How Many Dollars Do You Donate And Why: Some Super Short Chats

What is the last thing you donated money to, how much did you donate, and WHY?

Choire Sicha: $40, to a friend’s fundraiser.
‪LS‬: How did you decide on $40?
‪CS‬: I never know how much to give. $20 seemed cheap, $50 seems too much. Then I was like “okay I went to the grocery store yesterday, how much did I spend? And it was like $40, so I was like, okay, well I could spend that much on food, so.

Bennett Madison: My little sister is an elementary school special ed teacher and she asked people to donate money for her classroom supplies using one of those Kickstarter-type things that isn’t Kickstarter. I donated last week and gave a hundred dollars!
BM: I probably would have donated less but I was slightly drunk.

Adam Frucci: I last donated to CLL Global, which is a charity that aims to help cure Chronic Lympocytic Leukemia, which my dad is currently in remission with. I donated $250, which was about what I could afford without it affecting my budget/making life more difficult.
AF: It’s a shitty cancer!
LS: is that something you had done before
‪AF: It’s ‬been a while. I’ve done it a handful of times.
‪LS‬: Do you budget for it or you just get and urge and do it?
‪AF‬: Just get an urge and do it. I should probably budget it and do it at regular intervals but I don’t.

Mallory Ortberg: THREE DOLLARS at the Safeway to fight MS because the little credit card machine asked me if I wanted to make a donation, and it was the second cheapest option.

Jane Hu: Um, I gave 30 dollars for my little brother’s music program fundraising thing. But I got some chocolate almonds in return.
LS: WHy did you choose $30?
JH: I’m not sure! It seemed a happy amount above a 20 dollar bill. DO you always feel a little weird giving a 20 dollar bill? It feels impersonal. It’s what little kids give one another for birthdays when they don’t have time to buy a present.

Matt Powers: I gave to the Human Rights Campaign, because I was stopped by someone on the street and I gave them all the money in my wallet, which was five dollars. And now they email me every week.
MP: Oh I guess I donated to my friend’s kickstarter more recently, but that seems less charitable.My friend was filming his webseries at his former high school in Detroit and needed money for equipment, editing, dist, food for the cast, etc.
LS: How much did you give and why?
MP: $10. I think web series are twice as important as gay rights.

‪Lauren‬ Rodrigue:  I gave $25 to The School Fund, an NGO my friend helped start. I always give $25, never more.
LS: Why is that?
LR: It’s just like the lowest socially acceptable amount. Like you buy people gift certificates for 25 dollars. It’s just a number. It seems like enough.

Jeff Winkler: We never had “extra” money growing up, and I have even less money now. For many years, my family rang the bells for the Salvation Army during Christmas. But I was taught to give what I can. Often, it’s just a buck or a couple ciggies to the bum on the street.

‪Edith‬ Zimmerman: $19 to Obama. I think every like 15 emails they wear me down
‪LS‬: Do you always give 19 dollars?
‪EZ‬: Yeah. One time I gave $50.
‪LS‬: Any significance for $19?
‪EZ‬: That’s one of the ones they offer — 9, 19, 29, etc. It’s a one-click donation.
LS: Ooooh.
EZ: I see SOMEone never donated to Obama

E TU?????????!!!!!!!!


58 Comments / Post A Comment

kellyography (#250)

I donated $25 to a friend’s Kickstarter today, but if it goes through, I’ll get a tee shirt and button, so I don’t think of that as a charitable donation. The last real donation I made was last weekend, $50 toward my cousins’ bike-to-cure-MS goals through the National MS Society. That is generally where all my disease-curin’ donations go when I have the extra cash.

@kellyography how do you decide which amount?! is it based on how much they ask for? im fascinated!

kellyography (#250)

@Logan Sachon For Kickstarter-type stuff, I generally go with whatever the best rewards are, for the most helpful price. Though I will say that I never got my Fat Kid Rules The World sticker, Matthew Lillard. Ahem. For my cousins, I gave them $25 each, because they were each about $75 away from their goal, and I could have given $75 to one, but not to both, so I rounded down to about a birthday-present-sized donation for each. I err on the side of not-super-generous-but-not-paltry because I genuinely want to help people out but I have like, life, and student loans and shit, also. When I give people donations for holidays (like in-honor-of donations), it tends to be a little more.

melis (#42)

WOOPS thought this was going to be anonymous for some reason, but oh well, I am happy to be the Least Charitable of Logan’s Friends, I guess.

melis (#42)

Wait, Jane, what little kids do you know running around giving each other twenty-dollar bills? That doesn’t happen! Does it? Are these kids giving more to charity than me, too?

