I feel good when I’m able to give to various causes. I don’t have one or two in particular which always receive my donations but rather a variety. If there has been a horrible disaster on the other side of the world or if a local family is in need I feel the tug to help out equally. Although cancer has touched my family and friends I don’t only give to the fight against the disease. I have been happy to give to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and to the MS Society of Canada and to help send kids to camp for example.
But here is where the good feelings begin to diminish for me. There are certain organizations that become a little too aggressive in their quest for donations. If I’ve given to you in the past I understand that my name is now in your data base and you will likely contact me again in the future. I’m ok with that. But I don’t want to feel obligated to donate every time you ask me. There is only so much that I can spread around.
One particular kids camp organization became so aggressive that I finally had to get very abrupt with them and told them to take me off their list and never bother me again. I felt bad for the kids but I also knew they were aggressive enough to get the money they needed elsewhere.
The thing that has me riled up again about aggressive campaigning is this new trend in emotional blackmail that I have experienced lately. New to me anyway. There are three organizations that I have donated to in the past (MS Society of Canada, The Heart and Stroke Foundation and Nature Conservancy Canada) that are constantly sending me personalized address labels and Christmas stickers. They offer these “gifts” at no charge while innocently inserting their donation envelope. How sweet! Wrong! They have sent me so many labels each that even if I lived to be 200 and wrote somebody a letter everyday I still wouldn’t make a dent in the pile. It seems extremely wasteful to me. How much does it cost these organizations to print out all these labels and mail them to so many? Couldn’t you have better used that money…oh I don’t know…for your cause! I get the psychology behind it. If we send these out to people they will feel obligated to donate. Who even writes letters anymore? Oh I know, elderly people on a fixed income. I can imagine thousands of elderly people getting out their cheque book every time they receive these packages. I just think it is a dishonest way of asking for a donation. It’s emotional blackmail in my opinion and I think it should stop!
To the organizations out there that are looking for money please don’t rob us of the good feelings that normally come with donating; don’t try and trick us into giving and whatever you do, don’t sink to using emotional blackmail. Signed: Drowning in Your Stupid Labels