Putting my money where my mouth is

I talk a big game about “ethical millions”. (Okay, not really, but it’s the name of this blog so it’s definitely front and centre.) But maybe I haven’t really demonstrated much in the way of “ethics”? So let’s get into that: I’m going to put my money where my {greedy little} mouth is.

I’m hopeful that we’ll have a bit of “found” money to work with at the end of the month (largely thanks to dry January and my efforts to clean out the pantry) to allocate according to our golden ratio. If things go according to plan, it’ll look something like this: 

$350 mortgage pre-payment

$150 savings

$150 charity

Which brings me to the point of this post. We’re already giving about $600 a year to our local humane society. I’d like to allocate the new charitable money to a different charity, but I need to figure out which one, since there are so many good ones out there. 

I’ve concluded that I want my money to go to address the three things that I think are the most pressing issues facing humanity today: 

  • climate change & environmental protection 
  • inequality
  • animal welfare

The other issue I have is whether to dedicate these extra funds within my community or internationally. I see an argument for both. Within my community makes sense, because while I live in a very affluent community, there is still need in all three categories. Internationally also makes sense though because the need is so much greater in countries other than Canada. 

So far, I think the two main contenders (in the category of climate change & environmental protection) are: 

  • Sierra Club of Canada (they also have a social justice component to their programming, in addition to environmental protection)
  • Ecojustice (they use legal processes to defend the environment) 

I’ve reviewed their financial statements and programs, and they seem in line with my values and where I’d like my money to be spent. They also keep their administration costs relatively low. 

There are also two great not-for-profit organizations in the climate change & environmental protection space here in my city, but I need the tax break this year…definitely something to consider for future dollars. 

I’ll have to do some more research into the third category (inequality); I do know of a woman’s shelter that has just opened up in my city that allows clients to bring pets with them (sometimes a major barrier for leaving an abusive partner). 

That’s also a tough category because I believe that charities should not exist in the space that should be filled by government services. If something should be a government or public service, I don’t want it to be a charity. I want my elected officials to fund it properly. I may need to re-evaluate this position, particularly in light of recent elections and how long it’ll take to change governments and whether or not there’s any hope of this being reality. I just don’t want governments to think that they’re off the hook for providing this type of service.  

Ideally, I think that charitable donations should be a regular / monthly occurrence (which is what we do with our humane society donation); put that in the category of goals for 2020: to allocate monthly money to each of these charitable categories. For now though, it’ll have to be one-off donations (that hopefully happen more than once!)


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