Charities Can Be Too Generous

My husband is a generous giver to charities.  However, he gets rather irritated by the trend on the part of charities to write to him immediately after he has just sent a donation to ask for more.  He feels like he is being targeted because he is generous to be more generous.

We do find the strategies of charities to entice more donations curious.  Clearly they must all attend the same workshops on what to give back to make donors give more.  Earlier this year, almost every charity he supports sent him three free greeting cards.  Well, I was pleased with this approach because I write cards regularly as abbreviated letters (Well, someone has to keep Australia Post going!).

However, the latest freebie on the part of charities, is just annoying, probably particularly because we are South Australian.   Shopping bags; sturdy, washable shopping bags – as if we don’t already have a swag of these which reside in the car for whenever we go to the supermarket.  Not one shopping bag from one charity; I think our tally is currently four from four.

We don’t want any freebies.  We would much prefer you to save the dollars donated to you and spend them on the people/animals/ecological causes which you are supposed to be assisting.  I am at a loss to understand the psychology behind giving a shopping bag to entice you to donate more money.

Today’s mail delivered to us from Barnardos Australia a Christmas gift bag, three Christmas cards and those stickers (personalised, of course) which you can put on the back of envelopes to state the sender’s address.  Now, I know this is perverse of me but I no longer send out Christmas cards.  I write to my friends throughout the year rather than one almighty burst at the busiest time of the year for a school teacher.

Then there are the glossy magazines printed to tell donors how their money is being spent.  Save your dollars, charities.  Don’t write about it just do it.

I recall with laughter a skit the Chaser Boys did once whereby they went (presumably) to a small African village to ask the people what they thought of the idea of First World people buying them goats in lieu of giving presents to each other.  The response was, “Bloody, goats, they have eaten everything – our vegetables, the grasses for our cow. There are too many bloody goats.”


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