Charitable contributions: input requested.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by jenniferpa, May 9, 2007.

  1. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    In my efforts to wring as much income as I possibly can from my mother's savings, I have been reviewing various options. The one thing that is giving me problems at the moment is: do I continue to make the charitable contributions that she has always made? It's not much (it would be an easier call if it was a lot) but since she's spending her savings down at a rate of about £1000 a month I'm wondering if I should teminate these. On the one hand, they're causes that she felt sufficiently strongly about to set up direct debits to, on the other charity begins at home. Any advice?

  2. kayleigh999

    kayleigh999 Registered User

    Apr 6, 2007


    My thoughts if it were me,would be things have changed since the days of those direct debits and I would stop them. It is a generous and lovely thing to do but you are right charity begins at home.

  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Jennifer

    It's a hard one. On the one hand, your mum has supported these charities for a long time. On the other hand, would she want to continue the contributions at the risk of bankrupting herself?

    I thought of the tithing system. Tithing meant donating one tenth of one's income to good causes, but when there is more going out than coming in, you wouldn't be expected to contribute.

    There is also the point that your mum could live for years (read Bruce's post). If the time comes that you have exhaosted her funds, you would have to take over, and is it fair to deprive your own family (and would your mum have wanted that?)

    These are just my thoughts. You have to make the decision, taking into account what your mum would have wanted in her present situation, not what she wanted at the time she set up the direct debits. Only you can determine that.

    Good luck,

  4. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    What about paring down?

    What about picking just one to continue with? Or small amounts for all? Every little bit does help at this stage, I realize. But I understand how you would want to carry on with what your mother would have done.
  5. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    Thats an interesting question Jennifer. Its something I've been sort of thinking about from a different angle, in terms of whether to carry on supporting the charities dad supported since I've inherited his 'fortune' :rolleyes:

    I'm guessing that most people who were able to think logically about money, on seeing that their savings were being eroded, would take steps to cut back non essential expenditure. So it's probably quite likely that if your mum were able to decide she would decide to cut back on these direct debits?

    I think Joanne's idea of chosing just one, or reducing the amounts for them all, is a good one. I wonder if it's possible to find out which of those two options would be most "cost effective". Thinking about the amount of stuff that charities tend to send out to their supporters (letters saying thank you, asking for more money, giving up dates on their work etc), I wonder if it might make more economic sense to give £5 to one charity than £1 to five different charities - so there's only one lot of admin and handling costs.
  6. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Hi Jennifer, I was in the same situation some months ago..............looked at Lionel's outgoings and the drain on his savings. Decided to stop all contributions, including his direct debits to the AS, both for research and the general fund.

    Hard call, but I know his funds will run out in about two years, and no charity is going to help him then.

    Just my take on his financial situation.
  7. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    and I'd agree totally with that choice, Connie.
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi Jennifer,

    I think that I would be taking the "charity begins at home" line given your mother's situation.

    On a purely pragmatic level, you could always have in the back of your mind that if your mother did still have savings remaining, a donation could be made to one key charity as a legacy in the future.

    Take care,

  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Thanks everyone. All very valid points. I did wonder about the cost/admin cost of small donations, and have also considered that perhaps it would be reasonable to make a donation out of whatever's left when she dies, (if there is anything left). I'm going to have to think about it some more: none of the options make me particularly comfortable, but I suppose that's part and parcel of the whole thing. I hate being a grown-up!

  10. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi jennifer,

    I`ve only just caught up with this query and have no different suggestions to those already made.

    But as you`ve no idea how long your mother has left, or how much she will need in the future, unless she`s a millionaire, I`d ease up on the charity, and keep the money she has left for her care.

    With love

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