Good Stuff

Charities: Share Your Love

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMEBODY WHO’S GOT IT WORSE THAN YOU DO … Times are tight.  And  government’s anti-free market monetary and economic policies are making them tighter.  That’s why it’s hard to fathom giving away even a dime of your hard-earned money, right? Right … which is sad. Still, Americans found…

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMEBODY WHO’S GOT IT WORSE THAN YOU DO …

Times are tight.  And  government’s anti-free market monetary and economic policies are making them tighter.  That’s why it’s hard to fathom giving away even a dime of your hard-earned money, right?

Right … which is sad.

Still, Americans found their way to give $416.5 billion to charity in 2013 – a 12.9 percent increase from 2012, according to data published by the Atlas of Giving.  That’s impressive.  Even more impressive?  The money you voluntarily give to charity – unlike the money taken from you by government – actually meets needs efficiently.

Numerous studies (including several cited in this piece) have shown that private charities administratively absorb only about one-third of the donations they receive .  Big government?  Anywhere between two-thirds to three-quarters  of its budgets go to overhead.

Anyway …

One of our favorite local charities here in the Midlands region of South Carolina is a group called Sharing God’s Love.  Wait … we’re  endorsing a religious-based entity?  Don’t we typically eschew the thumping of Bibles?  Yes … but this isn’t a “church and state” issue.  It’s a “church and community” issue.  And we’d rather see needs actually being met (with a little bit of proselytizing thrown in) as opposed to seeing more taxpayer money pissed down the drain of the welfare state.

So …

Sharing God’s Love – based in Irmo, S.C. – is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Established in 1984, its website refers to the group as a “local cooperative ministry that works with community families facing emergencies related to their basic living needs.”

From January to December 2013, the group provided more than $960,000 of assistance to an estimated 2,290 families (with overhead costs of less than ten percent).  Through June of this year, it’s provided more than $510,000 of assistance to 1,238 families.

Groups like this exist all over the state … and the country.

They are – literally – doing “the Lord’s work.”  And when we say that, we’re not referring to any specific deity, we’re referring to the simple notion of “doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. ”

Life is hard.  It’s getting harder.  But there are always those who have it worse than you do.  So whether it’s Sharing God’s Love (our neighborhood charity) or a similar group in your neck of the woods – lend a hand.  In fact if you’ve got a charitable organization you’d like us to promote, email us.

One of our favorite lines from the movie Gladiator came from Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus.

He said “what we do in this life echoes in eternity.”

In our book, that goes for compassion as well as bravery.

SHARING GOD’S LOVE

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19 comments

euwe max September 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

The collective.

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The Colonel September 11, 2014 at 10:03 am

Nice post. Americans by far are the most generous people on earth in total dollars given but only in the top 5 based on per capita donors (Australia and Ireland are first). We’re in the top 1-2 in time given normally. https://www.cafonline.org/media-office/press-releases/2011/dec-2011/uk-fifth-most-charitable.aspx

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E Norma Scok September 11, 2014 at 10:36 am

Back when I worked for the borg, I always found the strong arming tactics of United Way, well, hateful. It was a flag waving opportunity for our CEO to “out-do” his competitors. That, and I’m not really sure of the effectiveness of the United Way anyway. I’d much rather give some stuff (that I could probably sell) to Goodwill, or throw a couple c-notes to ECCO, but that’s a whole different post.

But what I always found interesting about the annual giving campaign was that every year when the “giving coordinators” broke down what everyone gave by position, the lowest paid employees always gave the most (by percentage).

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Smirks September 11, 2014 at 11:14 am

The United Way has changed a lot over the years and really seems like a poor charity to give to anymore.

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E Norma Scok September 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Yep–like I said, I’d much rather see my money go to the local “meals on wheels” or ECCO (east cooper community outreach). I can literally see it go to work, locally–almost instantly.

Thankfully my present job doesn’t fall to the UW arm twisting-yet, so I’m free to do with my money as I choose–for now.

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The Colonel September 11, 2014 at 11:38 am

I was “voluntold” to be one of the “strong armers” once upon a time at BCBS. Being nosy, I looked into what the “management types” were giving – you’re spot on, the majority of us peon level managers and supervisors were giving more in dollars and the lower level workers were giving more as a percentage.

