By Dr. James M. Dahle, WCI Founder

There are five important money activities in your life, and it takes work to do them all well. These include:

          1. Earning,
          2. Saving,
          3. Investing,
          4. Spending, and
          5. Giving.

Today, we're going to be talking about giving. Giving to others and giving to charity without hurting people while also trying to make your dollar do as much good as possible is harder than you might think. We give money away every year, and from time to time, we enlist the aid of The White Coat Investor community to help us. We hope to inspire others in the community to also give generously of their means.


Annual Charity Meeting

Our family has an annual meeting where we choose the charities we want to support. Each member of the family chooses and advocates for a charity or three and then we split up the money we plan to donate between them. We hope this exercise helps our kids to become more charitable people and also teaches them how to give well. We expect that this tradition will continue even after we're gone since our kids will not be inheriting everything we leave behind.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours

Our selected charities this year took a more local focus than usual, for whatever reason. However, they were still guided by the scripture we view as a mission statement for our giving activities:

“Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. But before you seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.”

Here are the charities we decided to support this year:

Dad: Given the rapid rise of housing in Utah—both to buy and to rent—I felt like the homeless could use more support than usual this year. My choices reflected that.

  • The Road Home (local homeless shelters)
  • Fourth Street Clinic (local homeless clinic)

Mom: Katie also leaned strongly toward helping locally, but she also wanted to assist refugees, given their worldwide plight. Her choices this year were:

  • Rescue Mission of Salt Lake (local homeless shelters)
  • Catholic Community Services of Utah (soup kitchen)
  • Utah Refugee Connection

Kid #1: Inspired by her trip to Ghana this year where she assisted with medical clinics, the establishment of a school, and getting a hearing impaired child into an appropriate school, she wanted to provide more financial support for the local charity making this all happen.

  • Nurturing Nations

Kid #2: You never know what our free spirit is going to come up with at this meeting. This year, her favored charity buys medical debt—the leading cause of bankruptcy—from collection agencies for pennies on the dollar and then forgives it.

  • RIP Medical Debt

Kid #3: Inspired by popular YouTubers, he again chose to try to help rid the oceans of plastic. We ended up choosing a different charity that does similar work this year. This one is focused on Hawaii and California.

  • Ocean Defenders Alliance

Kid #4: She spent most of the meeting trying to do headstands or with her nose in the corner. In the end, she went with a charity we tend to support every year to help fight hunger locally.

  • Utah Food Bank

We also reserved some money for the WCI community to help us give away. We thought about doing what Physician on FIRE does, asking each of our advertisers, partners, staff members, moderators, columnists, etc., for their favored charity and then donate $100 to each of them. But that sounded like A LOT of work.

donating to charity

We decided to just make fewer but larger donations as guided by our audience. Last year, we allowed people to vote for how we should give away $50,000 by commenting on a post. But there were very few repeated mentions of charities, so most of the winners only had one or two votes. This year, we're going to provide a little more guidance.

Below is a list of 30 relatively uncontroversial national and international charities. At some point in the next week, we'd like you to vote for one of them, and then, we'll donate to the top 10 vote recipients. If you think we should have included other charities on the list, please mention them in the comments and why they should be included. That will help other white coat investors to know about them, and perhaps they'll be on a list like this next year. We'll list your choices for 2022 in reverse alphabetical order.

What charities should the WCI Community support this year? (choose only one)

  • YMCA (2%, 8 Votes)
  • World Vision (6%, 24 Votes)
  • World Resources Institute (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Wikimedia Foundation (6%, 27 Votes)
  • Volunteers of America (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Vitamin Angels (0%, 2 Votes)
  • United Way (2%, 10 Votes)
  • The Rotary Foundation (1%, 6 Votes)
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (11%, 49 Votes)
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Salvation Army (4%, 19 Votes)
  • Matthew 25: Ministries (1%, 6 Votes)
  • MAP International (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Make a Wish Foundation (5%, 22 Votes)
  • Heart to Heart International (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Habitat for Humanity (9%, 38 Votes)
  • Goodwill Industries (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Givewell (5%, 22 Votes)
  • Give Directly (3%, 11 Votes)
  • Feeding America (9%, 40 Votes)
  • Enterprise Community Partners (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Easter Seals (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Doctors Without Borders (12%, 51 Votes)
  • Direct Relief (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Cool Earth (3%, 12 Votes)
  • Boys and Girls Clubs (4%, 16 Votes)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (3%, 14 Votes)
  • Americares (0%, 2 Votes)
  • American National Red Cross (3%, 12 Votes)
  • American Cancer Society (3%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 433

Loading ... Loading ...

Feel free to campaign for your choice (or lament the fact that your favorite charity is not on the list) in the comments section below!