This is the first of three posts about giving money to charities.
It's nearing the end of the year, and I've been thinking about charitable donations. Probably because lots of pitches hit my mailbox at this time of the year. I've got my yearly favorites (probably not charities you've ever heard of, but more of that tomorrow), but I'm always on the lookout for new organizations that spend their money intelligently for causes of which I approve. And I approve of some pretty weird causes, bucko.
I ran across iGive tonight, which I hadn't heard of before. The deal is that if you register with iGive, and click-through their website to shop at affiliated merchants, those merchants will donate N% of your purchase to your chosen charity. Painless, at least for the customer. And a number of their merchants are places I shop already, like L.L. Bean, Lands End, Altrec (hiking/camping) and DVD Planet.
So, I joined. Doesn't seem to be any downside. I wish Deep Discount DVD were a member, but no dice.
Which brings up an interesting issue. Deep Discount DVD probably isn't a member because they can't afford to be. They usually come in at the low price end on DVD price comparators such as DVD Price Search, and I'd guess their profit margins are paper thin and they can't afford to give up anything of the money they make to charity.
So who can afford to give up a percent of their gross? And what percent can they afford to give up?
iGive helpfully provides a list of its affiliate companies ranked by the amount of your purchase they will donate to your charity. [drumroll] The fifteen companies with the highest percentage donation:
|2.||Mr. Ink Man||22.0%|
|4.||Blue Dolphin Magazines||14.0%|
|6.||Best Deal Magazines||12.4%|
|14.||Carrot's Ink Cartridges||10.0%|
There's an obvious pattern here. With the exception of the notorious X-10 wireless cam, now in Chapter 11, it's all magazine subscription re-sellers and inkjet cartridge retailers. These businesses must be insanely profitable if they can donate 10-25% of their gross receipts to charity. Their profit margins must be huge. Why am I not in these businesses? Is there any way I can invest in them?
L.L. Bean and Lands End, as counterexamples, donate 2.4% and 2.0% of purchases.
Tomorrow: other thoughts on year-end charitable giving.
== atsuryoku == pressure
Upper/outer radical is 'roof/cover'. Inner radical is 'earth' (土), but was
originally a complex character meaning 'sweet dog meat'. Dog. It's what's for
dinner, in the Yellow River valley of ancient China, anyway. This character
originally meant being satiated with food. Its meaning broadened to mean
'stuffed' or 'under pressure' in a more general sense. Henshall
suggests as a mnemonic: 'Roof under pressure from earth.'
Hm. Josh's Chinese Lookup Thingy doesn't seem to be working. And Josh himself has disappeared. Anyone hear from him?