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FastEddy23 September 11, 2014 at 11:51 am

“United Way:
The largest charity in the U.S. by donations ($3.9 billion last year) United Way has a built-in efficiency edge, since 57% of its donations come through payroll withholding and another 20% from corporate donations. Still, when CEO Brian Gallagher took over a decade ago, the sprawling organization was recovering from a nasty scandal (a previous CEO went to jail) and suffering from a lack of focus (it was simply sprinkling money around to every group). Gallagher has turned what was a “loose confederation” into something more akin to a global franchise operation, with 1,800 chapters worldwide, including 1,200 in the U.S. The domestic chapters, and later foreign affiliates, were required to agree to independent review boards, audits and limits on marketing tactics. “Just as McDonald’s would, we needed to ask ourselves, where do we have to be consistent and where do we allow innovation on the ground?” says Gallagher. U.S. chapters now pay 1% of funds raised to the parent organization. About a quarter of what United Way takes in domestically is directed by donors to other charities. Money that stays with United Way is now used for one of three focus areas: education, income and health (particularly obesity prevention).” – Forbes All-Star Charities List of 2012 ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2012/11/08/charity-all-stars/ )

I believe I would stick with “Sharing God’s Love” in the article above. (United Way, I agree, may be one of those “too big to fail” type organizations.)

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FastEddy23 September 11, 2014 at 10:30 am

My personal rules about charity and giving: Never contribute to lawyers or politicians. It only encourages them and makes them hard to light.

This piece is quite interesting. “… From January to December 2013, the group provided more than $960,000 of assistance to an estimated 2,290 families (with overhead costs of less than ten percent). …” That is a good mark and very close to the percentage advised by Steve Forbes for the top tier of charities. A <10% overhead puts "Sharing God’s Love" in the same category as the Salvation Army.

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Smirks September 11, 2014 at 11:16 am

Never contribute to lawyers or politicians.

I’d rather set cash on fire than give it to a politician.

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FastEddy23 September 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

That’s right! Perfect … couldn’t have said it better … Thumbs Up! (Where are those emoticons when you need them.)

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gregorybgeddings September 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Why not set fire to both of them?

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Smirks September 11, 2014 at 11:12 am

The money you voluntarily give to charity – unlike the money taken from you by government – actually meets needs efficiently.

This is quite laughable. One merely has to point to food banks running shortages year round to see that. This, of course, in spite of government quashing a HUGE portion of starvation via welfare programs that cost billions.

Giving to charity is nice, but charities alone will not, nor will they ever, solve society’s needs. Charities and churches and whatever other private organizations simply can’t keep up when you remove “government interference” of poverty. Just look at what America’s poverty among the old was like before Social Security for crying out loud.

If helping your fellow man out were profitable, the free market would have reason to give a damn then.

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SCBlueWoman September 11, 2014 at 11:27 am

The needs are too great for charities and churches, etc to fill the need. I agree with your assessment. Those thinking otherwise are totally clueless.

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euwe max September 12, 2014 at 1:46 am

This is quite laughable.

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I don’t find blatant lies funny at all.

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euwe max September 12, 2014 at 1:53 am

If helping your fellow man out were profitable,

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Profit to these morons is indecipherable.

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MashPotato September 12, 2014 at 9:30 am

Boy is your head screwed on backwards.

Government creates and perpetuates poverty. Taxes, market interference, and minimum wage do more harm to the working class than you’ll ever admit. They raise the prices of basic necessities such as food, clothing, and housing. Government wastes so much money on health care and education, but they are the cheaper out of pocket choice for the poor.

Social security barely guarantees each payer a return on investment. Also, it gets spent by government and is known to be insolvent in the long run.

Welfare programs keep some families poor for generations because getting a job means a loss of benefits. A charity that actually cares wouldn’t cut assistance the moment you got a job- they would help until you don’t actually need it anymore.

Offering jobs, making life necessities truly affordable (both through market competition and charity), and not taking his hard earned paycheck is the real way to help your fellow man.

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guest September 11, 2014 at 3:55 pm

I googled “sharing god’s love” but I couldn’t find their most recently filed IRS Form 990. Do you have a link to it?

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gregorybgeddings September 11, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Go to guidestar. I am assuming that this is a 501 (c) 3. They have access to all of that information.
That’s where I learned our local Goodwill CEO was pulling down $262,000 yearly. That was three years ago. He makes more now.

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