Where Do You Give?

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Where Do You Give and Why?

Where do you give and why?

The act of charity is a powerful vehicle to make a positive difference in the world. Your money can contribute to saving lives and make an impact on serious problems in our world today. As an intern at AJWS for the grants department I could not help but to wonder what my giving priorities were. I rigorously began evaluating my own impact in the world and started thinking about these questions…

What are the most important things that need to change in order to improve our society and our world? Or simply: Where do I give? Where does my family give?

When I started this think about how to answer these questions I realized I’ve never gave a donation toward anything. Before my involvement at AJWS I haven’t really ever committed to monetary giving due to my financial standing a college student. But it’s not the amount you give that important, it’s the fact you are expressing your values and through giving and you are putting your values into action.

My lack of experience in donating to charity inspired me to be intentional about where I should start giving to. First, I wanted to identify my philanthropy priorities so I asked myself this first question…What are the most important things that need to change in order to improve our society and our world? More recently I have been self educating myself about LGBTI rights and issues around the world, so I’ve decided to focus on this. It saddens me that in some countries homosexuality is considered a crime and LGBTI communities are discriminated against and are denied basic access to health care.

As part as my initiative to donate strategically and work toward making a positive change for a specific cause it was necessary to narrow down my giving options by identifying factors such as relationships and geography of communities I want to impact. My first thought was to help people that I have a connection with so I thought of the Philippines, where my parents and grandparents were born and raised. The Philippines is an impoverished country with many sociopolitical issues and socioeconomic hardships that are important to address. Similar to other developing countries, LGBTI issues are prevalent here as well.  Socioeconomic issues in the Philippines directly affect my family members that currently live there, which makes me passionate about supporting human rights organizations that work in the country.

I’ve decided to give to AJWS’s peer nonprofit organization MaMa Cash which mobilizes recourses for women and girls organizations. The reason I have chosen Mama Cash is not only because their priorities are to address LGBTI issues but they work in the Philippines and unfortunately AJWS does not currently work there. Nonetheless, I have been impressed by both of these organization’s works. 

Asking myself these key questions prompted me to really analyze my perspectives of what I truly care about and what changes I can make by committing to monetary giving. As a college student without a fixed income I was hesitant to give, but after breaking down my giving priorities and observing the value of giving I began to look beyond the amount I am capable of giving. What matters is being passionate about something enough to show your support in any way that you can, whether if that means writing a check, advocating for a cause you care about and want other people to care about,  or just writing a blog about why you’ve decided to give. Today is the day I start my own giving plan and take on my own change making approach to support this causes and organization.

Raquelle Pasquel

Raquelle Pasquel is an intern in the grants department of American Jewish World Service.

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