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?