Reconsider charity support

Published 12:05 am Sunday, January 29, 2012

To the Editor:

To Mayor Jennings and City Council:

Please use your influence to change the culture of the city giving taxpayers’ money to charities. The practice of giving to charities is supposed to be voluntary. When the city or the county gives taxpayer money to a charity, not only is the giving not voluntary but it is not their money to give. This topic always comes up during budget time and I have often wondered how one person or group determines which charities receive our tax dollars/utility premiums versus which charities do not receive anything. There are other ways to help without handing out cash.

Here are some alternatives to giving cash:

  1. Mayor/City Council could use influence to help promote fundraisers and volunteers for a charity that requests assistance.
  2. Encourage charity to hire professional fundraising company. Many fundraising companies will work for a percentage of the funds they raise. This could be set up to help a group of local charities. Many of these fundraising companies have access to professional athletes and company executives who have ties to the area.
  3. City could allow charity to use city facilities for fundraising events.
  4. There are many good people doing great things in the city but perhaps they do not have the skill set for grant writing, event and/or fundraising planning. Perhaps we could help facilitate training through the chamber of commerce, community college, Beaufort County Skills Center, and/or a volunteer to help train charity leaders that ask for assistance. Leaders of charities must understand that fundraising is a key function of being in charge.

Let’s find some alternatives to forcing citizens to donate to charities they may not wish to donate to and/or cannot afford additional taxes/utility premiums to support.