@melis you will notice that my name isn’t even on the list

@Logan Sachon and i did everyone a favor by not asking mike lest he put us all to shame

@melis well don’t forget she’s canadian so it MEANS something different

@Logan Sachon although now i really want to know what mike’s last donation was. MIKE!??!

melis (#42)

@Logan Sachon “400 dollars I carefully earmarked twelve years ago then wrapped in a lavender bundle to homeless grandmothers!!! Then I made them ice cream sandwiches!”

melis (#42)


Mike Dang (#2)

@melis Haha. Aw, I love you guys. Well, I just donated to the cause one of our contributors mentioned today. And I gave $30 to the Obama campaign last night, and yes, I got another email from the campaign today asking me for money again!

Mike: I gave EVERY LAST CENT to my parents, you ungrateful bastards.

Megano! (#124)

Does giving a homeless person $2 for transit fare count?

Confession: He/she didn’t buy transit fare.

megsy@twitter (#2,192)

@Reginal T. Squirge Someone once asked me for money for a transit ticket. I offered him a transit ticket and he didn’t take it. Called his bluff!

emmabee (#2,008)

The Obama campaign sends different one-click donation options to different people! It depends what you’ve donated before. My options are like $10, $15, $25. It’s basically a conspiracy:

Incidentally, my last donation was $10 to the Obama campaign. On a Friday, a little before midnight, happily drunk.

iffie (#1,911)

@emmabee It’s just good fundraising practice. I just dropped an appeal to about 3,500 people and there are lots of different ask amounts in the letter and ask strings in the reply piece based on what the supporter has done in the past. Someone’s giving history is a good indicator of what they’ll do in the future and a good fundraiser is always trying to make the case for an incrase in support. Hm…suddenly my job sounds awful.

I made a promise to myself to donate $15 to my friend’s childhood cancer walk but haven’t done it yet (perhaps that will be my 10am Thursday activity?!).
Also need to donate to Obama and/or other Dems. Probably one of the small amounts to Obama ($11 or $21 or whatever) and something larger to a few women running rough campaigns – $30 or so each.

I think the last thing I actually did donate to was my local NPR station. $120 (they deduct a nice even $10/month from my account).

@polka dots vs stripes Oh and something like $50 or $100 to Camfed from my sister and I to my mother for Mother’s Day.

@polka dots vs stripes The monthly automatic donation is key. I have a hard time forking over $25 for a good cause unless I’m self-righteously angry about something, but I don’t even notice the $10/month the Red Cross slips out of my bank account.

@wallsdonotfall I should probably set up auto-deductions for a few other orgs, but then I would go a little crazy and it would actually end up being like $120/month.

OllyOlly (#669)

The last two donations I made were $15 each to the Obama campaign and the DC Abortion fund, I am guessing the republicans did something particularly special to piss me off that day? $30 seemed enough to actually be something without being a big enough dent to feel like I was betraying my savings goals. I should probably donate more though.

zou bisou (#1,637)

500 to Unicef for Syrian refugees- particularly for the care and education of children in the camps. Before that, a 10 dollar bill to a homeless woman in Soho who needed to take her kids by subway to a shelter in the bronx. I felt pretty conflicted about the latter; but that’s neither here nor there.

j-i-a (#746)

@zou bisou SYRIA every time I read/hear about it I think “I should donate something to somewhere” and then I forget. Thank you for giving me a nudge out of my cheap inertia towards something concrete

zou bisou (#1,637)

@j-i-a That’s so wonderful to hear. Every cent helps in that horrific situation, I imagine.

yankeepeach (#276)

This year I’ve been amazingly charitable (well for me) — partly because I am digging out of debt and partly because I get motivated when the news makes me stabby. I try to give to Planned Parenthood and the Local Community Food Bank quarterly ($25) — This year I donated to Obama for America and Elizabeth Warren for Mass. Senate — also $25. It’s a nice round businesslike sounding number.

the last time i tried to donate to the obama campaign it was like *snaps fingers* girl you don’t even LIVE here

i probably could have tried harder though.

anywho last thing i donated was $15 to the sick kids hospital in toronto. they roped me into one of those monthly dealios. but it’s such a negligible amount (for them) that I sometimes wonder why I even bother.

jfruh (#161)

My wife and I just got sweet-talked by a friend (who is also a state legislator) (who is also gay) into ponying up $500 to “sponsor” a party to support the yes side of the marriage equality referendum here in Maryland, which will genuinely pinch our spending a bit over the rest of the, year but is also something we genuinely care a lot about, so! Still for $500 I feel I ought to be invited to every gay wedding in the state for all of 2013.

