Saturday, April 12, 2008

Please, sir, may we have some more?

With apologies to Charles Dickens, the title of this post is the approach that nearly every charity to which I give seems to approach me (and, presumably, every other donor) these days. I send them some money, and they then inundate me with thank you letters that always end with a plea for more. They have all the subtlety of a junkie begging on the street.

Can they not even muster the restraint to wait a bit? Can't they truly be thankful for the donation and not spend a chunk of it on another solicitation days after I send them money?

I give more money to charity now than I ever have in the past. With each little increase in my wages, I edge up the total I give (since I decided to try to stick to giving 10% of my gross earnings to good causes), but I give to a smaller group of charities. The list still includes several causes, not just a few, but I have been cutting off the ones to which I give relatively small amounts ($50 or less), because they throw so much of it away on begging for more.

Does this approach work on anyone? I have to think most people are turned off by this ingratitude. I understand that donations are their life blood, but I would give more to a charity that said, "We're only going to ask twice a year, but please remember us whenever you can." In fact, one of our favorite charities, LIGALY (and the Long Island GLBT Services Network) rarely asks for money. They just notify us of events and invite us to attend. They have the class to know that we will be as generous as we can.

Why can't more organizations take that approach?


ATG said...

"I have no idea" replied the girl who is on the begging list for Doctors Without Borders and the ACLU...

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I totally agree with you! I was even thinking of posting on this subject as well. Some only send reminders every four months or so and that is not too bad. However like you said, there are a few like one I support, they will send you a thank you letter right away with a letter asking for more. If I was going to give more that fast would I have not included it in the first place! They send letters and packages every month and sometimes twice in a month. I figure it costs them $20 to $25 dollars to ask me to donate, which I am going to do anyway! In fact this year I was so used to ignoring their many letters that I accidentlly forgot those groups for 2007, so it actually backfired on them. Sad thing is the people that need help are the ones to suffer.