An update on charitable giving

My assumption is that my dear reader has reviewed my previous article on giving. It explains my philosophy and approach. The purpose of this article is to update things a bit.


I increased the budget for Education from 50% to 57% of my total giving by reducing the legal reforms budget. My giving goes to the Center for Economic Policy Research, Democracy Now, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Free Software Foundation, the Greg Palast Investigative Fund, the Press Freedom Foundation, ProPublica, Wikimedia and YES! Magazine.
Democracy Now and EPIC get the bulk of the money.
The changes since my last article are:
YES! Magazine I used to give to Truthout but they are so rabidly biased and sensationalistic that I’ve never been comfortable with them. So instead I’m switching the money I used to give to them to YES! Magazine. I’m not super happy with YES! Magazine’s review on Charity Navigator but I love their magazine and reporting and honestly my donation isn’t so large that I’m overly concerned. And yes, I did make a donation to Charity Navigator to help support their awesome service.
Freedom of the Press Foundation I added them this year. They are focused on protecting journalists. They provide platforms for securely submitting information to Journalists. They paid to have a stenographer at the Chelsea Manning trial when the government refused to provide records. They help to provide a mechanism to fund WikiLeaks, Tor and other organizations relevant to their mission. Their board of directors is a who’s who of hero’s including Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.
There are also two other organizations I give to that I didn’t mention in the previous blog post. I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps because they don’t really fit well into any of these categories. But I believe both are important.
Electronic Privacy Information Center They receive the 3rd highest amount of money from me (after Democracy Now! and the ACLU) in my yearly charitable giving. Their “super power” is that they know how to work the government. Probably their most successful approach is freedom of information act requests which inevitably they end up having to sue the government to get fulfilled. They also love to the sue the government anytime it doesn’t something in contravention to its own laws or the constitution. They also provide frequent testimony before various Congressional committees, provide supporting information to other people’s lawsuits against the government, know how to work the comment periods of various agencies, file complaints, etc. If it involves electronic privacy, from filling FCC complaints about whatsapp and snapchat to suing the NSA for bulk data collection, EPIC is there.
Free Software Foundation The original font of open source they are one of the key providers of the open source software infrastructure that makes the world run. All of us in the software industry commercial, open source or both, owe them a debt of gratitude (even if we don’t use the GPL).

Palliative Care

No changes here.I still give to the ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Verified Voting and the Tor Project. The ACLU and the EFF get the bulk of the money. This is still 40% of my giving budget.

Legal Reforms

This is where the biggest changes occurred. I lowered my giving to this category from 10% to 3% and as I explain below there is only one organization left in this category, Move To Amend. But this is a bit misleading. These articles focus on my charitable giving. But I also have taxable giving, this year mainly to and 15now.
Rootstrikers They aren’t tax deductible and anyway the money I would have given them now goes to Professor Lessig’s other organization, Are they still even alive? I’ve looked at their website and tried to figure out if they really are up to much anymore but I just don’t see much. So I’m pulling them out.
Move to Amend They are the little engine that can’t. But they are trying! They have affiliates all over the U.S. and are constantly organizing. I recognize this is a long term effort and am willing to be patient. My main annoyance is that they are still a ’project’ of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County so I can’t see their finances broken out.
So basically this entire category has collapsed to just Move to Amend which is why I lowered the allocation from 10% to 3%. The balance transferred to education.

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