Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Giving to Charity.

I imagine that, like me, you are inundated with letters asking for charitable donations.   I had two charities that I gave to every month - the RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital.   In addition to this the farmer and I always have a charity we support at Christmas as a special one off - usually UNICEF.

A few months ago Great Ormond Street's charity organiser rang me - told me how valuable my contribution was and told me what they were doing with the money - a worthwhile cause indeed as they are building a new block to house families of severely ill children who need the support of their mum and dad.  At the end of the conversation she asked if I would double my contribution each month.   I did a quick calculation and decided that as RSPB already get my membership fee four times a year I would transfer the extra money I sent them each month and add it on to my Great Ormond Street contribution - a more worthwhile cause I believe.   I really cannot afford to increase my charitable donations.   And so I did this.

Now this morning I have had another letter from Great Ormond Street asking if I can afford more.

This is not an isolated case.   It happens with most charities one helps out.   Every so often, once they have your address, they contact you to see if you will give even more.   There was even a case in the Times a few months ago about a lady who had twenty seven monthly direct debits to charities.

I shall continue with my monthly debit to Great Ormond Street because I think it is such a worthy cause.   But I am sure it does put people off contributing if they are constantly bombarded with more and more requests for money - either by letter or worse still by telephone.

How do you feel about this?

22 comments:

joy said...

I agree with you, we make charitable contributions, we choose the charities we wish to subscribe to and have got to the stage now where anything else that comes through the post asking for money goes straight in the bin. We never answer our phone, incoming calls go straight to the answer machine, so that's how we avoid the intrusions. I once mistakenly gave my mobile number to a charity and they really hounded me with calls (no pun, but it was the Dog Trust!), so in the end I had to block them. It is extremely offputting, but I suppose from their angle it must be worthwhile, or they wouldn't pay people to do it.

The History Anorak said...

I work for a charity. Sadly, the only way to get support is to go back to the people you know are on your side. And increasing your donation only implied that you have income to spare. We don't phone anyone. We have a list of donors who receive a twice-yearly newsletter and regular emails if they sign up for them. We rarely ask directly for cash. We offer goods for sale and we remind people what we do with the money they send.
My real argument with this is the fact that a hospital for sick children has to be a charity in the first place. What kind of society pays £44,000 for a ticket to see a tennis match but allows a hospital to have to go begging for donations?

Gwil W said...

I find the same. The more you give the more they want. I stopped my standing order to WWF when the news broke that the then president of the WWF, a certain Spanish monarch, was in Africa shooting elephants, and not with his camera. Now I donate as and when and to whom I feel the impulse to do so. Begging letters are going straight in the bin.

Leilani Lee said...

We give to one charitable organization -- Nature Conservancy in the U.S. -- and as far as I can tell, they have never sold our address to another organization. Any mail solicitations go in the trash. On the rare occasion when a telephone solicitor calls, I say no thanks before they can complete their spiel and disconnect. I do want to help people in need, so I am thankful that a portion of the offering we give at church each month goes to aid people who are suffering in various parts of the world and we trust the denomination is using that money wisely.

Linda Metcalf said...

I give to charities that are child and animal related and then I check those out very carefully. This year as the extras for schools have been killer by our murdering Governor I will put some monies aside to help the classrooms. I otherwise just don't answer the phone and trash the mailings.

Joanne Noragon said...

It is appalling that services which should be supported by taxes or other publicly obtained funds must ask for donations to carry on. Of course we give, then are asked for more. It just goes round and round.

Heather said...

I give to my chosen favourite charities and my husband has direct debits for several others. Those who pester get taken off his list after a phonecall to tell them why. I just recycle the letters from the ones who pester me and donate what I can, when I can. It is all getting a bit much with more and more new charities being set up each year.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Only asked once by the RSPB to increase, said I couldn't really afford it, no problem, never heard from again. But it may be that the RSPB doesn't farm out its donations building to agencies working in call centres; these places seem to be where the problems arise.

Elizabeth said...

