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Richard Walden Headshot

Your Politics and Your Charity

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Over the next year, between $5-$6 billion will flow from Americans into thousands of candidates' and parties' campaign chests. From there, most of the money will be used to pay for promotional media via television, the internet, print and direct mail outreach and, of course, campaign consultants.

This is discretionary money which could also be saved, used to purchase necessities or luxury goods or donated to charities. Of all of the choices which might be made, it's likely that nonprofit charities (as opposed to "nonprofit" hospitals, insurance companies, trade groups or family foundations' endowments) will see the most precipitous drop in income as money is directed into these other activities.

Every four years for the past 6 presidential and national campaign cycles, I have made the same appeal -- please try to match dollar-for-dollar what you give to a politician or political party with an equal amount to the charity of your choice. It is well established that the charitable sector is heavily impacted each time attention is turned to political campaigns.

While my own choice is Operation USA, one of the leading privately-funded nonprofit international relief agencies, (www.opusa.org), the continued financial viability and effectiveness of your own preferred charity is vitally important during this deep global recession and our extended and far-too-expensive campaign season.

The thousands of storefront clinics, homeless and battered women's shelters, food banks, legal aid organizations, educational enrichment programs and international relief and development agencies need our attention. Without it, some will die and most others will suffer permanent damage as their basic needs will not be met. That's as nonpartisan as it gets!