean drinking water to remote villages via installation of wells and 2)provide economic stimulus as well as aid (such as not just giving out food, but giving out chickens or goats, teaching the people how to care for the animals and make food from them [the old "teach a man to fish" proverb])

    If you've got a particular passion for charity in mind, I would recommend you head over to Charity Navigator. It is an awesome tool for finding the right charity, and making sure that you will get the most from your contribution. :-)

  7. First, it's appalling to me that the person in charge of running a CHARITY is making a million and a half dollars per year. Yeah, he/she is probably an MD in this case. So find an MD who is willing to work for, say, $200,000 and the satisfaction of being involved in charity work.

    Second, I'm as disappointed as you are that the ACS refuses to take money from an atheist group. But it's probably a shrewd move financially. I'll bet they would lose more money than they would stand to gain in the long run because certain Christian groups and individuals would, I'm sad to say, choose to stop giving to the ACS just because of their association with atheists. It's awful. Atheists and Christians *need* to start getting along.

    And lastly, I also recommend Charity Navigator. It's saved me many times from wasting money donating to charities that are, according to my standards, totally unworthy of donations.

  8. @Ollie Wallflower
    I know what you mean. If you are making over a million, you are not there for the love of the charity, you are there to make money. It is sad, but some charities feel they need to attract the "top talent" for leadership with a top paycheck.

    You may be right about the loss of other Christian supporters. I hadn't considered that angle, but you may be very right. It would be great if we could all just get along! ;-)