Should we support SHARE?

May 22, 2010

The Center for Inquiry sponsors coordinated charitable giving through SHARE (the Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort). SHARE publicizes the need for money to assist those in distress (typically as the result of a natural disaster), collects the money, and then donates it to a nonreligious relief agency that it believes will be effective in delivering required assistance. For example, money raised for Haitian relief went to Doctors Without Borders. SHARE does not deliver the services itself. CFI branches also engage in charity drives, but in addition, some of them sponsor group projects that either raise money for charity (for example, a charity run) or provide services, such as park or river clean-ups, tutoring for children, and so forth.

Some other secular advocacy groups have similar programs. Non-Believers Giving Aid is a program sponsored by a coalition of secular groups, including the Richard Dawkins Foundation. And Foundation Beyond Belief was organized for the express purpose of coordinating donations from the nonreligious, with the donated money being transmitted to a select group of secular charities. They all seem like worthwhile programs, no? At the very least, they are harmless.

Some secularists would strongly disagree. There has been, off and on, a debate in the secular community about whether secular advocacy groups should organize charitable relief. (Tom Flynn may be writing on this topic in a forthcoming issue of Free Inquiry .) Those opposed to these efforts not only see them as silly or pointless, but also inconsistent with the principles of secularism. Their argument goes something like this: Secular advocacy organizations do not (usually) deliver needed services themselves. That is, secular advocacy organizations do not provide food, medical assistance, housing, etc. All they are doing is aggregating donations based on the lifestance of the donor. Such an endeavor does not reflect a secular perspective, but rather a religious one. It is inherently sectarian. Why should we encourage secular people to self-segregate and funnel their donations through a secular advocacy organization when they can just skip this intermediary step and give directly to the charity that is actually providing services? There are plenty of nonreligious charities that provide relief services. Those truly committed to secularism should give to these relief agencies as individuals, not as members of an identifiable "sect."

With respect to the claim that coordinated charitable giving by humanists or atheists improves the image of the nonreligious, the hard-core secularist will contend that such a motive is a venal one. We should not be giving to charities just so we can boast about our giving.

I believe this argument is entitled to be seriously considered, but at the end of the day, it is not persuasive.

To begin, there is some evidence to suggest that people are more motivated to give when they do so as part of a group. If we believe encouraging contributions to a worthy cause is a desirable goal, then funneling gifts through a secular organization with which some secular donors may identify seems, on balance, a good thing. The objecting secularist may protest that this effectively endorses "peer pressure," and this somehow makes the donation less worthy. But peer pressure is not necessarily a bad thing. To a large extent, the institution of morality is based on peer pressure. We might like to think we'd all be wonderfully generous, agreeable, honest and helpful even if no one was ever aware of our behavior and there was no risk of criticism from others for moral failings, but I'm doubtful that would be the case.

Moreover, coordinated giving can help dispel some of the negative myths about the nonreligious. The nonreligious are often accused of being uncaring. If coordinated contributions to a secular charity can help eliminate some of the stigma attached to being a nonbeliever, I see that as a good thing.

Of course, this implies that secular advocacy groups will seek some publicity for their efforts. I fail to see how this is unseemly or a bad thing. The notion that it is improper to seek appropriate recognition for one's charitable giving strikes me as a reflection of, dare I say it, a Christian viewpoint. (Jesus supposedly said, in his Sermon on the Mount, that when one gives alms, one should not "sound a trumpet.") Undue modesty and meekness are not secular virtues. (I note in passing that the hard-core secularist's view that it is wrong to seek recognition for one's charitable giving indicates how the Christian ethos still unconsciously shapes many of our views.)

Finally, the hard-core secularist's argument against coordinated charitable efforts by secular groups doesn't really touch the situation where the secular group is actually providing the services, as when a group of nonreligious volunteers gets together to clean up a park. The reality is this task probably wouldn't get done (or get done as promptly) if the nonreligious volunteers weren't motivated to band together and use secular muscle to put secular ethics into action. I just don't see how such efforts violate some fundamental principle of secularism.

I believe SHARE is a worthwhile program, as are the various charitable initiatives of our branches. But if you have a view on this issue, let us know. Occasionally (insert smiley face here), CFI management is accused of taking action without bothering to listen to what our supporters have to say. If you think SHARE is misguided, now is your opportunity to sound off.

