Speaking Out with Your Checkbook


Following my own advice to STAND UP and BE HEARD, (from We Always Have Choices) I’ve begun to SPEAK OUT with my checkbook.

Thanks to Cook & Co. for the image.
Thanks to Cook & Co. for the image.

And, if you’ve been reading  my blog for any length of time, you know that our finances are much worse than they once were. (I’ll not rehash; you can read some of it here, if you are curious).

Still, Woody and I have committed to small, monthly donations to three longstanding organizations:

The Southern Poverty Law Center

Since 1971, the SPLC has been fighting hate and bigotry, and seeking justice for minorities and vulnerable members of society, through litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Planned Parenthood

For over 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been delivering vital reproductive and sexual health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide.


I plan to support two more organizations.

I’ll support one that’s involved in the stewardship of my environment, watching out for the rainforests, saving endangered species, halting or at least now slowing down global warming. Just one. You’ll read next week about how I made that decision among over 25 valid, well-run organizations.

I’d also like to support an organization focused on bringing gun sense to this country.  There are so many organizations dealing with this issue, it’s been hard for me to wend my way through them all. Perhaps you can help.

I’d love to hear how you might be involved in the issue of gun sense (gun safety; gun rights; gun control? Even the language has become politicized). Any advice for me? 

Before I end, I wanted to share the lyrics to a chorus from our past:

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me


Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, We Are the World first hit over 30 years ago!  A whole generation ago.  As you listen to it once again, here’s a Post Script to peruse.

The Internet has exploded lately with ways to spend your contribution dollar.  Here are some additional links I’ve copied from a variety of sources.

Immigrant Solidarity Network – A coalition of immigrant rights, labor, human rights, religious, and student activist organizations from across the country that work with leading immigrant rights, students and labor groups.

Refugees International – Advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises.

Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts – This 260-year-old organization believes that all humans have creative capacities that can be mobilized to deliver change and enlightenment in the 21st century.

Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Founded in 1983, its mission is to inform citizens about how money in politics affects their lives, empower voters and activists by providing unbiased information, and advocate for a transparent and responsive government.

The National LGBTQ Task Force

National Center for Transgender Equality

Rape Abuse Incest National Network

Center For Constitutional Rights

Anti-Defamation League

Black Lives Matter

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Common Cause

Council on American-Islamic Relations

The Democratic Party

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Human Rights Campaign

Lambda Legal

Stand with Standing Rock

There are also countless organizations in your own backyard that need your help.  How to choose? That’ll be next week.

In the meantime, how does it feel to be discussing money matters so openly? Is that a taboo in your culture? 

11 Responses

  1. Merril Smith
    | Reply

    Good morning, Janet! I think I’ve already mentioned in previous posts some of the organizations I’ve recently supported–including PP (honoring Mike Pence) and the ACLU. I also gave to the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. There will be some others.
    And I guess I just try to speak out against injustice and for freedom in my small way.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Merril

      I understand Pence currently ranks as PP’s “biggest donor.” Always good to find things to smile about. In the clamor over abortion, I’m afraid people aren’t hearing about all the prevention services they provide, and to a very underserved population.

  2. Tim Fearnside
    | Reply

    Great post, Janet, and three well-deserving choices. (Also, a good list of alternatives ^^ – so thank you for that). I’d also personally be interested in supporting some good independent news and/or media sources, such as Democracy Now! and the stations that help support it. Here, e.g., it airs on our local community radio station, Radio Boise, which is something else I support and wholly believe in. Anyway, just throwing that out there as a bit of additional food for thought 🙂

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Oh, that’s such an important point, Tim. Thank you. Those independent (i.e., add-free) news sources rely on the support of the public. We have our local VT Digger, an online paper covering political goings-on in our State and I support them. But have pulled back from our local public radio and TV stations. Public Television and NPR are so watered down since the 1980s. In their fear of alienating anyone, they’ve wound up being rather middle-of-the-road — what the three networks USED TO BE. And, I think it happened so slowly, that people just got used to it.

      The larger issue of what to listen to, how to judge, what news is “fair and accurate” is a whole other topic. One I wandered into last week, but then quickly jumped away from. I’m hoping you might tackle it.

  3. Tim Fearnside
    | Reply

    (PS – I finally ordered your book)!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thanks, Tim. Perhaps that’s why my book has suddenly jumped to #614,682 on the Amazon Best Seller list! 🙂 Next year, I’ll get back to promotion. I hope you enjoy it.

  4. Carolyn
    | Reply

    Interesting thoughts. I regularly pay to an air ambulance and a children’s hospital. Christmas sees me buying virtual presents – like books for children in Africa – for my sister and she does similar. I also support my old college as it provides bursaries for students to help with the high cost of living while studying

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Carolyn, Thanks for adding to the conversation here. What a great idea: books. And of course, those organizations that are near and dear to our hearts have a bit of an easier time getting our attention. Your comment reminded me of what my mom has come up with for presents this year: all the family had to let her know our favorite organization and she sent in a donation in our name. I still must let her know which one I want. Perhaps my local hospital again. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Terry Bryan
    | Reply

    I support EarthJustice too…it is a team of lawyers who take environmental criminals/vandals to court and usually win.

  6. […] where you begin to speak out (click here for the recent post on Speaking Out with Your Checkbook).  And, here’s where the organization has a responsibility to you. They need to make it easy […]

  7. […] written here in Speaking out with Your Checkbook, about finding organizations that are already working in the issue areas you care about and […]

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