Re: The problem with small-scale private philanthropy by the wealthiest is that it achieves little
but in the UK we have 'gift aid' whereby you sign a form to say you have paid tax on income that can be reclaimed from your donation.
Gift aid is fairly imoral though, and probably should be scrapped, or at least forced to use different wording. It always implies that the charity gets more money at no extra cost to you, however never mentions that the cost is born by everyone else, which most people don't consider.
If I give a charity 10 pounds, that's money I've earnt and paid tax on and is mine to do with as I see fit, however if I then tick the gift aid box I give a further 2.50 to that charity, which is taken from general taxation, ie, the money that pays for schools, hospitals, the police, etc etc. I am in effect saying that I value the work of the particular charity over the rest of society as a whole.
So whilst I think the motive behind gift aid is noble, actually when you think about it it's probably not the greatest idea.