Comments:

#1 SimonSays on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 7:57am

Isn’t part of being a humanist being kind to others? I would say of course keep it. CFI’s publications and FOC’s are not an insignificant number. If something is a truly good cause and there is a genuine need, then a little peer pressure for those who can afford it among this large audience is a small inconvenience given the magnitude of some of these natural disasters.

Just about every local group imaginable across the country did benefits and fund-raising for Haiti and I do not see this as a bad thing.

If anything we should expand the program so that local groups have ideas and resources to do more community service projects.

My only concern with SHARE or RD’s equivalent is the financial cost (not sure how big/small) of being the middle-man in the transaction. My guess is that whatever this may be the benefits far outweigh it however, but naturally I don’t know the numbers.

IMO if people are concerned about “self-segregating” then they should also take a step back and examine why they are members of a secular/skeptic organization to begin with, but I digress.

PS If people are concerned about “peer-pressure” then they also might want to avoid CFI fund-raisers in general, but I digress again.

#2 KevinISlaughter on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 8:52am

My wife and I are friends of the center. I state that because I think it’s important to know that my comments are tied to my interest in donating money to the organization, and not hyperbole from an interested but uninvested person.

I get concerned about “mission creep” in non-profits that I support. I’m personally very slow to give money away, because I don’t have much of it and there are few organizations that I feel I can support. I became a friend to support the Mission:

“To oppose and supplant the mythological narratives of the past, and the dogmas of the present, the world needs an institution devoted to promoting science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.”

Simon remarked “Isn’t part of being a humanist being kind to others?”, but this broad rhetorical question could easily be applied to more things outside the scope of the Mission than in it. Using this reasoning, CFI could spend all their time and money buying teddy bears for senior citizens. It would be a kind thing to do, but not the reason I have given my money to the organization.

Ronald, you said “At the very least, they are harmless.”

I agree with Simon about the financial cost to the organization, though I’m not so optimistic about the benefits outweighing them. If SHARE or other organizations do not actually DO anything but take in money and redistribute it, then maybe folks seeking to give to a relief or charitable organization should be pointed to someone who actually DOES do something. The time of the administration membership and advocates of the Mission of CFI and other organizations is finite. If that time is taken up by mission creep, if each group assigns 2 or 12 folks to doing the same thing, it can be a harm to the core goals of the organizations… especially when all of that work is not just a duplication from one secular/atheist group to another, but a duplication of the hundreds of organizations dedicated exclusively to whatever charitable cause or disaster relief is being done.

At the end of the day, my opinion may be in the vast minority, but I think there’s a reasonable litmus test (however mercenary it may seem). If it’s believed that being involved in SHARE will generate a net gain in donations to be applied to “advocating science and reason” even though they’re drumming up donations for tertiary causes then go for it. If it’s going to mean that the fine minds and limited resources at CFI are going to be distracted from the “advocacy of a secular society” and “freedom of inquiry” then I, for one at least, will think that would be a loss and would be less inclined to renew my membership.

#3 Leo L. on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 10:29am

No. CFI should not be contributing to SHARE. I wholeheartedly support SHARE, but Kevin’s comment on #2 is correct. Organizations should have narrowly defined missions that while flexible enough to allow for growth, should address the core interests of their members.

#4 SimonSays on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 10:30am

Leo: You do know that SHARE is actually a CFI creation right?

#5 Leo L. on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 11:11am

SimonSays: Actually I didn’t realize until a few minutes ago that CFI had acquired SHARE in early 2010. I thought it was still a part of the Council for Secular Humanism. I know Paul Kurtz started both CFI and CSH, but I though CSH was still a separate organization from CFI. In my mind, SHARE should be a separate entity too.

#6 Leo L. on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 11:13am

BTW: Maybe I’m being overly sensitive about minutia but could somebody at CFI with editor privileges reformat this to include proper paragraph breaks? It’s currently using only a single
tag between paragraphs. It’s very hard to read like it is now.

#7 Leo L. on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 11:15am

“... single < br > tag”. Commenting system ate the tag.

#8 Melody on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 11:15am

I have received nothing but praise for our SHARE program. I can’t speak for everyone, but many members have voiced that they EXPECT us to do community service and aide relief. This money does not come out of our CFI budget. The money comes from people giving directly to SHARE.

