Charity Overload

This will sound incredibly harsh, but what the heck:

I’m sick of giving my money to every charity that begs me for a dollar.

This is the worst time of year for it, too, as every store you walk into will have someone asking for money outside the front door, or a cashier asking if you’d like to donate a dollar to whatever cause they’re supporting this week. When I said “no thanks” to one of the latter yesterday, she was done with me. She went immediately from cheery and peppy to quiet and angry. I could tell. But if I’m running into the store to get something that’s on sale because I can save a buck there, what’s the purpose if I donate that buck?  I don’t even know anything about the organization that I’m giving money to.  How do I know I’m getting the most bang for my buck? I know, I know. I’m a Scrooge. Bah humbug. Mean ol’ Augie.

This isn’t to say I’m against donations. I do it on my own time and in my own way. And I always give to the Salvation Army once or twice at this season every year. The problem is, I’m passing by that guy now three times a week outside the supermarket. I almost resent having to pass him up every time because it makes me feel guilty about not donating.  I’m taking the other door out to avoid him all together.

When I see the Girl Scouts parked outside selling cookies at other times of the year, I drive down the street to the next grocery store.

I also make a habit out of instantly shredding the five thousand return address stickers I receive from charities each and every month. They’d make a lot more money for their cause if they’d stop sending me money grabs every week. Aren’t we all supposed to be hard-core environmentalists now? Why are charities still killing all those trees on the off chance that a random piece of mail I send is returned to sender?

Am I alone? Am I a Scrooge? Or are we hitting charity overload?

It reminds me of P2P and music — people who share music freely on P2P networks are statistically proven to BUY MORE MUSIC. Mayhaps I’d donate more to charity if they weren’t constantly begging me for it. That random dollar they get from me today makes a $20 check from me later much less likely. Is it time for charities to radically rethink their fundraisers?


6 Responses to “Charity Overload”

  1. Overworm
    30. November 2007 at 09:42

    I’m with you 100%. In fact, I’d rather give money to the bum sitting outside the convenience store than the “charity” person outside the big box stores during holidays. I give money (and time) to charities, but I’m past the point where I give to anyone standing outside asking for my money.

    BTW, touching on a point you made, at least I know the bum outside the convenience store is going to spend my quarter on some beer or liquor or crack. I’d rather support his habit than help buy some shady charity CEO a new jet.

  2. Laura G
    30. November 2007 at 11:19

    I never give to charities through stores or such. If I’m going to give up my money, which I haven’t got much of, I’m going to give it to places I’ve checked out. If someone becomes offensive when you don’t give them money, they are scum. Period.

  3. Josh Herndon
    30. November 2007 at 11:42

    Yep, I think people that get angry when you don’t donate are missing the point of charity. You do it out of the goodness in your heart, not because they are scowling at you and angry!

  4. ShyGuy
    2. December 2007 at 02:26

    Just for that, I’m not giving to the next diabetes charity I see!

  5. Paul C
    2. December 2007 at 12:43

    I have to agree as well. It is really annoying when people come up to you like that and almost expect/demand you to give money. It always happens me when I go in and out of the supermarket, I just put in some earphones and don’t make eye contact.

  6. Chris Arndt
    4. December 2007 at 18:15

    I have to say you’re bloody wrong, Augie.

    As cheap as it is to beg for small cash amounts per mail it’s more efficient and cheap to do a mass mail dump, each asking for a few dollars more than the measly 37 cents plus…

    Amongst my political training is fund raising. These little chunks can help an awful lot if you know you are sending to folk who are not probably going to pay otherwise…

    heck, if the little bits drive you off charity… that’s your choice.

    That said, cold calls from strangers piss me off and the only reason robo calls are good is because you can easily frame your enemies for making them.