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Hiya Romac, great points. It's hard to know who'll make the best use of your $$. I volunteered at [high profile animal rescue organization] and was appalled at where donations would go: jazzy office furniture, laptop computers for all the execs (who wouldn't know how to turn one on), and wage increases. Meanwhile the dog runs haven't been touched since 1967.

Anyway, my point is that we should all become intimately familiar with those who get our well-intended green. I came to a crossroads like you, and my new stance is not to give money to any of the major charities. Instead I'll find some person who has her hands full with rescued cats (see summerloco's post above). Or there's no law that says you can't put the money in a jar and use it to rescue an animal yourself one day.

But enough about animal rescue. I agree that if your sights are on global environmental issues, there's not much you can do with a jar full of change. Unfortunately I can't help you there, because I'm not familiar with that side. But it's my gut instinct to say that--much like religion--any noble effort that becomes an institution is liable to take on questionable practices. Maybe you could do like I did; volunteer at your favourite charity, and then you'll know if it's a good fit.
 
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