Radical philanthropy

People are often shy about talking about money – how much they earn and how much they give.  But I’m interested in having the conversation…

A few weeks ago, my old university called me up to ask me to donate to one of two worthy causes – one for ground breaking cancer research that the uni was doing, or supporting a scholarship fund for disadvantaged students (so you still have an appealing option even if you are a conservative or a bleeding heart).  I was conflicted – I recieved a scholarship for rural disadvantaged kids that subsidised my accomodation for my first year of uni.  And I think equal access to education is one of the most important things society can offer.  But surly it should be publically funded, rather than dependent on the wealth of the alumni and prestige of the uni?

But on the other hand, I earn more money than I need to live so I feel an ethical duty to donate money to organisations who are making change.

Which got me thinking about all the worthy organisations out there who don’t have the resources to ring me up and ask for donations.  And especially the ratbag organisations who don’t even qualify for tax deductability cause the Government hates them (because they are good at political campaigning).

So my new policy is every time I’m personally approached by a large organisation looking for donations, I will donate to a small ratbag organisation instead.   (Not that I’m hacking out on bigger organisations – I also donate to Oxfam and the Wilderness Society)

I’m currently working through this list:
 – Rising Tide
 – Jura Books
 – Asen
 – Friends of the Earth
 – Cuntastic
 – Climate Camp
 – Redfern Legal Centre

I’d love to hear your suggestions for other awesome organisations that are either too radical or don’t have the resources for mass fundraising.

Anyone who has no corporate sponsors, has been struck of the tax deductability register or who engages is civil disobedience is going to be off to a headstart : )

Desert Rat Shorty

5 Responses to “Radical philanthropy”

  1. I’d like to share with you the experiences we have build in Ghana and would want to apply it to Burkina Faso to address the lowest Youth Literacy (age 15-24) rate in Africa Continent: 39%.

    We would like to find if you and your network would be interested in helping us to get the model designed for BF:


  2. Kanuguba do lots of amazing work. We do most of our work without pay and most of our projects are self funded through fundraisers we organise.
    We dont self promote muck either, so you probably have not heard of us!

    But… we will be promoting our work and fundraising more, so you will hear of us lots in the future. We would love to have donations to help us do what we do.

    Thanks, fern

  3. that was self promote MUCH

  4. haha i appreciate the shameless self promotion! I’m sick of donating to charities with the biggest marketing budget. And smaller organisations can afford to be more radical cause they don’t have to keep their conservative old benefactors happy…

  5. Scarlet Alliance and Project Uplift 🙂



    I did a small fundraiser for Project Uplift a while ago, they’re a great org.

    (I got the same call from uni – I laughed and said I’ve been on Austudy/Newstart for the last 3 years and I don’t have two dollars to rub together but maybe they should try alumni from more lucrative disciplines)

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