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In earlier essays I described how to use stock charts to pick which companies are worthy and when to buy. I also shared how most of my family's investments were in stable companies with nice dividends.

But an important part of earning money is sharing money. Which charities does my family regularly support?

Fidelity Charitable

My family uses Fidelity Charitable as a middle man for most of our charitable donations. Passing money through that non-profit organization to others allows us to make donations anonymously. We prefer this for theological reasons. And we get less junk mail.

The Charity Navigator ratings on this page were updated on March, 2014.

Favorite Charities

Local Charities

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Food for Lane County is a large and well-run food bank. Much more than a "meal kitchen", it offers an astounding variety of services to help feed the hungry.

Its Charity Navigator score is 63.99.

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Eugene Relief Nursery helps prevent and cure child neglect and abuse. It does great work. It is an extremely "high leverage" non-profit because the positive effects provided to children can ripple down through generations.

Its Charity Navigator score is 60.54.

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Eugene Rescue Mission provides food and shelter to anyone who visits. One of my earliest blog posts was describing a night I spent there incognito.

Its Charity Navigator score is 56.53.

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Or haGan is a small synagogue we attend. It is serious about Judaism and respect for Torah. It strives to increase in kavanah and devotion to God.

It has an unranked Charity Navigator page. As a non-profit religious congregation, it is not required to file a Form 990 annually, so Charity Navigator cannot examine the congregation's financial health.

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Crossfire World Outreach Ministries is a two-location church in Eugene and Springfield. One of their buildings is a short walk from our home. Their pastor is an excellent preacher. If I ever want to hear a Christian sermon with insight, depth, and application on a Sunday morning I can get that easily.

It has an unranked Charity Navigator page. As a non-profit religious congregation, it is not required to file a Form 990 annually, so Charity Navigator cannot examine the congregation's financial health.

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The Edgewood Elementary School PTA does helpful fundraising for our child's school. It also provides assistance with food and clothing to the school's families. Several times each year it runs donation drives for clothes and non-perishable food. PTA members wash the clothes and organize distribution times.

It has an unranked Charity Navigator page. Charity Navigator requires a seven year history of using the Form 990, and the PTA is not that old as an offical Fedeally tax-exempt organization. However, the group is quite transparent with their finances to parents who either attend a PTA meeting or contact the group's treasurer, Chelsea Beaudri.

Nonlocal Charities

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A traditional Jewish funeral and burial is considered a lifecycle event as important as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or wedding. The Hebrew Free Burial Association helps poor Jewish families in New York City pay for this. (If you do not immediately undestand why this is worth supporting, there is nothing I can explain. It's a cultural thing.) My family would prefer to support a more local charity that helps Oregon's poor Jewish families but none exist.

Its Charity Navigator score is 65.92.

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Jewish Voice Ministries International provides Messianic Jewish outreach to Jews around the world. Most notable are the large stadium events it uses to help a city's Jewish population and identify the subpopulation desiring to be nurtured and trained as an IAMCS congregation.

Its Charity Navigator score is 61.00.

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InterVarsity Christian Fellowship helps college students grow closer to God. My wife and I spent a lot of our courtship at InterVarsity meetings. I enjoyed discussing theology with people of all faiths even then, when my identity was from my Reform Jewish upbringing.

Its Charity Navigator score is 61.72.

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Maoz Israel Ministries is an Israeli congregation that provides commendable humanitarian aid. It is the most reputable method my family knows of helping impoverished Israelis. (Be sure to specify that a donation be used for humanitarian aid if you do not want a portion used for the congregation's own financial needs.)

Its Charity Navigator score is 65.89.

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The Thacher School Alumni Fund helps fund scholarships to my amazing high school.

Its Charity Navigator score is 54.94.

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The Pomona College Alumni Fund helps my undergraduate college. I feel no need to give the college more money, but do realize that a high class participation rate helps it receive other grants.

Its Charity Navigator score is 57.92.