Donating to Religious Charities

by GermanXJW 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • GermanXJW

    How do you feel when donating to charities? Do you make choices? Of course you will check if the organization is serious but do you also check if it has a religious background?

    I do. When I decided to donate for the victims of the Tsunami I hesitated to give my money to organizations like Caritas (Catholic). I gave it to "Germany helps" an alliance of several charities. ( I later learnt that also two orders, Orders of St. John (JOIN) and Order of Malta are included).

    I also phoned a special line of a TV station that charged a minor amount as a donation. I was a bit irritated when I later learnt they give it to Caritas. But they are there and helping, so however, but I still have the feeling that I somehow support the Catholic Church or at least some PR of theirs. I would prefer to donate to organizations like UNICEF or Medecins Sans Frontières.

    BTW a little anectdote: a JW couple (that respects our stance) were with us these days and the wife said she also would like to donate something. She asked her husband to phone the WT branch how to help. "How naive", I thought by myself and said to her she should pick one of the mainstream charities if she does not want that sending literature is the only help that gets there. At that very moment, the account data for Caritas and other church organizations were on the TV screen and the husband said: "Surely not." I replied that there are others not affiliated with any church.

    So, what do you think? Do you still care if a religion is behind a charity? Do you think donating to them is supporting a religion in some way?

  • under74

    I do. I usually don't give to church run groups but if it's some church I know has a good background (not demanding converting before helping) then I don't have a problem with it.

  • Country_Woman

    Here in the Netherlands there is always a special bankaccount opened number 555.

    The revenues of this number is always specified before this number is opened.

    It ain't a number for churches help, as far as I know it is going to the red cross - anywhay, that's the number most used here.

  • Abaddon

    Doesn't matter whether they are religious or not.

    If they are unable to prove with audited accounts how much of the money contributed is delivered to the target group, you could be wasting your money.

  • eyeslice

    When I was active, I rarely gave to 'religious charities', though I would to non-religious worldly charities. Things are different now, as I do not have the same prohibitions.

    Just a thought, but my guess is that many JWs do not give to any other charities other than the WTB&TS.


  • Elsewhere

    I only donate to secular charities.

    Too many of the religious charities try to push their religion as a condition of someone receiving help.

  • undercover

    I'm with Elsewhere on that.

    But the question got me to thinking. All the years that I was in the JWs I somehow thought that the International and American Red Cross were religiously affliated somehow(gee, wonder where I got that idea). Even up to the tsunami tragedy I had never thought of giving to the Red Cross, never having reviewed or revised my beliefs of the Red Cross. But after going to their website and reading some of their history I see that they are not a religious affliated organization. They are impartial and neutral.

    Was my dislike, or a better word, distrust, of the Red Cross from my influence of the JW-think? I can't think of any one thing that caused me to think this way, but maybe just a culmination of years of indocrination of believing that all non-WTS relief funds is a waste of time and money.

    How did some of you think of the Red Cross as JWs?

  • Fleur

    Undercover, I still tend to think of Red Cross as a religiously affiliated charity; though that may be a carry over from dub-dom because I can't find anything on their website about direct links to any religions...

    But the bottom line on Red Cross to me is that there have been scandals as to money not going where it was supposed to in the past and I, like Elsewhere prefer to donate to charities that have earned high ratings as to their finantial reports by watchdog groups and then give, and hope for the best that they are sending it where it needs to go. I know that a lot of wonderful people volunteer to the Red Cross though, and I have given to them in the past and will likely do so again in the future because they are very often first on the scene during tragedies like the tsunami...

    One of my favorites at the moment; Americares. Because they have low overhead, a small staff, and can really make the money go way farther than a lot of others I've looked into.

    When it comes to non-disaster giving, I prefer to donate gifts/handmade items to the hospitals of my choice because you know for sure that the children are getting what you send.

    I've a lot of experience in the past three years or so dealing with various non-profits and you do need to research how much of their spending goes to advertising and fundraising, and then do what you feel comfortable with.

    cheers to all the giving souls out there...


  • Leilani

    Fleur wrote:

    When it comes to non-disaster giving, I prefer to donate gifts/handmade items to the hospitals of my choice because you know for sure that the children are getting what you send.

    How do you go about donating to hospitals gifts that you make yourself?

  • Euphemism

    When I'm picking out a charity to donate to, I will generally pick a secular charity. However, there have occasionally been Salvation Army food drives and the like at my work, and I have donated to those. Many religious charities, such as the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, provide help to people irrespective of their faith, and that's what matters to me.

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