Here's a topic that's sure to get people riled up. It's a question posed to Kiplinger's:
My best friend donates only to charities that support health, education and microcredit in the world's poorest nations. She argues that her donations have more impact there than in the U.S. and that America's poor are much better off -- in material comfort and opportunity for advancement -- than the poor of other nations.
But I believe that my first (and maybe my only) obligation is to my community and my country, especially with growing inequality of wealth in the U.S. Which is the more ethical position?
Their answer is basically "do both" but that seems to side-step the issue without giving much reason for their suggestion.
Here's my take:
1. I do agree that even the poorest in America are much better off than many (most?) in the rest of the world.
2. A person is a person to me, so if I'm looking to feed a person (for example), I want to give to an organization that can feed the most people for the least cost (this way I can help more people.) Often, the best return on your giving dollar in this area is outside the U.S.
3. When I give for a reason like fighting a disease (cancer, MS, etc.), I go for the organization I feel can best get the job done -- even if they may be a bit more "expensive" than other options.
4. All this said, my giving is all over the place -- to various organizations in the U.S. and abroad. The main point for me is to find something I can believe in and give towards that cause/to that organization.
What about you? Do you focus all your giving in your country or do you spread it out all over the world?