Sunday, January 17, 2010

On giving and tackiness

    I just jokingly (kind of) announced to my family that from now on, I am donating to non-tacky charities. In all honesty, I will give my money to whoever is going to use it well. But I do think the bizarre "thank-you" I just got for a donation I made on Friday night is a little on the tacky side.
    To give some idea of my standards, charities that send me mailing labels and stickers (especially stickers!) and calendars and stationary and all kinds of schwag risk falling into my personal "tacky" zone. I always want to say, "Quit sending me crap! I'm not going to give you money if I think you're using money to print stickers!" I realize that not everyone feels the way I do on this topic.
    Anyway, this "tacky" thank-you was an e-mail with a link to a slideshow of photos from Haiti. At first I thought, cool! Photos showing what's being done with the donations! No, it's photos of the tragedy, to remind you of why you should donate more money. There's a sentence reading, "Thank you for your generous donation." "Your generous donation" is a hyperlink. That hyperlink takes you to the page to donate more money. This e-mail seemed so...insincere. "Thanks, but I don't think you gave that generously!" Tacky-Charity-Which-Will-Go-Unnamed, I am unemployed! I gave you my Obama Check! I'm not saying I won't donate any more money, but don't hit me up two days after my first donation. Give me some space! I don't get another Obama Check until next week!
    I am mostly being silly. I don't care too much if a charity is tacky, if they are doing good work. However, the next time I donate money through the Internet, I think I will give to this classy charity, which has (to my knowledge) never had a scandal, which does not spend excessive amounts of money on advertising (maybe they could spend a little more; I didn't even know they had a text messaging campaign right now!), and has TWO links for people to donate money online, in case the first one is slow. (I experienced this on Friday; charity websites really are freezing and refusing to connect and running very slowly because so many people are donating money.) [I donated with the Internet because I would not put it past Verizon to charge me text messaging fees (which would also be tacky!) and also because I could use my credit card and get more reward points. See, I'm kinda tacky, too.] I've given them money in the past, and they just send me a tasteful letter thanking me for my donation, maybe reminding me where to send money if I want to send some more, but that's it.
    I do not want to poke too much fun at the charity that is not Salvation Army, who sent me a tacky e-mail asking me for more money. I think everyone should donate money wherever they feel comfortable. To end on a positive note, isn't it nice that so many people are reaching out to help strangers that websites are getting overloaded? It makes me happy to be part of this country--really, this world--where people are so generous!
    Even if some people consider (as an afterthought! I swear!) their credit card rewards points.

* I call it that because I got a letter saying, "President Obama" decreed, declared...something'ed...that some people would get this extra check every two weeks. I keep forgetting to factor it into my budget, and since the letter made it seem like Obama himself was sending me the check, I call it my "Obama Money" and put it aside for things like medicine, car repairs, gifts, and charitable donations.

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

I totally agree. I hate the tacky charities that I know use 50% of the money they are given for admin costs or to send me labels with american flags on them.

Great post!