It is a bit of a nightmare!
I never give over the phone and have a standing order for Oxfam who don't hound me too much.
I respond to terrible disasters with one off donations and send small donations to the dog rescue place where
we got our previous dog. Occasionally give to very pitiful people on the street. Other than that it's straight to the dustbin without opening. So many people in need for all sorts of reasons.
Might go back to knitting hats when the weather cools down- keeps me busy and out of trouble!

Mac n' Janet said...

One of the charities i use to support was St. Jude's Children's Hospital. A wonderful place that treats sick children at no cost to the family. I donated regularly. Then they started calling me and trying to shame me into giving move. I stopped my donation.
My Sister-in-law said she had a similar experience with a charity she supported and she sent them a letter telling them how she felt and the extra calls and appeals stopped.

donna baker said...

They can send as many letters as they want, but they better not call me. That is where I draw the line. Some charities prey on the elderly (including me) with a hard sell and in my area, a study has been done that says most of the donations come from lower income households and not the rich.

Rachel said...

As I have said before I give to people locally, and that includes 2 young people I see who live and sleep rough on the street. I ask no questions as to why they are on the streets although it puzzles me (and troubles me) and they go to KFC or the off licence with it but I give it and it is up to them what they do with it. At Christmas I give to the local Night Shelter for the homeless.

jinxxxygirl said...

I give what i can give and them calling me or sending me letters asking for more money is not going to get from me more than i can give so they are wasting their time... Them constantly asking for more would definitely put me off them... enough that i might stop giving... Hugs! deb

The Weaver of Grass said...

It is interesting to read History Anorak's reply. We all seem of similar voice - but I really do object to people ringing me up with a spiel about how they have appreciated my donations and I know that what is finally coming is 'can you increase it

Terry and Linda said...

I had to stop giving over the phone...it just got to be too much. Now I walk to the door of the charity I love and hand over cash...I like this way so much better.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Hiya Pat,
I don't give to any charities via mail or phone. Only to people on the street and local homeless shelters. Or if there is some special fundraiser going on in the community.
:) m & jb
Still lovin' the new header! (Had to get an exclamation point in there somewhere. Ha!)

Tom Stephenson said...

I am SO sorry to bother you at this time, dearest Weave, but I happen to find myself short of about £3000 which I was - definitely - going to donate to the St Martins in the Fields charity this Christmas.

Any chance you can help me out?

God bless,

Tom of the false name.

Hildred said...

I had a lot of catching up to do, reading four of your posts, which I thoroughly enjoyed. What a lovely afternoon you and the Farmer must have had on your visit to the Dales, Pat.

While Charles was still here we tried to be as generous as we could with various B.C. charities. However my income has been rather depleted and so I give now mainly to children's charities and put in time when I can, volunteering.

Cro Magnon said...

I think we should all stand in front of a mirror and practice saying the word 'NO'. I've never really understood why GOSH asks for all this cash; aren't they an NHS hospital like any other?

I've now reduced my charity donations to just one. Obus run a flying eye surgery and save the sight of thousands of people in Africa, India, etc. No-one is paid for their work, but the plane is expensive to run. I do my bit.

thelma said...

Think it is a complicated issue at the moment giving to charity, especially as it is being highlighted in the press. I think three are worthwhile, Wateraid, Sightaid and Medecins Sans Frontiers. But animal charities also have a role to play in saving the suffering of so many animals in this world. I have never given my phone number out, so we have never been bothered.
Perhaps it is time to question the role of charities in society and to make them fully accountable as to how they spend their money.

The Weaver of Grass said...

That Tom Stephenson folks - you have to watch him you know - he's always asking for more money!!

After reading all your comments I ask myself as we all seem to be of one mind how is it that we still get persuaded to part with our money.

Midmarsh John said...

The ones I dislike are the charities which send unsolicited books of raffle tickets. Not only do they want me to give money but also expect me to pester others on their behalf. They always end up in the recycle bin.

I have a few charities I regularly donate to. I also use LendWithCare and Kiva. Those help people in poorer countries improve their way of life with loans which are repaid. The money can then be reused for new loans. I can choose each time who my money goes to which is a nice extra involvement rather than not knowing how much of a donation to charity is actually used to help people / animals and how much goes on administration.