Frugal Givers was founded by James Leonard Park in
as a charitable trust named The Philosophers' Fund.
Its original purpose was to support original, creative philosophers.
But in the first decade of the 21st century the scope of its giving
was expanded to any worthy charitable purpose.
Both names will continue to be used as appropriate:
"The Philosophers' Fund" and "Frugal Givers".
This charitable trust continues to have only one
grantor: James Leonard Park.
But it might recommend places for others to give money or time,
which will be given directly by other givers.
Thus this charitable trust itself is not registered as a tax-exempt
since the original grantor has no use for any tax deduction,
because his own income have been well below the taxable level since
In other words, if Frugal Givers discovers
individuals or organizations
that meet its criteria for frugality, it might recommend those
recipients to other givers.
And in some cases, these recipients might themselves be registered as
which would afford givers a tax-deduction for gifts.
FRUGAL GIVERS WILL STEER AWAY FROM 'FAT CAT' CHARITIES
I am looking for places to give money
that will use that money as wisely and frugally as I use my own money.
I will avoid all charities that pay their CEOs hundreds of thousands of
dollars per year.
Why would I want to give my money to people who already have much more
than I do?
Some giant charities can claim to spend 90% or more
on the projects,
but I still do not know how much of this money
goes to people who have a higher income than I have.
One easy way to make sure that the charities are
spending my money wisely
is to insist that they be mainly run by volunteers.
If these volunteers believe in what the charity is doing so much
that they are willing to
donate their own time and effort,
then I can be more assured that they are worthy of my cash.
THE RECIPIENTS PAY NO INCOME TAXES
Another way to restrict my giving to organizations
that are very frugal
is to insist that their highest paid employee or officer
be paid at a rate that (if it were full-time work)
would not require them to pay Federal Income Tax.
In other words, the highest paid person
earns between $7,000 and $12,000 per year.
(Taxes are figured depending on how many people
are being supported by that income.
If these half-voluntees have dependents,
then they can earn more and still fall within the tax-free zone of
For the most part, these will be new charitable
Almost always new forms of service are given by people
who believe in this service so much that they are willing
to donate their own time without being paid.
Schools, hospitals, museums, etc.
were started by people who really believed in their purposes
and put their own efforts into making such institutions work.
It might be useful for us to remember that even the
giant charities of today
were once start-up charities
founded by volunteers with a vision.
The Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, every kind of religious organization
was once an all-volunteer effort.
Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul did not get paid for their
Once he started preaching, Jesus was fed by his followers.
And Paul made tents for a living.
But now most established religious organizations have staff members
who are paid as much as they would earn in other organizations.
And if Jesus Christ were to come again,
he would have to start over from scratch,
since the organized churches would probably not recognize him.
Established religious organizations pay for
goods and services that they recognize.
New forms of ministry will be created by volunteers.
And perhaps later, these will be adopted by the religious establishment.
There is no telling what new organizations
for the first time in the 21st century
will eventually become large enough and well-recognized enough
in order to attract a large base of contributors.
This is another feature of giant charities:
Besides doing millions of dollars of good,
they are also supported by millions of people.
Frugal Givers might be instrumental in helping a
to grow to the size where it no longer needs support from Frugal Givers.
Eventually they might become well-enough known
to have lots of contributors from the general public.
And they will pay reasonable salaries.
Then Frugal Givers will drop them from its list
and go on to search for other new start-up charities
that need support and whose founders believe enough in their project
that they are willing to do the first few years of work without
Created June 15,
2006; revised April 6, 2007; 1-31-2009; 4-2-2009; 7-17-2009; 9-22-2012