Thank you !

Page URL: Donate.htm

Thank you for coming to look at this page. It is for two audiences...

We'll get to the wants of the first audience in a moment. First... because it is short...

To send ME thank$...

If you have a PayPal account which is backed by a bank account, to make a gift to me... which is not a charitable gift, let's be clear... please send it to...

My email address as a graphic

I'm afraid that's a graphic, so spam-bots can't harvest it (easily!) Copy/paste won't work. Copy it "by hand". (Don't post your eddress (email address) online in machine-readable form unless you want spam.)

Don't let the ".com" in this page's URL, or the ".com" in the eddress worry you. You can sent PayPal money in any currency. That is one of the joys of PayPal... although they help themselves to a nice profit with poor exchange rates, I have sometimes found. But hey! They aren't running the service for love. "Give the worker his due..." (And we all know how much banks consider themselves "due"!)

But if your PayPal spending is charged to a credit card, please don't send money that way, as it is expensive for me to collect it. (You an set your PayPal up to draw funds directly from a checking account.)

The PayPal alternative is to use an ink-on-paper check. Email me, details at bottom of page, and I'll send you the address to mail it to. Prepare it now? So you don't have to remember that I will need a cover note reminding me (and reassuring the IRS) that you are giving me a gift, not paying for goods or services. I can accept checks drawn in US dollars or pounds sterling. (Cheques!) (Tell me which you would be using when you ask for my address, please.) Please note: If you make a gift to me, you are not donating to a "charity". The gift would not be deductible against your income taxes.

(I won't find out anything about your credit card or bank account, of course, if you use PayPal... but which source you use affects how much of your gift reaches me.)

Charities that I like

These are "charities" as far as the IRS is concerned. If US taxpayers send a gift directly there for me, they can deduct the gifts from your income at tax paying time. Usually. Check with your tax advisor, of course. I don't know your circumstances, do I? (There's no need to tell the charity that the gift is in appreciation of things I've done.)

How carefully do you research the charities you send funds to? Are you supporting a good cause? Or buying yachts for the top executives of huge marketing corporations? It happens... far too often. Charity Navigator is an imperfect tool, but better than nothing. There are no simple answers to complex questions, and they don't get more complex than "where is the money going". Take the time to master the Charity Navigator tool. I like to say that I choose which charities I support with the same care as I take in placing my stock market investments. Don't $upport the con artists. I'm not saying they break the law. (Often.) But the bigger the scam, the more legislators have been given reason to write "good" laws. Good for the thieves.

I would also encourage you to make a few big gifts to a carefully chosen set of charities. No one will reject your "widow's mite"... but the percent of what you've given "lost" to banking fees, etc, is scary.

I would also point out that the crowd-funding schemes don't do what they do for free. If you see a cause to $upport, try to give the money directly, if you are giving more that a token.

How often have you seen something billed as "All profits will go to..."? Note they said all profits. What "costs" are they taking out of the revenues? I particularly hate the cynicism of the "$100 a plate" dinners. Ten people "give" $100 to a charity. Enjoy a nice party that costs $800, and the charity gets $200. But the "donors" get to deduct, between them, $1000 from there taxable income. Disgusting.

(I'll come to avenues for people not in the USA in a moment)


Amazon Medical

Bring healthcare to the people living on the Amazon in Peru...


(Have a look at the "biography" pages. Amazing lady... I've met her. The "Letters" page will give you an idea of what she does... with our support.)

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The website has a really easy to use "donate via credit card" mechanism, ready and waiting for your contribution.

Of course, alternatively, you could send your money to one of the huge "charity" industrial giants, if you'd rather. Have you seen their plush offices in central Washington DC? And their regional offices in "the field"? Of course many of the "big boys" do do good work. And maybe there's a logic in overlooking paying $1,000,000 to bring in $500,000 if the alternative is to pay $500,000, but only bring in $200,000... but that game will fall down if donors become more savvy. Long live CharityNavigator.org, and similar ventures! I've also heard, from someone who would know, that in his small "random sample", it seems to him that the people from Save the Children stay in modest hotels instead of 5 star palaces. That isn't to say that no other charity has the same policy... but it isn't true for all of them.)

The Amazon Medical Project, alas, is "too small" to get a listing at Charity Navigator. I don't care... when I know the people and the work of a charity personally, as I do in the case of AMP. Often your own local "charities" are going to use their money better than the giants, because they are directly in the gaze of their donors. I do have a problem, though, with, say, a fancy yacht club having a "charity", unless I am very sure that the committee's ideas of "need" are not seen myopically. Little Jonnie's "need" for funds for sailing camp, arising because dad has just been laid off, doesn't strike me as the sort of thing tax deductions should fund.

Well conceived/ executed charity- "Project Schoolhouse".. but they do more than school buildings.

Another charity I like very much is Project Schoolhouse.

They have their heads screwed on. Their focus on doing a few core, related things well, within closely defined parameters... the arena in which they have become experts... impresses me.

And I think they've chosen well. In a world where you can't do everything for everyone, they have identified a area where there's a lot of "bang for your buck", I think.

They also have "a history". They are not a "flash in the pan".

Not only is what they do well chosen, but the way they do it is excellent. They help a community to do something for themselves. Project Schoolhouse doesn't drop bags of rice from the sky.

Would you want your child waiting for the bus in this... "building"? How about that for his/ her (crowded) "school". In a place that is stifling, humid hot much of the year, and subject to downpours at other times.

If, of course, he/she has time for school, after schlepping dirty water from a "spring" (muddy) not always close to the family home...

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Of course, helping a community build a very modest school isn't entirely useful if the kids are regularly ill. "Project Schoolhouse" also helps the community build a water system. If the community signs up to bringing water to every house in the community. Oh. And what's the good of clean water if there's no sanitation? You want Project Schoolhouse's help? Sign up for ALL PARTS of the package.


