03 December 2019

On the 3rd day of ...

Today's #GivingTuesday.

I'm all in favor of charitable giving, but it's one area where I vastly prefer to pay by check. One, I know that the organization is getting all of my money without a fee to the credit card company, and two, it cuts way down on email. So I'll probably ignore the eleventy-seven emails I get for #GivingTuesday, tugging at my heartstrings and requesting the honor of my credit card. I might be a crank that way.

I'm also the crank that requests no tote bag, tee shirt, tchotchke (though I will use your address labels if you send them to me, thankyouverymuch).

There is a newish phenomenon that I've noticed, in the team centered fundraising events, wherein the token gifts are somewhat elevated and are tied to the dollars raised by participants. The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life does this, and the LUNGevity event does this. (Surely others do as well, but those are two I'm familiar with.) You get to choose - a backpack, a coffee mug, an Alexa Dot, a warmup jacket, an Apple watch. Here's the thing - those prizes cost money. Why is the money I raised being used to give me a prize? I want all the dollars to go to research. Sure, I can simply forgo the prize. But what of the others? Why is this even an option?

A couple of months ago, my non-profit employer got an unsolicited contribution in the mail, with the most charming letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

We are a dance competition located in Massachusetts. We host events and invite dance studios to participate in local dance competitions. We have a program that allows the dance studios to donate the funds that would have been spent on their trophies to a special charity of their choice.

We are pleased to present this check as a donation to you on behalf of (__________________).

The check was for an odd amount, slightly more than $100, and we were delighted! Such a win/win - one less tacky trophy out there in the world, and a charitable contribution to boot.

Consider your giving carefully.


MARY G said...

Oh yes. I am with you. A lot of the charities that solicit us send gifts, sometimes in multiples. They get a letter in return explaining why they are not getting a contribution.
And our money goes local. Very local. We live in a community where the food bank is really needed and a lot of kids are lacking essentials. It annoys me no end to get a coaster or calendar or whatever when that money could have gone to toothpaste or mitts.
Great idea to send money instead of a trophy. Good for them.