Do "click to give" sites actually do good?

Advice on how to make the world better.
April 8 2009 6:58 AM

Push a Button, Change the World

Do "click to give" sites actually do good?

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Ashleigh, "click to give" sites might be the best example of slacktivism: easy and painless acts that allow us to feel we are doing our part to make the world a better place with the least possible mental, physical, or financial exertion. While it's encouraging to see so much creativity being put toward the myriad ways we can change the world without getting up off the couch, I strongly encourage everyone using "click to give" to remember Gandhi's quote: "We must become the change we wish to see in the world." Simply clicking may provide modest incremental benefit, but it isn't going to get us the world we wish to see. You're not off the hook.

Do you have a real-life do-gooding dilemma? Please send it to and Patty and Sandy will try to answer it.

In our ongoing effort to do better ourselves, we're donating 25 percent of the proceeds from this column to—an organization committed to raising public awareness about the issues of global poverty, hunger, and disease and the efforts to fight such problems in the world's poorest countries.

Patty Stonesifer is the chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents and a senior adviser to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she was president, then CEO for 10 years. She spent the first two decades of her career in the technology business, where her last job was senior vice president at Microsoft.

Sandy Stonesifer works on issues related to adolescent girls' health at a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.