I don’t usually support panhandlers directly. I donate money through a “501″ religious organization that has a welfare program for those who are “down on their luck.” I also pay my taxes which has welfare programs out the wazoo. Most of the time these people have no valid reason to beg for money.
I do take exception to that on occasion: if the person is a friend or relative of mine I’ll weigh the need and consider donating directly; if the person is performing some kind of service (such as playing a musical instrument on the sidewalk) I’ll usually pay them for the entertainment they provided (sorry, non-voluntary window washing while stopped at a red light doesn’t count); or if the person is honest with their need for money and it invokes an emotional response, I’ll consider donating.
Even if that emotion is laughter as illustrated by the pictures in this post: http://www.divinecaroline.com/article/22323/49129-spare-change–hilarious-panhandling-signs