As promised in December 2017, last year Daniel and I upped our game to not just do good by donating to charities, but also to fight bad by giving money to local and national political campaigns.
This year we donated over $10k to the same organizations we supported in 2016 and 2017. We think these organizations, both local and national, are doing great work for youth, LGBTQ folks, women, POC, and the environment. Particularly in the case of the ACLU and Lambda Legal, we are proud to be a part of efforts to fight the GOP abomination, I mean administration.
In addition to donating to charitable organizations, we got political this year. We promised ourselves that we would do so only if we could continue supporting the charities we cared about first and I’m happy to say we were able to do that.
In total we gave over $9k to Democratic candidates running in the midterms. Not all of the candidates won, but it was worth every penny. I view it like an investment – some pay off in the short term (winning in the midterms) and some pay of in the long term (like Beto riling up Democratic voters for other races in Texas despite him not winning his race). And you can bet that we are in this for the long term.
I’m more proud of how we were able to raise an additional $6k by engaging other people to donate. Together, we helped take back the House from the Republicans.
In 2020 we will be taking the gloves off again. We’ll continue to encourage voter registration & voter turn-out and put our money where our mouth is to fight for our country.
In the past I have been terrible when comparing job opportunities in how the different companies match employee donations to charitable organizations. As someone who believes strongly in charitable giving and donates 10% of his income to charities every year, there’s a big difference in an employer who will match $15k of that or one who won’t match anything.
So while I’m not looking for a job right now, I was curious how major Seattle-area tech employers compared with regard to their employee charity matching programs. The results were enlightening.
It’s clear which of those stand out:
- Microsoft for their very generous $15k matching program. Way to go Microsoft!
- Amazon, one of the biggest tech employers in the region, for matching absolutely nothing. Ditto Facebook.
- Oracle for their almost-embarassing $300 match. Yes, Tableau is only $500 but I expect more from a company with a $200b market cap than one with $7b market cap.
It’s interesting to compare these to other major Seattle-area employers, all of which are rather generous:
Clearly there are a lot of factors in play when you choose where to work, but next time I’m looking for a job I need to factor in employer matching to ensure I’m not leaving thousands of dollars of Doing Good sitting on the table.
If you shop at Amazon and are not using AmazonSmile, your favorite non-profit is missing out on money!
For the past 4 years, Amazon has donated millions of dollars to charities by having shoppers go through the AmazonSmile website. You, the buyer, shop just as you normally would and Amazon gives 0.5% of your purchase to the non-profit of your choice. It costs you, the buyer, absolutely nothing. The only catch is that you have to purchase through the AmazonSmile website.
Remembering to go to the AmazonSmile website is the hardest part of the whole endeavor. Luckily there are some browser plugins that will do that redirection for you:
If you shop at Amazon I encourage you to install a plugin to make sure you are buying through AmazonSmile and helping, even if it’s just a little, a non-profit you love.
My donations go to Distributed Proofreaders, you can select them for your charity on AmazonSmile using this link.
To be clear, I’m not encouraging anyone to shop at Amazon who isn’t already (shop at local merchants whenever possible!) but if you are shopping there, I encourage you to use AmazonSmile.
Daniel and I have serious concerns about the incoming administration’s attitude and commitment to the environment and the rights of anyone who isn’t an old straight white guy. While we may not be doing well, we can at least do good.
We sat down and made a list of organizations that were tackling issues and supporting groups near and dear to our hearts. We focused on organizations that support women, LGBT, people of color, and immigrants, both locally and nationally. We ended up with a rather large list of organizations we wanted to support at the end of 2016 but not enough money to support them all like we wanted. Instead of giving everyone a medium amount of money, we gave big to a few organizations and gave small to the rest.
We gave big to these organizations, wanting to focus locally and in areas that directly affect our LGBT community and women.
These aren’t any less important than the others, but we feel it’s more effective to give larger donations and there was only so much money to go around. We believe in the work these groups are doing and wanted to let them know they have our support.
Where are you doing good?
What organizations are near and dear to your heart? What groups are you supporting?