How to End a Pay-It-Forward Chain (Nicely)

Tis the season for acts of charity, and if you find yourself in a drive-thru line, you may get roped into a “pay it forward” chain. The person in front of you paid for your order, you’re told. And if you feel awkward or guilty—after all, you placed your order, so you know you have the money—you can just pay for the…


How to Donate to Toys for Tots Using Alexa

You can now use Alexa to donate toys. On Tuesday, Amazon rolled out a new feature for its virtual assistant that allows you to donate a toy to a child in need by saying, “Alexa, donate to Toys for Tots.” When you do, Alexa will suggest actual toys you can purchase to be sent to the organization.


Donate Money, Not Food, to Your Local Food Bank 

If you’re thinking of donating to your local food bank, the best way isn’t to dig in your pantry for unwanted cans, or even to head to the grocery store with some coupons. What food banks and soup kitchens need most is your cold, hard cash.


I’m Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals on Wheels, and This Is How I Work

Citymeals on Wheels funds the delivery of over 3 million meals a year to elderly residents in New York City, filling in gaps like weekends and holidays that government programs leave out. Since 2011, Beth Shapiro has been the non-profit’s executive director, overseeing every step from fundraising to delivery, keeping…


What You Can Do Right Now to Help the People of Syria

This week alone, people in Syria have been gassed and then bombed. After years of horror, the pictures of suffering children even got through to our president’s cold heart. If you feel the same way, here are some things you can do to help.


“Sneaky Philanthropy” Dinner Parties Turn a Night With Friends Into a Chance to Do Good

With everything going on, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and ineffective. In an effort to build community and put a little good out into the world, one of my good friends started hosting what I like to call “Sneaky Philanthropy Dinner Parties.”


Play With This Raspberry Pi-Powered Claw Machine to Win Money For Charity

Claw machines are difficult games that test your spatial awareness skills. This raspberry pi-powered machine with an internet connection and a webcam is basically hard mode, but it’s for a good cause if you want to play it now.


What to Look For to Tell If a Medical GoFundMe Is a Scam

If tragedy hits someone you know, and a friend sets up a crowdfunding page to help them out with medical bills or other expenses, it’s natural to want to donate a few bucks. But some of these pages are scams—even if the tragedy is real, and happened to someone you know.


Donald Trump’s Largest Son Is Incoherent About Money, Just Like Dad

Donald Trump's Largest Son Is Incoherent About Money, Just Like DadPhoto: AP

The Washington Post continues its aggressive reporting on Donald Trump’s charitable contributions, most recently putting the screws to the presumptive Republican nominee’s son, Eric Trump. “It’s disgusting. It is so disgusting what’s happening,” Eric complained last week. “I’m saving dying children. We do tremendous good for people. And you’re sitting there tearing us apart.”

“My father has given me and my foundation hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Eric told the Post. “And he’s given other charities millions and millions and millions of dollars.” He could not, however, provide any specifics (i.e. dates, amounts) about his father’s personal contributions to the Eric Trump Foundation.

“My father likes to keep some anonymity,” Eric claimed. “It’s who he is. It’s who he is as a person.” (It isn’t.) Undeterred, the Washington Post continued pressing Eric for details about the contributions. He responded on Monday with several examples: In all, the Eric Trump Foundation received $210,000 from the Donald J. Trump Foundation and Trump-owned businesses—that is to say, not actually from Donald Trump.

Asked to explain this discrepancy, Eric wrote, “Just to be clear, I never said no.” (This is not actually “clear,” but apparently what he meant was that he hadn’t said his father hadn’t given the Eric Trump Foundation a personal gift.) “I have a lot going on,” he added, explaining why he wouldn’t be able to come up with anything supporting his earlier claims. “I just don’t have the time. Good luck with the story.”

Billionaire Egomaniacs Continue to Tag City With Their Names

Billionaire Egomaniacs Continue to Tag City With Their NamesPhoto: Getty

America is facing a crisis: some of our most beautiful public spaces are being defaced by the “tags” of selfish, narcissistic individuals. Most of them are billionaires.

Today, another lamentable ego-driven act of vanity: Ronald Perelman, the dealmaker whose net worth is more than $12 billion, is donating $75 million to the construction of a performing arts center at the former site of the World Trade Center. Some might object that that is enough money to save 25,000 human beings from death by malaria, which may have been a better use of the charitable funds. But they forget that this sparkling new performing arts center will be a place where rich and poor alike can go to hear, say, the opera, as long as they can both buy tickets.

The Times notes that “In recognition of his gift, the new theater complex, which will sit on one of the most emotionally resonant and most visited spots in the city, will be named for Mr. Perelman.” Perelman has previously paid to have things named after himself at NYU, Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania, among other places. Neither young nor old affluent people shall be able to escape the omnipresence of Ronald Perelman’s name!

Perelman is also a Republican political donor and the owner of a $4 billion art collection.

One of the best arguments for taxing away the wealth of billionaires is the way they choose to spend it when left to their own devices.

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