08 July 2010

Charities and Telemarketers

Something happened yesterday that really upset and annoyed me to no end. I got a call from a telemarketer regarding a donation I had made to a charity (for a specific disease, which I will not mention). But a well known one that we have donated to for a long time.

Yes, I recognize telemarketer numbers and was pretty sure that was what the call was, but I was in a good mood and so I answered. She thanked me for donating to the charity and gave me the usual spiel about needing to raise more money. I was prepared to say yes, I would donate again, but no……. they would like me to accept literature and donation forms from them and then, at my expense, to mail this information to my family and friends.

Now I must tell you that fundraising is not my forte. I have hated selling things and asking people to buy or donate since I had to sell Girl Guide cookies as a little girl. I couldn’t tell you the books of tickets I have bought over the years, rather than go out and sell them. I buy everything the school kids bring to my door. I donate to all the charities that come to my house. But I don’t fundraise. I have and do volunteer for lots of things, but I. DO. NOT. FUNDRAISE!

So I try to explain to the nice lady that I thank her for the opportunity, but I find it very uncomfortable to do fundraising and would prefer not to.
She tells me that this disease is not comfortable either, and that they really need me to do this.
Again I nicely say thank you but I would rather not.
She starts in again.
I hang up!

This whole thing got me thinking about donating money to charities and how they get your information (obviously from the information you provide them to receive your tax benefit) and what they do with said information.

Definition of donate: To present as a gift to a fund or cause; contribute.

Twice, following the deaths of very close friends of mine, we have made a generous donation to a major charity. Since then we regularly receive brochures and information and more requests to donate in the mail. That I can handle. But calling me at my home and trying to guilt me into doing something that I have specifically said I did not want to do, is going too far. How many other people beside me do you think she ticked off? Now I don’t want to donate to that charity at all. And that upsets me.

I remember many years ago one of the charities would send out (without any request on our part) a bundle of Christmas cards and we were expected to donate to the charity. Which I did ever year. But one year I forgot for some reason or other and in January I got a letter chastising me for accepting the cards and not donating. You can probably guess where this is going. I have not donated to that charity since. So don’t send me something unsolicited in the mail and then expect me to pay for it. Not gonna happen.

What if other charities start doing things like this? I think there is a very fine line here about requesting help and trying to push you into helping (at least with me) and some organizations are starting to cross that line.

There are so many worthy charities out there, and each and every one of them needs money and volunteers, and you just can’t give to them all. And new ones are popping up all the time with all the natural disasters, ie. Haiti and then the manmade ones, BP in the Gulf of Mexico. And they all need help.

So I say, please, let me decide who I will and won’t donate to. We have limited resources and we contribute to x number of charities. If this type of telemarketing and harassment continues, x will become a much smaller number.


Marti said...

Agree (1)

Anonymous said...

Agree (2)

Well said, D ... and I always give htem a chance to say their spiel, but if they start to try to bully me or guilt me ... then I do as you do and hang up, or I ask for their supervisor and explain that I don't give out of guilt, but because I feel good about a cause.

lexa said...

I used to have tons of charities call all the time, and some of them get quite nasty if you say no. I tell them I'd like to be able to give to them all, but I just can't. What gets me, too, is when they as for $250, then they'll ask for half, and it keeps going til they ask what I can give. If they're rude then that's it -- they're off the list.

(And I'm like you - I buy the boys' tickets and stuff from school, I don't go door to door, hated it even when I was a kid. I was asked one time to canvas for heart or something, but I said no.)


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