22 March 2013

As I’ve remarked, I often feel like I’m writing this blog in a void. I know that’s not totally true because I see the page views-- which vacillate wildly with seemingly no rhyme or reason-- but the other day  I was reminded in the nicest possible way that what I’m writing does actually go somewhere out into the universe. 

On St. Patrick’s Day, I had tried to donate to The Ireland Funds, an organization that operates chapters in 12 countries (including 12 chapters in U.S.). Its mission, since its 1976 founding, is to promote programs of peace and reconciliation in Ireland, as well as arts and culture development. In the last 40 years, it has raised more than $430 million for more than 1,200 organizations, according to its website.

When I went to donate, however, the site’s menu did not allow me to enter an amount and the minimal amount to pick was $25. I very often have to enter my $10 under “other,” as very few charities have a designated amount that low and I totally understand that.  At the same time, allowing someone to give as little as $5 or $10 can serve as a gateway to bigger giving as someone learns more about the charity and it also allows kids to spend their allowance without breaking the bank and start a lifetime of philanthropy. The American Ireland Fund was the first charity in more than 75 days of giving that had no “other” designation to give any amount other than those suggested.

Much to my surprise, on March 18, Brian Beck, the I.T. Director for the American Ireland Fund, left me a comment that as a result of my blog (I have no idea how he has seen it), the Fund had added an “other” amount option. And sure enough, it has! Now people can give $10 or designate any amount. I hope the American Ireland Fund gets flooded with $10 (and more) contributions. I’m really humbled that the organization added the “other” option. If my rules allowed it, I would give the American Ireland Fund way more than $10 for being so responsive, but now that the “option” box is there, I am very happily donating today’s $10 to the American Ireland Fund.

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