I wanted to go to the Autism Speaks fundraiser at Radio City, not because they need my money, but because I wanted to see Bruce Springsteen. They made some relatively inexpensive tickets available a week before the event, but we couldn’t line up a babysitter for a weeknight on such short notice. Certainly not the end of the world, as I’ve seen Springsteen before.
There is a local organization that does need my money. My wife and I have attended the Autism New Jersey gala for the past few years which has actually been great fun. The venue, isn’t as grand as Radio City and Springsteen doesn’t show up. However, we do get face-time with the staff of our state’s largest advocacy group, and we know that our donation money is going to pay their salaries. Like most state non-profits, this one has a pretty thin operating margin, and I know that any donation I make will really make a difference. They need me as much as I need them.
If you are looking to make a modest donation to a disabilities rights cause, put your mouth where your money is. Learn all you can about local issues related to housing, employment and accommodations for the disabled. Learn all you can about local non-profits. Select the recipient of your donation based on their position on these and other important issues. Write your check, get your friends and neighbors to give, and then communicate your priorities directly to the people who have the power to act on your behalf.
Photo Credit: LaurenV’s Flickr photostream