Be Generous, but Give What You Can Afford

African Americans/blacks have a history of giving. More than two-thirds give to churches and organized charities. We also give to family members who need help paying bills, college students who need tuition assistance and others. We are responsive to our churches and Greek-letter organizations that make appeals. >> AARP Financial Freedom: News, Tips, and Resources for Your Financial Health I applaud the giving tradition and am, indeed, part of it. Yet it is important that our gifts are part of …

A Holiday Surprise: Learning How to Give

There’s a woman in my town who seems to be everywhere. She is of indeterminate age, and whether she’s at the Metro or the farmers market, she asks passersby for money. Sometimes she sells the homeless newspaper. She usually talks in a kind of sad, downbeat monotone. I saw her at the market Sunday, and it was pretty cold. When she said she needed a few bucks for a meal at our local cafe, I said I’d walk down with her …

How to Be a Charitable Cheapskate

It’s the kind of news story that makes national headlines every year or two: A person of seemingly modest means secretly amasses a small (or not so small) fortune while leading a frugal lifestyle, only to reveal that wealth by giving it all away to charity. The latest jaw-dropper came from 98-year-old Jack MacDonald of Washington state. He died in September and left a surprise fortune of $187.5 million to Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington School of …

28 Ways to Heal From Tragedy

Many of us are experiencing grief and sorrow after the shock of the deaths in Newtown, Conn., on Friday. The tragic shootings have brought many issues to the forefront: gun control, school safety, mental illness and the daily tragedy of thousands of children around the world who die every day from violence, child abuse, neglect and hunger. How can we lift ourselves up from the fear, sadness and negativity? What can we, as individuals, do to make a difference? At …

Caring for the Poor and Disadvantaged – an Act of Kindness

Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, was recently quoted as saying “We have seen donations for a hundred years … and the problems and poverty are bigger. They have not solved anything.”  I’m perplexed by this statement. If you are a type A personality (like I am), you may think to yourself that Slim may be right.  Though global poverty has decreased over the last five years, according to a Brookings Institute study, the number of fragile states is …

Millennials: a New Hope for Philanthropy

As a Boomer, I have often shared my disappointment with my own generation on its performance and commitment to philanthropy.  We have a lot to learn from the preceding generation — the greatest generation — that not only recognizes the importance of giving and giving back, but sees it as a responsibility to be shared with the generations to come.  Actually, I think the Boomers will get there.  It will just take some time. Enter the Millennials (Generation Y or …