#9 Leo L. on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 11:23am

Melody: Then I’m unsure what Ronald Lindsay is asking. Is he asking whether SHARE should exist? Then yes. It’s something I support and have given to in the past. On the other hand, if he’s asking whether CFI should finance SHARE, then no. It should be a fiscally independent, if not entirely independent, from CFI.

#10 Melody on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 11:31am

Leo, CFI is the umbrella organization for CSH and CSI.

#11 Alex O. (Guest) on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 12:22pm

Yes. Also, I see nothing wrong with financing either. If you’re a ‘hardcore secularist’ you’re probably against organising in any form. I doubt you’re losing any supporters over this.

#12 do_no_harm on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 1:36pm

For Haiti, I didn’t give to SHARE.  I gave directly to Doctors without Borders.  It was an emergency and an intermediate could only slow down the donation.

I don’t understand Alex O.‘s assumption that a “hardcore secularist” is probably against organization of any form. Why????

#13 Beth (Guest) on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 2:24pm

I’m sure that running SHARE consumes some organizational resources.  Collecting and accounting for funds and vetting potential recipients takes staff time.  But unless it’s a huge energy drain, I think it’s totally worth it. 

There’s a value to having us as a community make a statement about our support for efforts to relieve suffering and doing it because we are a secular community.  It’s not about giving in order to get personal glory or acknowledgment, but to counter the tired old argument that non-theists are not charitable. 

I also don’t understand why people consider this to be mission creep.  One of the things CFI does is help to create communities of humanists.  For us to give to charity collectively makes as much sense as for us to have a beer together (skeptically, of course) or any of the other things we do to build that community. 

From a practical perspective, as a potential donor, I see SHARE as offering me several benefits.  One, it does the work to determine what groups and completely secular and doing good work, so I don’t have to worry about inadvertently giving to a group with a covert religious mission.  Yes, I could do my own research, but isn’t it good if we don’t all have to duplicate that effort?  Also, by giving via a central pool of humanists, I can avoid getting on the mailing list of a gazillion different charities who will then send direct mail every month, or week.  These may seem like trivial points, but as I said they are added benefits of having SHARE as an option. 

Perhaps there’s something I don’t understand about the “principles of secularism” that Ron discusses, but I think SHARE’s a great idea.  If it were a big drain on organizational resources, I’d understand cutting it, but please not because some people think it’s a bad ideal

#14 Melody on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 2:48pm

I couldn’t have said it better, Beth.

#15 Ronald A. Lindsay on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 2:48pm

For now, let me note just a few facts that some may find relevant.
SHARE is a program of CFI, administered by CFI’s Development Department. CFI does not keep any of the money donated to SHARE. 100% of the money donated to SHARE goes to the relief agency or agencies selected by SHARE. The “cost” to CFI is essentially the employee time devoted to administering the program. I have not asked the VP of Development for a precise calculation of the time involved, but my estimate for the Haitian fund drive would be 20-25 hours, divided among tasks like preparing and transmitting messages relating to the drive, processing donations, transmitting donations, acknowledging donations, and related tasks. But since existing staff carry out these tasks, there is no direct financial cost. The cost would be indirect in the sense that staff involved presumably would have completed other tasks a little earlier had they not had to work on SHARE matters.
As I have already noted, some of our local branches also raise money or provide services, sometimes using the SHARE label and sometimes using some name they have devised for their program which, for whatever reason, they prefer. (Our branches have substantial autonomy in implementing their programs.) Again, any cost would be indirect in the sense that the local executive director has to devote some of her/his time to administering the program.
SHARE used to be a program of the Council for Secular Humanism, and SHARE was then an acronym for “Secular Humanists Aid and Relief Effort.” We changed the name and formally relocated administration of the program to CFI principally for three reasons: Most of the administrative work was already being done by CFI Development Department employees; we thought skeptics, as well as humanists, should receive some recognition for their contributions; and Tom Flynn, the executive director for the Council, is one of those secularists who objects to the SHARE program on principle. (I must note that Tom faithfully and effectively administered the program, despite his opposition to it, when it was his responsibility.)

#16 KevinISlaughter on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 2:53pm

“It’s not about giving in order to get personal glory or acknowledgment, but to counter the tired old argument that non-theists are not charitable.”

