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Who should you help during the coronavirus pandemic? Show more Show less
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With death tolls mounting, hospitals overflowing, unemployment skyrocketing, and much of the population confined to their homes, there is no shortage of people in need. But who should you help during the coronavirus pandemic? Where are the efforts best spent in order to do the most good?

Help your neighbours Show more Show less

Charity starts at home. We all know someone who needs support. If everyone helped their own community, nobody would be left without assistance.
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Small non-profits are being overlooked

Small community non-profits are being overlooked for big multinational NGOs. Despite coronavirus occupying the concerns of many communities, other issues such as domestic violence, hunger, and mental health are still endemic.

Context

When people think about giving money, they immediately go to the non-profits they have heard of. These are the large, multinational charities, leaving local community organizations underfunded.

The Argument

Donators often overlook small non-profits and charities, even during an international health crisis. When people think about giving money to a cause, they immediately think of the big, multi-national charities. Among non-profits, 92% have a budget of less than $1 million, and 88% have a budget of less than $500,000. Many have been forced to cancel fundraising events and are running low on funding and supplies.[1] While it may seem prudent to focus on fighting the virus itself, many issues that ail communities such as poverty, hunger, and domestic violence are still occurring. Some of these issues, such as domestic violence, have actually gotten worse due to the circumstances of the lockdowns.[2] Many of these issues are tackled by small, local non-profits, many of which struggle for funding under normal circumstances. Considering many people rely on these services for their health and safety, we cannot forget to lend a helping hand to these smaller organizations.

Counter arguments

Small charities are important, but their net impact on the country is often small. An established and powerful NGO has the ability to reach a larger portion of the population. Their ability to lobby, finance, and implement policy and change have a greater effect in the long run. Additionally, they are often much easier to donate to. They typically have easy to navigate websites with simple donation processes. Smaller organizations may require you to physically donate or contribute in some way. The relative ease of supporting a large NGO ultimately means that more people will back them. Lastly, the larger NGO's require a much higher funding threshold than a smaller organization. If a larger group is better funded, they can likely better meet the needs of someone than a smaller organization.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Big NGOs often help address broad issues, but not smaller and less visible concerns. [P2] During national crises, people are biased towards giving to larger organizations. [P3] Small community non-profits already struggle for funding under normal circumstances.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Big NGOs and charities have the capabilities to help more people. [Rejecting P2] Large organizations are more visible and easier to give to, while smaller non-profits are often harder to find and donate to. [Rejecting P3] Smaller organizations require less funding than a large, international NGO.

References

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-help-people-small-businesses-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-4#you-can-provide-support-to-local-nonprofits-that-are-directly-working-to-help-members-of-your-community-1
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/02/world/europe/uk-coronavirus-domestic-abuse.html
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020 at 01:32 UTC

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