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2013/06 - Volunteering and review


The first part of the meeting we discussed volunteering.

Organisations to volunteer with:
Peter Singer in a TED talk suggested looking to maximise the benefit of the money and time you give - is it better to help 200 people in a developing country, or 1 person in a western country? Is this even the right question to ask?

Is it better to give to big charities (with big advertising budgets?) or to smaller charities?
Should we give a larger amount to one charity, or smaller amounts to many charities? Which is more 'effective'? Does supporting a range of different 'types' of charities allow us to make a difference in a range of areas we care about, or does it mean that more money is wasted on administering our giving?

Remembering that it doesn't always boil down to how many people were helped, or how much; there are many things that don't 'help', but instead add value to life (e.g. painting, art, music). For example, helping with an event like Peace in the Park may be a lot of work for only 1 day - but up to 10000 people are impacted and those effects can ripple out.

Some people engage better with 'big' issues, others engage better in local communities - we need people to do both.
When volunteering works, it becomes more than what it starts out at as it ripples out.

Reviewing the year

Good things from the last year

  • Cleaning - learnt new things, practical suggestions
  • Christmas - new practical things came out
  • Human rights - greetings card / postcard appeal
  • Positive money - help to broaden ideas about what is happening in the world

Things we could do in the future

  • Energy usage - house insulation, foil behind radiators, keeping warm - find a guest speaker?
  • When we next have a guest speaker, have another meeting afterwards to discuss / unpack the issues
  • Food
  • Human rights - letter writing evening?
  • Ethical consumerism?
  • Going out to interesting talks happening in the area - need to keep an eye out for suitable events
  • Simplicity & decluttering
  • LETS + credit unions - alternative economies
See the list of agreed meetings on the upcoming meetings page