01/02/2013 10:51 am ET Updated Jan 03, 2013

Giving With a Big Heart and a Tough Mind

Princeton Ethics Professor Peter Singer thinks deeply about a variety of issues. That's his job. And, according to Time magazine, he's one of the most influential thinkers in the world.

What Singer says about our charitable giving is both provocative and courageous, because he challenges the true worth of many of the donations we all make. How many Ivy League professors have the guts to tell well-meaning donors to forgo giving to the Harvard Universities and Metropolitan Museums of the world and give to the charities that serve the neediest instead?

This time of year we are all inundated with direct mail appeals, emails and phone calls asking for our donations. If you are thinking about making a few well-timed gifts before midnight on Monday, December 31 to take advantage of the tax benefits, Singer's perspective is worth two minutes of your time. Here's his article from published December 24 in the Los Angeles Times and December 28 in the Chicago Tribune.