Also a couple of months ago Romney did something that irritated me and I signed up to have $50 donated to the Obama campaign every month. Which I thought would maybe stop the emails, but of course it did not stop the emails.

OhMarie (#299)

@jfruh That’s great! I’m in MD and I feel like it’s going to be so close either way and I’m terrified. I’m probably going to give Equality Maryland some money right now.

olivia (#1,618)

I gave $50 and then $34 to Obama the week of the convention, and I gave $50 to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund for good measure. So funny about the different donation amounts-I guess they know I’m a sucker because my lowest amount is $34!

glow bug (#1,606)

$40 each to two friends that were each participating in a charity event. (If it were only one friend I would have given $50.) One was a walk to prevent suicide, the other was a triathlon to raise money for sports equipment for disabled people. (Both friends had family members in the affected groups.)

lemons! (#384)

I sat down one day and picked a few local causes I care about to avoid the guilt I used to feel when I get the cause email, mail, panhandler, friend. So now I give $15 a month each to a homeless shelter, a state environmental agency, the state chapter of PIRG and a bicycle advocacy group. I then give $50 a year to the Ronald McDonald’s house because I have two different friends who have lost a child and they both feel strongly about their support. Inevitably some politician motivates me to support Planned Parenthood, but I wait until my anger reaches a boil on that. Anyhoo it cut out the nagging feeling that I should give more countered with the nagging feeling that I shouldn’t be so willy nilly about who I give my money to.

j-i-a (#746)


corfay (#2,188)

well, since I’ve been fundraising myself, I’ve been a lot more charitable than usual. I just gave $25 to a friend’s walk for cystic fibrosis and another $25 to a friend’s band’s kickstarter.

@corfay AH thank you for posting this, I just remember I also have to donate to a friend’s CF bike ride.

Thursday at 10am next week is gonna be expensive.

I was eating lunch with a friend a few months ago and a homeless lady in a wheelchair/scooter asked us for change. I gave her 50 cents because that was the loose change I had in my pocket and I wanted this new friend to like me and not think I am an asshole (I am an asshole).

The wheelchair/scooter lady said, “50 cents? Huh.”

I donated $50.77 to the Lakota Sioux to help buy some sacred spiritual that’s about to be sold for development. Ever since I got a Real Adult Job I’ve been meaning to sign up for monthly donations to a charity, but somehow I’ve never gotten around to it. Maybe that will be next Thursday’s 1 Thing?

Weasley (#1,419)

Does giving more than the required minimum for a digital download for an album count as a donation (because otherwise I have never given to a charity…)?

aetataureate (#1,310)

Yesterday I gave the last of my cash ($2) to a stalwart homeless dude on my drive home. He walked past my car and I said, “Hang on, I think I have cash,” and he said, “I take credit cards, too.” Dude is awesome.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

$50 to the independent minyan where I attend services, and that will also get me high holiday tickets for this year. But I also have an automatic monthly donation of $18 to the New York Abortion Access Fund, because they’re awesome. In Jewish tradition, 18 = life, so we all give in denominations of 18.

I keep meaning to donate a few bucks to the Obama campaign. They send me so many emails!

editrickster (#279)

I donated $20 to Elizabeth Warren last week!

Once, I went to Planned Parenthood for the ladybiz checkup. There was a lone protester outside. When I went in, I donated an extra $25 just to spite the protester. It felt great!

I also have a small monthly donation to Bitch Magazine, because I feel like it’s important to support independent media. I’d donate more, but I also work at a nonprofit, so I’m not exactly rolling in the dollars.

jfruh (#161)

@editrickster the Planned Parenthood where my wife works has a “sponsor a protestor” program. They get people to sign up in advance to donate $X per protestor on a given day (usually a day that gets big turnout, like Good Friday). Then once they get a count they put up a big sign where the protestors can see it saying how much money they just raised. It’s pretty boss.

editrickster (#279)

@jfruh That sounds like a good tactic; the more protesters, the more donations for PP, which is a great organization.

selenana (#673)

