If you follow my blog you would know I am a big fan of 80/20 – small causes which can create big impact. I am all about using leverage- in the positive sense.
I am also big into doing charity because it is good Karma.
But I think not all charity is created equal. In my opinion if you do charity to solve a problem at the grass root level then in the long run it can have a major impact on the society. Its all about prioritizing how your funds can have the biggest impact.
In India one of the big challenges we face is poverty. So poor people don’t send kids to school because they get additional hands to work, earn money and therefore feed the family.
Since the kids don’t go to school they also spend their life in poverty-stricken situations. This also leads to an increase in crime, drug abuse etc.
A simple solution that was found, was to feed kids in schools so that the kids get one good meal. Now the incentive for the parents to send the kid to the school is not educational but the lunch that the kid will get. On the other hand for the government and society the long term benefits are better, healthier citizens who may eventually come out of poverty and the crime rates will also be lower.
The challenge is how do you feed so many kids. That’s where NGOs come in. They take donations from people like us.
A lot of NGOs do good work. However I support these kind of charities because the small interventions of feeding say 25 kids for a full year, every year will ensure that 10 years from now I know there will be 25 less people who will be on the road living in poverty. The amount needed to feed one wholesome nutritious meal to say 25 kids for a year would be just USD 500 but the long term impact could be so amazing.
Mohnish Pabrai runs a similar program where he helps kids get trained for higher education and sponsors their education. The Grameen Bank founder and Nobel prize winner did a similar thing by giving micro loans to the poor people so they could do their own business.
While all charity is very good, give wherever and whenever you can, however if you can also do some focused charity it can have major long term benefits for society.
Till next time then.