Inboxes across America are filled with requests for money. Organizations, candidates and parties all need our money. What are they hoping to do with our donations? (More)

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Right after the election I gave myself a Christmas present of donating to a few organizations that reflected what I thought was important in fending off Trump’s possible destruction of what I valued. I donated to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Save the Boundary Waters as my top three. Your priorities may differ.

I am struck by how many non-profits and political groups on Facebook want me to donate. For the most part they are really good causes but I am retired and on a fixed income. If I even gave $5 to each of the worthy causes on my Facebook feed or in my inbox, I’d be broke.

For my three top picks, I know what their purpose is and how they will spend my donation. I want to protect civil rights hence the ACLU. I want to protect reproductive rights and health care for women. I want to protect the clean and clear waters of the BWCA (think no copper sulfide mining). I get updates and I have a fair idea of how my donations are being spent. I volunteer for these organizations and support candidates who also believe in these causes.

I get other random emails from Democratic Party organizations but to be honest, I don’t know what they plan to do with my dollars. “We have to stop Trump. Donate now!” does not tell me what they have planned. I do know they’d love to have me sign a petition to get my email for future fundraising. Mostly I give modestly to individual candidates at the local and state levels. I also phone bank and canvass for them. When I send them emails or call their offices, I get a response. I think my phone calls have more impact than all the petitions I could sign.

These words from a congressional staffer say that phone calls work! There is also a new app for smart phones that makes contacting your member of Congress easier than ever.

All three of the organizations that I have chosen to donate to give me “results updates” and action emails for meetings or state legislative hearings to appear at when I can. I have no idea what the state DFL or the national DNC will do with my money. Stopping Trump is pretty vague for me and my limited budget. I know that Senator Amy Klobuchar is up for reelection and I know she needs money. I gave her a little in spite of the fact that she just can’t seem to come out against copper sulfide mining. I am not a total purist but I am disappointed in her equivocation about this particular kind of mining which has never been done without major pollution anywhere.

My bottom line is, if you want my money, be clear in both what you stand for and what you stand against.

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