This year I decided to forgo donating to organisations. This had many reasons, most of which boiled down to most organisations sending me about a ream of paper each in “pwease donate” advertising throughout this year, which I gather doesn’t come cheap, so at my support level I estimate they spent at least half of my dollars on asking me more dollars, which is ridiculous. I’m sure they also do good work, I’m not sure they particularly need my cash to do that.
One organisation that is the exception, and the sole organisation in my donation list this year is PAPA, and I gave them $300 sometime back in May.
So here I was wondering what I should do. One thing I’ve always wanted to do since I started doing this regularly but was never really sure how to is direct donation, i.e. “just giving people money.” So this year, starting in November, I went and actually tried that. I figured out the parameters and made a tweet:
Friends, it’s donation season, point me to (New Zealand) queer and non-binary people in need of help. I’ll fund (at my discretion, t&c apply, standard disclaimer, etc etc) until I reach this year’s donation budget.
(Budget not specified because not completely nailed down, but is somewhere around $1500.)
I didn’t really get many returns but then I trawled givealittle for matching people and donated there too. By December 3rd I had spent about ⅔ the budget and exhausted my search to this point, so I resolved to take two weeks before trying again.
On December 20th, JK Rowling made an extremely TERFy tweet and I was kinda mad. I was seeing a lot of condemnation from allies but not a lot of action. It’s kinda hard to do anything to Rowling, though. Instead, I had this idea:
In honour of JK Rowling… /s
If you’re in need, raise your hand (DM me your paypal or something); if you know someone in need, point me.
There were a lot more people answering, and I was able to help all of them. So that was a huge success. In total, I distributed more than $1500 to more than twenty people, many of them trans, many of them in Aotearoa.
Perhaps in an economic, macro-level kinda thing, donating all $1500 to RY would have helped more people, but it’s harder to see. And of course, none of the people I gave money to are registered charities, so I won’t get any tax rebate for the 2019 tax year. That’s alright. I mostly want to help people, and this year I did that by distributing what is to me a little bit of cash to people for whom it is a lot.
We’ll see what next year brings.