It’s Your Money and Your Vote

Dear Short Answers: Now that the government is planning to eliminate all funding to the arts, I have been getting a lot of urgent requests from local arts organizations to donate. I cannot possibly afford to give to all of them.  How do I decide how to allocate the limited funds that I have? Do [...]

We Hope You Feel Better

Dear Short Answers: In my lifetime, Christmas has always been more commercial than spiritual, but from where I sit, we have reached a tipping point. It is so commercial that when I wish someone a Merry Christmas I don’t even know what I mean.  I feel like asking everyone who says it to me what [...]

Uncertain Future

Dear Short Answers: As my parents have gotten older (they are both in their late 70s), they have gotten more and more philanthropic and seem to give money away to just about any charity that asks. Since their money is MY inheritance, shouldn’t I be consulted?  They always promised that when they go, I will [...]

Buyer Beware

Dear Short Answers: A close friend of mine asked me to contribute to a charity that she is very involved with.  It wasn’t something that I was personally interested in but I made a contribution as a personal favor to my friend.  Shortly after I sent the money, I heard that the charity had gone [...]

Oh No, This Again

Dear Short Answers: Every one around me is gearing up for the holidays and I am so not feeling it!  I love my family and do my very best to stay in touch and hear their concerns, but the thought of all of them banging up against one another (not to mention all that work) [...]

The Joy of Giving

Dear Short Answers: It’s that time of year, any ideas for a high school graduation present? Auntie Dear Auntie: We pondered this all week. We dislike obligatory gifting because it is rarely appreciated — yet there are occasions that seem to require something. In principle, if you know someone well, you will know what they [...]

Looking to Help

Dear Short Answers: I am 46 years old and want a career.  I like helping people. Which career would you recommend?  Thanks. Tattie Dear Tattie: Why don’t you try volunteering in your community as a first step. Try working with kids, or the elderly to get some experience and see what appeals to you. 1 [...]

Hands Out

Dear Short Answers: In the past week alone, I have received over a dozen invitations from friends to donate money to some lame-brained idea that they’ve put on Kickstarter. One person wants to write a book about Italy (who cares), somebody else wants to make a movie (double who cares?) and another one wants funding [...]

This Is Binary

Dear Short Answers: How do you politely turn down a request for a charitable donation from a very good friend? I’d like to help but I’ve never even met the the person they are raising money for. Asking me for a donation seems a bit presumptuous. Help Me Out Dear H: Just ignore it. If [...]

An Understanding

Dear Short Answers: What is friendship? Joey Dear Joey: We love all our friends and each relationship is different, but in each case, there is a mutuality of respect, trust and expectations. Like Unlike

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