Saturday, October 16, 2010

Not So Charitable

Giving one's money--time or other wordly possesions--away is what most people refer to as "charity". I've always considered myself a rather charitable person. I volunteer and donate when I can. But I have a few rules when it comes to charitable solicitations. And if you break them, you don't get my time/money/stuff.

Here they are:

1. If you try to GUILT me in to giving by sending me address labels/Christmas cards/calendars/wrapping paper that I didn't request and will, most likely, never use: SCREW YOU. You're wasting your organization's limited funds and destroying trees with your plea. You are stupid, and I will not donate. (I'm looking at you Texas Exes, World Wildlife Federation, Animal Trustees of Austin, and Boys Town Christmas Appeal.)
2. If John Aielli is involved in your plea, I will not donate.
3. If you're panhandling, and you're smoking a cigarette, I will not donate.
4. If you solicit me by mail more than once a year, I will not donate.
5. If you're not creative enough to use your allowed once-a-year donation soliciation (see above) during some time OTHER than the holiday season, I will not donate.
6. If I've donated with you before, and now you want me to donate at a higher level, I (probably) will not donate (at that higher level).
7. If I donate to you, and then you sign me up for a gagillion OTHER "like-minded" charities who then start bombarding me with mail/phonecalls/emails, I will not only not donate to YOU anymore, but your like-minded organizations will also get blackballed.
8. Pledge premiums work if they're creative. But if they're too typical (a tote bag! a coffee mug!), no thanks.
9. Enlist businesses to match pledges. I used to work for a company that matched charitable contributions at 50%. It not only made me pledge my support more frequently, it made me PROUD to say that I worked for such an organization.

If you are a not-for-profit organization whose mission I believe in, I will support you if I can. I am smart and have access to the channels that will connect me with you. I promise. But other than that? You need to check yourself.


SUS said...

My company does charitable matching, which rocks my world. We're currently in the Gives drive (October) where we can choose charities and set paycheck donations (lump sum or paid out evenly over the next year's pay) with that company matching.

My mom taught me a great response to the charitable dinnertime call barrage: "I'm sorry, I don't donate to phone solicitations." This is especially great because I already "give at the office."

Lanita said...

It is rather amazing how non-profits are such a huge industry. I believe "non-profit" does not mean "non-professional."

And another thing I would add to your list, if the organization is spending a huge % on overhead and the CEO make more than the President...I will not donate to you.