Editor's Letter

A (New) Case for Giving

As we put this issue to bed, as we say, President Bush’s prime-time address to the nation resonates, still about 14 hours fresh. He implored us all to support the ultimate earmark: $700 billion to bail out the financial system. Skeptics of this plan, many within his own party, questioned the details, leaving the rest of us to so much punditry and precious little expertise. (I’d have suggested locking Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Steve Forbes — maybe even Palm Springs’ Harold Meyerman — into a room and telling them to solve and oversee the execution of a plan that would pay back any bailout with interest that we could invest in a program to renegotiate at-risk mortgages and avert expensive foreclosures.)

Meanwhile, we have this edition of Palm Springs Life that includes our popular Charity Register & Social Datebook — a reminder that causes greater than ourselves need our support more than ever. As you know, giving dips when organizations tend to serve greater numbers of people needing their services.

In a recent Washington Times story, Patrick Rooney, director of research at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, said a typical recession causes charitable giving to drop between 1 and 3 percent, adding that charities that have diversified sources of funding tend to fare better than those who raise the bulk of funding from one source.

But this, as the president said, is no typical situation; his administration contends that it’s a crisis too big for the market to fix on its own. And that’s why charitable giving should rank high in your own budget this year.

“Desert organizations feel the slower pace of giving,” reports Palm Springs Life wealth writer Ellen Paris. In this month’s column, “Giving in Tight Times," she gleans the experiences and advice from financial and philanthropic personalities in the desert.

Also this month, our In Store column, “Gifts that Give," by Sarah Reiss, encourages us all to consider gifts that bring joy not only to the recipient, but also to organizations in need.

So many of the desert’s most spectacular events benefit important charities. In our 10th annual Charity Register, we present the organizations (and their events) that will help find cures, ease suffering, improve quality of life, and educate and enlighten as many people as possible.


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