A Charity Bash

Tuesday, 8 June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , ,

I went to a splashy charity event on Saturday night. Vancouver's Face The World has been going for 20 years, raising millions for local charities and attracting the city's movers and shakers to what is consistently rated as one of the best parties of the year. Plus I needed an excuse to wear my new Gucci shoes, which I got for half price (money left over to donate to a worthy cause!)...

The Face the World Foundation Gala

It was a GREAT night. Unbelievable entertainment, dancing, and it was fun to watch the live auction, where hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on trips on private jets and yachts.Now, this is not the crowd I run with — no, I was sitting on my hands during the auction; too afraid to even take a sip of wine for fear of being mistaken for making a bid. “Sold to the lady in polka dots!!”

The event got me thinking about charity events and organizations in general.  I don’t have any strong affiliations with specific organizations, but every year I make a point of doing something to help what I deem to be a worthy cause.  And making the decision on who to help is always a big one.

How does one shop for charity organizations?

There are a few basic things to keep in mind. First, decide what you want to give. Is it money? Your time and/or expertise? Food? If you’re giving money and want to do it consistently, it is wise to sit down with your accountant and figure out how much you can spare every year and what is the best time of year to make a donation. Obviously you will need a tax receipt and if you’re donating items, keep a log of their value.

Those who are new to giving often forget to inquire about how much of their donation actually goes to the cause and how much gets eaten up by administration costs. 30% in administration costs is about right.

The next part of your charitable strategy is picking the type and scope of your cause.   You may want to choose a cause that has affected you in some way — perhaps you will donate to a breast cancer foundation because you beat the disease yourself. That’s a great place to start, but you also need to consider scope. Personally, I like Face The World Foundation because it gives to local charities. Giving in one’s own back yard makes a lot of sense to me.

Or maybe you will decide to budget your charitable dollars for the annual global disasters we can count on, whether it’s a hurricane or a tsunami. In that case it is best to go straight to international organizations like The Red Cross. And don’t forget to inquire at your local church. They often give to multiple charities.

And why give at all?

There are all sorts of reasons, but I don’t think people give to get a tax credit. And it’s not even for the parties. At the end of the day, we give because it feels good.

And that motivates me to keep looking for shoes on sale.


 Images courtesy Face The World Foundation
Photo: hubbardphotography.com


Join the conversation

On 06 10, 2010 at 12:00:25 PM, Michael M. said:

Shoes on sale is a beautiful thing indeed! We can’t see the shoes in the picture, but the dress looks great on you. Thanks for the tips on ‘Charity Shopping’. I never thought about it much, and it seems that I mostly give to the charities that ask the loudest, when maybe I should be taking a more thoughtful approach. Keep up the good work WBM team! Michael

On 06 10, 2010 at 06:36:54 PM, victoria h. said:

A really great way to give back to the community is ‘Timeraiser’ www.timeraiser.ca You can bid on great pieces of art from local artists by donating your time rather than giving money. At the event there are several agencies that can use your help. If you win the auction you have a year to complete the work and then you receive the art. The art is initially purchased from the artists using money from corporate donations. It is then put on display while the bids are being taken. This year’s event in Vancouver is on Thursady Sept. 23rd at the Roundhouse Community Centre. It is a win – win situation for everyone!

On 06 10, 2010 at 11:34:31 PM, Stephen G. said:

Forget the charity for a second and forget the shoes. You look drop dead gorgeous in that dress. If you would have been one of the auction items you would have made them a couple hundred thousand yourself. As far as charity’s go I never turn down a kid sell chocolate or someone who’s doing a run or walk for something they care about. Helping in this way make you feel good and also the person who is collecting the pledges.

On 06 22, 2010 at 07:20:50 PM, Eugen B. said:

I tend to physically give straight to specific charities because I discovered long ago many groups that collect on behalf of some charities collect admin fees. I’d prefer as much as possible end up with the charity itself. I also believe that another form of giving should be pushed more heavily, namely everyone should have a signed organ donor card with them. A final gift that is truly priceless. I wish more charities and churches would recommend that their supporters also carry with them signed donor cards and ensure their loved ones know their wish should something tragic occur.


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