Intelligent Giving

Josh made a comment last night that made me think. He said he's reached the age that he always thought of when he thought of being 'grown up'. He said a guy that looked like a young businessman- definitely 'grown-up'- in a station wagon we've actually talked about getting went through the drive-thru at the bank yesterday, and when Josh looked at his drivers license, he saw he was only 3 years older than us. I said, yeah, we're out on our own, all married and with full time jobs and such. I guess you can call that 'grown-up'.
Speaking of having jobs, we now have significant paychecks coming regularly and we're being able to worship by tithing. Over and above tithing, however, we've talked about how else we want to give, and to what sort of organizations. I've talked about this before a long while ago, coming from a slightly different angle.

I came across a site today called Charity Navigator which publishes and ranks charities (and ministries) based on their financial responsibility. I thin kit is important that wherever we choose to give, that the gift be used with good stewardship and in a way that makes a difference and forwards the goal of the organization. A good example I found on the site was World Vision. On their fact page, you can see that the vast majority of what they get, they spend on their programs, rather than their office or fundraising. Another strong point is that they don't spend more than they have, so they budget well and are responsible with what God gives them through others.

Taylor is listed on the site, and I was happy with their report as well. These are slightly old numbers, as they list Dr Gyertson as president. Taylor could be in for some trouble, though...

A link I clicked on from the front page of the site was titled Charities Routinely in the Red, a list of charities that spent more than they got- a LOT more- over the last 3 years. The only organization I recognized on the list was the fairly-well-known American Bible Society, listing none other than Taylor's own Eugene Habecker as the president, with an impressive salary, I might add, for an organization that isn't making ends meet. I have a deep respect for Dr Habecker, I enjoy hearing him speak, and I appreciate the way he's handled everything that has happened at Taylor during his term. I just really hope he learned a thing or two from the deficits at ABS, and that the same thing doesn't happen under his watch at Taylor, especially with the big plans in the works for a science building and other (expensive) campus changes.

I like Taylor and trust the leadership. I'm sure all will be fine. This was just an interesting find today.


Ashley said...

So has Taylor started calling you asking for money yet? ;-)

Ashley said...

By the way, thanks for that site. I like being able to give money away now that I get a significant paychecks. Paul and I have decided to focus our giving (other than tithes to our church) on missions and missionaries, and I love doing that.

Kristen said...

Very intersting find. It does worry me a bit....

Dave said...

Interesting post. Judging charities on the amount of money they spend on programs vs administration puts us all into a very gray area. It implies that charities, unlike any other kind of organization, doesn't need support, overheads and backup. All commercial companies would grind to a halt without these things, and we never judge, say, car companies, on how much they spend on administration.

There is some interesting discussion about this and more at a new British site called, appropriately, http://www.intelligentgiving.com


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