Second, it proves once again the power of tax cuts. Federal income tax rates decreased significantly between 2000 and 2007, and this has undoubtedly contributed to the rise in charitable giving. You say no way, but we do know from the experience in Western Europe, that as taxes went up, giving went down. Why? Because the state was going to solve the problem – not individuals. This leads some to contend that tax cuts hurt those in need. The truth is though, that when Americans keep more of their money they will often use it to help those in need—sans any governmental mandate to do so. Moreover, private citizens will consistently make more efficient use of their resources than government would because private giving creates partnerships between individuals and organizations and fosters accountability. For example, my wife and I are directly involved in three charities – two local and one global – where we partner with government but we also oversee the expenditures, have access to the board, and help shape strategy based on what is best for the local community. In our global charity, we support free wheel chairs around the world (www.freewheelchairmission.org), where we partner with NGO’s or government agencies to insure the delivery of free wheelchairs to people who are trapped on dirt floors in some of the poorest parts of the world. Without private aid, the wheelchairs would never be advancing as fast or as efficiently as they would with a centralized planner overseeing a government agency.
It’s easier than you think to become part of this growing group of self-reliant Americans who are reaching out to help their global neighbors.
One important stop, believe it or not, is the IRS website, where you can search the tax-exempt status of any charity. There you’ll find a tool to find the status of a charity registered after the most recent update, too. One private organization that facilitates charitable giving across a range of sectors is the Endeavor Group, a D.C.-based consulting group that organizes national and international philanthropy for high-net-worth individuals. For every particular part of the world you might be interested in aiding, there is a group that specializes in making that happen. Donors wanting to assist Asia should seek out Give2Asia; central and South America, the Resource Foundation; and Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, the King Baudoin Foundation US.
These are just a few suggestions. I encourage you to consider supporting these or other private organizations that strive to put the resources of self-reliant Americans to work for the good of others.
Doug Wilson is the the co-author, with Edwin Feulner, of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today.
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