But, as the fancier marketing people say, "They can't do it without our $upport."


If I can persuade two dozen people to contribute what they spend in one year for a basic home internet service, Project Schoolhouse can provide guidance and materials for one of these communities to build their own 500 sq ft classroom. A decent classroom. A classroom with a concrete floor. A classroom that isn't going to fall down three times a year. A room that may have other uses for the community. (Place for the school board and the water board to meet! Yes- the village has to set up both to receive the aid.) And, oh by the way, will that community start to see the USA in a different light? Remember- the history of the USA's influence in Central America is not pretty. As many revolutionary trouble makers in the area will tell all and sundry.


Always do your homework.

Project Schoolhouse is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax-deductible. Their EIN is 20-1705489.

Here's a link to them at CharityNavigator.org. Yes... "Educational Programs for the International Community" is another name for Project Schoolhouse. As is often the case for charities of its kind, the Charity Navigator entry isn't particularly helpful. But "of its kind" includes "good" in the criteria. I believe that otherwise similar, but bad charities would be flagged as such, even if Charity Navigator doesn't serve this sector well.

To confirm the charity's Guidestar Platinum certification, use this to go to their Guidestar listing.

One last appeal... watch this Project Schoolhouse educational video on Vimeo. (And remember that they really should be called "Project WATER and Schoolhouse")


Don't forget that despite their name, they are not "just" about school rooms.


Educational charity

Closer to home, for US citizens, I commend...

American Indian College Fund....

www.collegefund.org (N.B.: .org, which is where the link will take you.)


They DO provide direct support to individuals, but an even more important part of what they do is to foster excellence in the educational opportunities on the reservations. I've visited some of their colleges. Ever visit a slum? In the middle of wastelands? So poor that there isn't a lot of trash around? That's a reservation. And yet, in some there is a "jewel", obviously cherished by the whole community: The tribe's college... where academic studies and/ or vocational training can be had, in a setting where the student's family and friends, and their beliefs, customs, traditions are welcome.

They are a bigger operation than Amazon Medical, and have most things a donor might want, except (at May 17) a way to give via PayPal. There's a way to give by credit card online.

As for not accepting PayPal... do remember that the charities (and others) that do accept PayPal won't receive all of the money you donate. But that's true if you pay by credit card, too, or insist that they hire office staff to process checks. "You pays your money, you takes your choice!"

At 9/20, this listing is somewhat in the "for old times' sake" category. Do you have up to date information on the charity? (Beyond what they say about themselves. I can read that easily enough!)


Medecins Sans Frontieres/ Doctors Without Borders


MSF is a charity like IRC, delivering humanitarian aid in disaster zones around the world.

They did stunning work in the horrific nightmare of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

One of their hospitals was flattened, killing patients, doctors, children, by a US air strike in 2015.

Learn more about their work at the Medecins Sans Frontiers website. (You may know them as "Doctors Without Borders"... same people.

They are an international organization. Go the MSF "donate" page, select your country, and you will see your options... often tweaked for the tax laws of where you live.


International Rescue Committee

Alternatively, please support the International Rescue Committee. Their webpage is at....


The IRC goes to crisis zones to rescue and rebuild.

They are big, but CharityNavigator gives them full marks, and the Forbes Investment Guide named them one of 10 "Gold Star" charities.

Also, while I have "issues" with the behavior of Microsoft in the commercial community, I've never seen a "stupid" charge leveled at Bill Gates which I thought was valid. His foundation regularly donates to the IRC. Want to match one of those gifts? Better use a check. Your credit card might struggle with $2,000,000. (Annoyingly, I couldn't find a date on the press release about that gift.)

As with AICF, they accept credit card donations via an online form. they also accept donations via PayPal.

At 9/20, this listing is somewhat in the "for old times' sake" category. Do you have up to date information on the charity? (Beyond what they say about themselves. I can read that easily enough!)

If you live in the UK...

You can still give to any of the above, but not all will be able benefit from Gift Aid.

If you want to give to IRC, you can use Gift Aid, if you dig down just a little bit in their site (if the link I just gave doesn't work.) (You can't use CAF vouchers, however. (You'll know what they are, if this applies to you!... but if curious, there's a link below to tell you about them.)

MSF also has a way for your to give which allows them to reclaim the tax you paid, and they can accept CAF vouchers, I think.

Alternatively, for UK donors, ....

Make a contribution to your local cathedral, if they still have a "proper" choir. Another centre of excellence. If you have no particular local allegiance, consider the choirs of either Westminster Cathedral or Westminster Abbey. Or St John's, Cambridge. We've lost the "full time" choir at York. No choir is safe, today, with the church's support ever waning. I could care less about the church's supposed contribution to the nation's moral standards. Life as a full time (residential) chorister, where you and your fellows are the choir... be it boys or girls (but not young women), and where you are not "one of" the choirs can be a tremendous experience for a child. An experience that makes a major contribution to what they are able to do when older, be they stay in music or not. And, more selfishly, I enjoy the unique sound they make!

One more option for taxpayers anywhere... and this one DOES accept PayPal...


This is the "meta-organization" which includes Wikipedia under its umbrella. (You can also donate by more traditional means.)

Thank you for reading this far. However, I would rather that you had became "distracted" somewhere above, and went off to donate! It is not too late....

Still reading?

Still reading? Thank you!

US readers: If you want to make serious contributions to charity... $500 at a shot... you should consider a Donor Advised Fund. That link will take you to another of my pages where I go into why DAFs are a great deal for you, as much as for your charities!

UK readers: I hope you know about the Charities Aid Foundation? (They produce the "CAF vouchers" I mentioned a few times above.) The link will take you to their site, where the benefits of an account are explained.

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