Giving to a charity to disprove an argument is one motivation I guess. Not mine.

Even if SHARE isn’t funded by CFI (by actual money or staff time) doesn’t mean that it can’t exist or that each of you couldn’t donate to it.

I DO think it’s mission creep, based on my reading of the actual mission, from the mission page. Sure, you can make an argument based on one or two lines, but the main points of the CFI mission and the 3 point wrap up at the end led me to believe that my money wasn’t going to be sent to Haiti to build houses, but to advocate science, reason and secularism.

I’m confused because of other comments here if SHARE is actually part of CFI or not.

#17 KevinISlaughter on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 2:59pm

Has Tom Flynn written on his objection to SHARE?

Thank you for the clarification on the status of SHARE in CFI (and we must have been writing at the same time, as you answered my final line before I was able to hit submit).

#18 Melody on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 3:19pm

Kevin: Please take a look at our entire mission statement.

From the ‘About Us’ page:

“The Center for Inquiry, and its affiliates, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism, also carry out their work through education, publishing, advocacy, and social services.”

Please note ‘social services.’

Also:

“Fostering a secular society requires attention to many specific goals, but three goals in particular represent the focus of our activities:

1) an end to the influence that religion and pseudoscience have on public policy

2) an end to the privileged position that religion and pseudoscience continue to enjoy in many societies

3) an end to the stigma attached to being a nonbeliever, whether the nonbeliever describes her/himself as an atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinker or skeptic.”

I believe SHARE does help us end the stigma attached with being a non-theist. We are showing that you don’t have to be religious to give to charity or to be moral. I believe that is one of the most prevalent misconceptions about the non-religious community.

#19 Beth (Guest) on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 3:48pm

Kevin, to clarify my point, I was saying that deciding to give via SHARE is a way to make a point, not that the underlying motivation for giving to charity is that.  The argument for doing away with SHARE seems to be that we can all just give directly to Doctors Without Borders or whoever, which is fine, but we would lose the ability to in effect make a statement by a group gift.

#20 Ronald A. Lindsay on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 4:09pm

@Kevin : Tom is planning to do an article on this topic in a forthcoming issue of FI. He touched on this topic a few years ago, in the February/March 2006 issue of FI, which is available on line at the Council’s website. http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=flynn_26_2
BTW, Tom is not the only secularist to take this view. My immediate motivation for presenting this as a topic for discussion was an informal exchange among some of the leaders of U.S. secular organizations(All comments were off the record, so don’t ask me who said what.)

#21 Alex O. (Guest) on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 4:30pm

What’s wrong with mission creep? If SHARE is mission creep, then it’s definitely the good kind.

#22 do_no_harm on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 6:43pm

I need to change my “do_no_harm” to Lucette Smoes.

Meanwhile, I have 2 concerns:

1. What is the delay between my gift reaching CFI and reaching the people who need our help?  For Haiti, time was very important, as it is usually.

2. Will we have something to say about the selection of the “secular” organizations that will receive SHARE contributions.  If I remember correctly, for Haiti, SHARE announced, at first, that the money would go to Doctors without Borders OR the American Red Cross (CROSS?). It was changed later to Doctors without Borders only.
I would not give to SHARE if I knew that it would go to the American Red Cross because there was recently a scandal about the Red Cross keeping part of the
money given for one catastrophy in order to build a reserve for future catastrophies.  I think it was at the time of 9/11. The Red Cross director had to resign because of this.
We would need to continue to have transparency.

#23 hao3 on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 7:23pm

Too much of a good thing? The Economist, 23/01/2010, Volume 394, Issue 8666:

“Like the [Asian] tsunami, the earthquake has produced an outpouring of generosity amounting to $1 billion so far.

The experience of the tsunami suggests that agencies will not be able to spend it. Nine months on, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had disbursed just 39% of the money they had promised to spend. A French NGO, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), stopped emergency fund-raising, saying it did not need more. It was criticised for this, but in retrospect was justified. As the tsunami evaluation put it, “allocation and programming…were driven by the extent of public and media interest, and by the unprecedented funding available, rather than by assessment and need.” This seems to be happening in Haiti, too; MSF has again asked people to switch donations to its general fund.”