I finally have a job after a long time of not having a job, but working as a full time volunteer for a non-profit (after the disaster here last year). In that case I was pretty broke and living off of donated food and love. So now that I am employed, I am determined to give a little to any of my friends who ask, whether it’s a kickstarter or a cause they are working on. But I am still not made of money. I gave $10 today to a non-profit called Doggies Inc. that pulls animals out of a high-kill (painful, horrible, 20-minute gassing process) animal control and vets and adopts them out. But I am also taking one of the dogs with me on my flight to the States and helping to place him in his new forever home.

cryptolect (#1,135)

I have automatic monthlies to Planned Parenthood and the NJ Food Bank, and I donated $20 (25$?) to Claire McCaskill after Todd Akin opened his mouth and horrified me with what came out. Other than that, I just make sure to give money to any/all of my friends’ charitable projects and Kickstarter campaigns. There are some local organizations that I support, but that happens in January…

ATF@twitter (#1,471)

I’m a Big Sister, so technically any money I spend on the kid counts as a charitable donation. Or I can write it off on my taxes and whatnot but I never bother because I am bad at doing taxes. I’ve spent $$$ on that kid and her sister over the years but it’s worth it. Someday they’ll visit me ALL the time in the super nice old person home they’ve put me in because they’re going to go to college and be successful in life. We’ve discussed it.

Other than that, $102.30 to my boyfriend’s PanMass Challenge bike ride back in August. The extra $2.30 was to make him hit a round number because it was bugging me that it was $xxx7.70 at the end. But he raised $3745 so yay him!

hopelessshade (#580)

I came into a small amount of money recently and gave half of it to PP and half to Wikipedia, and…that was the only time I’ve ever really donated to anything. I was told from an early age to just never give money to people (on the street, etc.) and while I know my parents donate vastly to their various odious politico-religious organizations, they never really instilled in me a sense of monetary donation. I give away THINGS all the time, but I find it very difficult to part with MONEY. I’m also a huge miser and that doesn’t help/is part of it?

Anyway it makes me feel rotten but also I’m unemployed and have little money of my own to give. I don’t know…has anyone started from my situation and figured out how to be a contributing member of society?

PS: Heartfelt (brainfelt?) thanks to everyone who donates to MS things. <3

$40 to World Vision to buy a goat for someone who needs one.

Generally I donate between $10-20 a month. I don’t have any causes close to my heart so I rotate charities and causes – some months I might know someone raising money for something, or it’s XXX cancer day, etc.

I earn a pitiful salary, but the nonprofit sector is my livelihood, so it would be awful of me not to donate. To make the most of the few dollars I have, I concentrate my donations toward my preferred cause, which is always everything animal-related. $20 every month to the North Shore Animal League and $25 every month to the Humane Society, and once in awhile a little lump of cash to the ASPCA. Also, last night at the grocery store they asked if I wanted to donate a dollar to breast cancer research, so that happened, too.

wearitcounts (#772)

$18 to my roommate’s suicide awareness walk team. $18 because in hebrew the number 18 is also the word for “life.”

nutmeg (#1,383)

I gave $50 to my friend’s kickstarter for a movie they’re filming. I’m in the movie, but I get peed on so I am going to count that as a donation

I also donated my boobs to be on set at most times; morale is so high

Dinosaur_Senior (#1,526)

I gave $10 to the Claire McCaskill campaign bc I detest Todd Akin.

Mrs. Beeton (#320)

An ongoing $30 to Planned Parenthood every month. But in my lottery winning fantasies, I would give so much money to:

* Planned Parenthood
* St. Jude
* Imagination Library (Dolly Parton’s literacy deal for kidz)

laluchita (#2,195)

I give $20 a month to my work, an amazing progressive community foundation in Chicago ( Before that I gave $100 to help pay the legal expenses for a friend who was picked up for riding her bike the wrong way down a one way street and threatened with deportation (ughhh). Luckily she’s out! I raise money for a living, so I probably give more than most people, but a lot of it is spur of the moment, give when I’m asked kind of thing.

thenotestaken (#542)

I gave $30 to my friend’s marathon for Crohn’s thing. I’m usually awful about donating, I’d like to get better about it. This monthly thing sounds nice!

Stina (#686)

$35 to Obama It was the second lowest option given to me which seems to be a popular choice of others here as well.

$300 to the MS society bike ride. $300 is the minimum you have to raise in order to ride. My husband loves to bike ride and we are both shy about asking people for stuff. So I have been his only sponsor for the past couple of years.

Comments are closed!