Question: why don't people give to help orphans?

A Russian friend of ours who lives in the United States is writing a paper about orphan ministries and charities who help Russian orphans.   As a part of her paper she must identify a list of reasons why people do NOT support orphan ministries when they know of the need.  She asked us to help with making the list.
Wow!  When she asked for our viewpoint on "reasons", I suddenly realized that I don't really know why.
Some of my guesses:
  • The problem is too big.  I think some people convince themselves that there is no reason to get involved because nothing they do is going to change anything.
  • Indifference.  This may be the biggest reason.  I think many people have a built-in "switch" that they turn off when they start hearing about the problems of other people and the need for funds to help them.  I've noticed that people like to hear more about Russia and even the work we are doing, but the minute that we point out how they can help, they turn their "switch" and that's the end of the conversation.
  • Mistrust of charities in general.  Unfortunately, there are many horror stories of how ministries and charities have misused funds.
What do you think?  Maybe someone out there is aware of a study that has been done about why people give and why they don't give?  Please share your thoughts!

You can help Russian orphans by helping our volunteers in Russia who minister to orphans in orphanages run by the government.

Donations pay for field trips for orphans