#24 Melody on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 8:09pm

I would like to put this into perspective. SHARE raised slightly more than Wells Fargo’s $100,000 for Haiti. That’s huge! And the media picked up that non-believers (Us!) were giving aid. This is such an important opportunity. I think it’s a mistake that we would consider giving up this important effort.

Writing research papers, articles in magazines for intellectuals, and books that few people will ever read is important (No, really… I mean that.), but we are going to change hearts and minds through grassroots work, communities, and initiatives like these.

#25 Sarah (Guest) on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 9:53pm

I completely agree with Beth - I was very excited to learn about SHARE, and donated through it immediately for Haiti disaster relief even though I had already donated to Doctors without Borders. I did this because I am passionate about fighting the terribly wrong stereotype that religion is necesary for morality - donating through SHARE allowed me to make this important statement. This is our chance to say “hey, we are donating, we care about people in need, and we aren’t motivated by religion but rather, humanist values!”

Also, we need secular charities to offset the misleading statistics that show the religious give more to charity. When the market of charitable organizations is dominated by religious groups, then yes, inevitably it will appear that the religious are giving more to charity. There is no way to track how much I spend as a secular humanist/atheist in charitable donations. We need secular charitable organizations like SHARE to give a more accurate picture of how much humanists/non-religious are donating to humanitarian causes - the visibility is tremendously valuable. We don’t donate for this reason (visibility), we donate because we want to help others. My point is only that there is tremendous value in showing society that religionists don’t have the monopoly on making charitable donations - not at all.

I see this is a matter of principle, making a statement that sadly we have to keep making: morality knows no religion!

I support SHARE 100% and am proud to be affiliated with it as a CFI member.

#26 Randy Pelton on Sunday May 23, 2010 at 4:58am

I think Ron is correct in his evaluation of CFI’s involvement in coordinated charitable giving. I don’t understand the objections that some are raising to this, but then I have not yet read a fully articulated argument. Hopefully Tom will shed light on this perspective in the upcoming article he is planning to write. I do have a few comments concerning remarks made by several of the respondents.

Kevin wrote: “To oppose and supplant the mythological narratives of the past, and the dogmas of the present, the world needs an institution devoted to promoting science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.”

This statement is not the actual mission statement of CFI. While it incorporates much of the CFI’s mission statement, it places the emphasis a bit off the mark. (Promote a secular society based on reason, science, free inquiry and humanist values.”)
Note that a part of our mission is promotion of humanist values. Kevin appears to be ignoring this part of our mission and focusing almost exclusively on the science and skepticism aspects. These are important. I joined CFI myself in part because of this. But I was also attracted by CFI’s bonding of this with pursuit of humanist values. While not a scientist, I an a science educator and have a degree in one of the sciences. My readings and experience inform me that a science without some acknowledgement of the human condition is a science not much worth pursuing.

“...but I think there’s a reasonable litmus test (however mercenary it may seem). If it’s believed that being involved in SHARE will generate a net gain in donations to be applied to “advocating science and reason” even though they’re drumming up donations for tertiary causes then go for it. If it’s going to mean that the fine minds and limited resources at CFI are going to be distracted from the “advocacy of a secular society” and “freedom of inquiry” then I, for one at least, will think that would be a loss and would be less inclined to renew my membership.”  Kevin apparently fails to see that humanism is also part of CFI’s mission.  We are not, as Kevin seems to imply, an organization dedicated solely to freedom of inquiry. We seek a secular society, yes, but not based solely on freedom of inquiry. Our mission statement specifically references a seculary society based also on humanist principles. Humanist principles require us to employ science, reason, free inquiry and secular values in the cause of advancing and improving the human condition. Charitable giving, whether of money, time, or material support, most certainly falls within this mission. If Kevin thinks SHARE is a misguided effort he is free not to contribute through it. But I for one think that CFI’s sponsorship of SHARE is an appropriate part of the mission statement. It is a humanist pursuit.

Beth writes: “There’s a value to having us as a community make a statement about our support for efforts to relieve suffering and doing it because we are a secular community.  It’s not about giving in order to get personal glory or acknowledgment, but to counter the tired old argument that non-theists are not charitable.” I could not agree more Beth. Well said.  Advocating for a secular society is not enough. A secular society alone does not guarantee a more just or humane society. Secularism without humanism is shallow and unworthy of us as a movement.

