Last February, I posted a short essay about donations and the act of giving. Since then, I have kept to my aim of doing at least some research on various charities before donating and of selecting a new organization (roughly) every month. The organizations listed below represent a few of my political ideologies and are all groups to whom I feel comfortable entrusting my money and effort. I have attempted to provide a brief overview; I make no claims that everyone should follow suit, I only recommend these as organizations one may wish to examine if you are inclined to donate. Here is my recap:
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
The CBLDF is an organization that provides money and legal support to comic book creators and retailers who run afoul of obscenity laws and censorship efforts. As an example, the CBLDF are currently involved in a legal battle to protect a comic book retailer who has been charged with exhibition of harmful materials to minors during a free comic book day in 2004. Membership in the CBLDF can be cheap or expensive depending on the individual, but year-long membership results in gifts of various quality and number that have been donated by well known comic book authors and artists. (One note – the website is often a month or two behind, but inquiries are usually answered quite promptly.)
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
The EFF is dedicated to preserving and furthering electronic freedoms, such as net neutrality and anti-DRM reforms. Their website is quite up to date and provides an action center for members as well as useful documents, like the Legal Guide for Bloggers. Currently, the EFF is engaged in several campaigns, including support of the Fair Use Act, calling for Congressional investigation of NSA spying, and reformation of the Patriot Act. Membership in the EFF is either by a one-time donation or repeating monthly donations; the amount donated is directly proportional to the swag received by the new member.
The American Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU exists to protect the Bill of Rights of the United States and the citizens thereof. They also provide an Action Center on their website. At the moment, they are actively engaged in calling for reformation of the Patriot Act, calling for the close of Guantanamo, and supporting Prevention First. Membership in the ACLU is much the same as it is for both the CBLDF and the EFF.
For the second quarter, I believe, due to some unexpected circumstances, that my donations will be of a more personal nature, rather than the political organizations listed here. I will, however, still endeavor to post an update on Q2 in late June or early July. Thank you for reading.