Melody writes: “Writing research papers, articles in magazines for intellectuals, and books that few people will ever read is important (No, really… I mean that.), but we are going to change hearts and minds through grassroots work, communities, and initiatives like these.”  This is a very important point. Our movement will amount to little, if anything, if we aim our message only at the head. If we wish to be an influential player in the larger society, and I think we do, we must also target the heart. Religionists have known this for millinnia. Recent findings in the cognitive sciences have shown that reason and emotion are not divorced from one another and cannot be treated as mutually exclusive. I refer you to the work of George Lakoff (author of Don’t Think of An Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate and The Political Mind : Why You Can’t Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain,) and the website Cognitive Policy Works (http://www.cognitivepolicyworks.com/). Message framing is very important. Messages that aim only at the intellect work well with many, but most people don’t rely solely on the intellect to form their worldview. We had better come to grips with this or we shall always be a small, even marginalized movement in the larger society.

#27 Ronald A. Lindsay on Sunday May 23, 2010 at 6:28am

Thanks to everyone for their comments. I have found this discussion interesting and helpful.
@ do no harm: The first transfer of funds to Doctors without Borders took place within a few days of the announcement of the fund drive. I’ll try to get the exact timetable from our Development Department. We then waited a bit longer for the second transfer, to ensure this transfer would include all or almost all remaining donations (there may have been a third transfer to take care of late-arriving donations). Given the extensive and lengthy relief effort in Haiti, I am confident all the money arrived in time to be put to its intended use.
We will try to ensure donations go to agencies that are nonreligious, effective, and otherwise unobjectionable. Because we want to obtain and process donations in a timely manner, there may not be an opportunity to seek input and suggestions from our supporters prior to launching the fund drive. However, we will definitely announce the relief agency that will be receiving the funds so donors can make an informed judgment.

#28 Ben (Guest) on Sunday May 23, 2010 at 8:07am

I suppose I land somewhere in the middle. I personally don’t see a compelling reason for aggregating nonbeliever contributions(I suppose it could be called “bundling.”) However, I have no objection to CFI doing it, particularly since it appears to subtract very little in the form of overhead.

As long as those who choose to direct their donations directly to appropriate charitable organizations aren’t stigmatized for their suppposed lack of group solidarity, I think there’s room enough for both camps.

#29 J. (Guest) on Sunday May 23, 2010 at 4:36pm

‘‘The nonreligious are often accused of being uncaring. If coordinated contributions to a secular charity can help eliminate some of the stigma attached to being a nonbeliever, I see that as a good thing.”

Does seeking the acceptance or good opinion of believers stray in the direction of accommodationism?

#30 kiwinerd (Guest) on Sunday May 23, 2010 at 11:31pm

For once, I agree with Lindsay’s analysis here.

However, I would like to make one crucial point: that CFI Transnational presumably represents CFI *internationally*, not just in USA-only style.

When the CFI Transnational President speaks, she or he should bear in mind not to limit her or his remarks within the context of American culture, and to ensure that she or he is internationally sensitive in her or his statements and claims.

This holds just as well for charitable giving as it does for nuclear first strike policy (where I and my homeland emphatically disagree with Lindsay’s position), et cetera.

Different countries have different societal models about charitable giving. In the US, where the social safety net is weak, fortunate people assauge their guilt by giving charitably, typically with plenty of trumpeting. I prefer a different model that is less loud and paternalistic.

#31 Ronald A. Lindsay on Tuesday May 25, 2010 at 3:07pm

In my comment #27, I stated I would try to provide more precise information about the dates that funds were transmitted to Doctors without Borders, in connection with SHARE’s Haitian earthquake fund drive.
The earthquake occurred on January 12. The first batch of funds was transmitted on January 19. The second batch of funds was transmitted on January 26.
As I mentioned, we also had a third batch, to take care of some donations that arrived a liitle later. The third batch was sent on February 22. What I did not realize (until Jason Gross of our Development Department informed me) was that a few donations came in even after that time. As we were required to do, we transmitted those donations as well, on April 23 and May 11. Obviously, the latter transmission dates were dictated by the dates we received the donations; we made an effort to transmit all donations as expeditiously as practical.

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