Greedy charity
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09-08-2016, 08:30 AM
Greedy charity
A start-up charity called me up yesterday seeking a “sizable” donation. Now, I’m happy to give this charity a small donation because I generally like their work and I feel that they’re doing good for the community. I have given to them on an annual basis in the past and I was active in their launching a few years ago.

The thing is… if I’m giving my time and money to something, I want to feel that I have a voice in the direction of the programs. Even if that just means decorating for a fund raising event, I want some ownership. I want to feel respected and valued. I don’t want to be a silent bank or some human resource to be used and abused as needed. I think I have some valuable skills to offer them and the couple running this charity feels that they can do it on their own. They want only the programs that they feel passionate about because they feel that they have the know-how to distinguish what our community needs. Except… I don’t fully agree with them on their direction. I agree that the programs they’re putting on are appropriate, but additional programs are needed to also satisfy my interests.

My father pointed out to me that if the couple can do it on their own, then they shouldn’t have to rely on input from others. –And he’s right. But if they plan on getting money from from other people, to fund their programs, then they need to provide programs that donors are excited about.

When you give to charities, do you like to get involved and feel like you’re a part of the movement, or are you content to turn over large sums of money without any explanation of how it will be used?

I know I’m not being unreasonable for refusing to give them the donation that they're looking for... the request was absurd, but should I explain to them why they're not getting that money or should I just let it go? On the one hand, I feel that they could be more successful fund raisers if they took some advice and I do care about goals of their charity. On the other hand, they’re sure they’ve “got this” and don’t need any help, and I’ve felt frustrated and undervalued when I’ve been disregarded in the past.
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09-08-2016, 08:34 AM
RE: Greedy charity
Are you familiar with any other organizations in your area that can do the kind of work you'd like to see? I would say "Start your own charity," but really, that's not something just anybody would feel comfortable doing.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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09-08-2016, 08:46 AM
RE: Greedy charity
(09-08-2016 08:34 AM)cactus Wrote:  Are you familiar with any other organizations in your area that can do the kind of work you'd like to see? I would say "Start your own charity," but really, that's not something just anybody would feel comfortable doing.

No, only this charity services my immediate community. There's been talk about another, much larger (and professionally run) organization opening up a branch in my area, but nothing has actually happened to put that talk into motion.

And as you already guessed, I'm not about to start up my own charity. I only want to be symbolically involved. I don't want to run the day to day or do any serious fundraising myself.
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09-08-2016, 09:08 AM
RE: Greedy charity
When I was employed, I used payroll deduction to donate to Foundation Beyond Belief. They are aligned with what I want my money to go to, so I didn't give other input. I will likely find a local secular charitable organization here to devote some time to, once I get the list of things that waited for me to retire to get to them.
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09-08-2016, 09:45 AM
RE: Greedy charity
If they want "sizeable" money from you then I think it's reasonable for you to want some say in where it goes. I never really give input into how I want the money to be used myself, I don't have any of the requisite background that I would understand if I was helping or hindering, but I think definitely if you feel strongly about it you should push your angle - anyway they haven't got your money yet so they gotta listen to you Tongue

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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09-08-2016, 09:51 AM
RE: Greedy charity
(09-08-2016 09:45 AM)morondog Wrote:  anyway they haven't got your money yet so they gotta listen to you Tongue

Yeah, you should use that money as leverage. Put on a fedora hat and have a cigar dangling out the side of your mouth and be all like "Now Listen up, sonny..." Then maybe place a decapitated horse head at the foot of their bed if they don't comply. Your options are limitless, really.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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09-08-2016, 10:20 AM
RE: Greedy charity
(09-08-2016 09:51 AM)cactus Wrote:  
(09-08-2016 09:45 AM)morondog Wrote:  anyway they haven't got your money yet so they gotta listen to you Tongue

Yeah, you should use that money as leverage. Put on a fedora hat and have a cigar dangling out the side of your mouth and be all like "Now Listen up, sonny..." Then maybe place a decapitated horse head at the foot of their bed if they don't comply. Your options are limitless, really.

They're definitely not getting the money. -Not the money they want, anyway. Not even close. No

They're a young couple who is doing this now for a living, so they're paying themselves a salary out of donations. My expectation is that their salary should not exceed 20% of donations, but the size of their family suggests to me that this is not possible. I have no way of knowing for sure because it's not like they're hiring an accountant and having their books audited by an independent firm or anything. I could give them this money, and it could just go to pay their bills.

I'm concerned about a level of ignorance on their part. Asking for the kind of money they want warrants a business plan, financials, and solid evidence that at least 80% of my donation will be used for the intended purpose.

Problem: They're both uneducated. They're clever and capable of learning, but I fear that they lack the business acumen to run this charity on the scale that they'd like to run it.

Next problem: I'm sure as hell not giving them the money... at least not until I see evidence of planned goals being reached. But if I see this problem, other people will also see this problem and this could hinder them from reaching their goals.

Final problem: They don't like to take advice, but they do do a good job at providing the service that they've set out to provide. They won't get the full amount of their ask until they address my wants (in addition to addressing my business requirements), but if they're closed to advice then they're not going to get much money from me at all, and probably not from other donors either.
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09-08-2016, 11:17 AM
RE: Greedy charity
I donate goods and not money most of the time. Then I can see exactly where it goes. And nobody can use it to pay their bar tab.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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09-08-2016, 11:55 AM
RE: Greedy charity
I trust very few charities. Like only one. We foster the homeless hounds. Nobody in the organization gets paid diddly. And the dogfood is tax deductible.

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There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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09-08-2016, 12:55 PM
RE: Greedy charity
Aliza, you are spot on. Don't let pressure or guilt or whatever make you compromise. Your donation is voluntary. The world is riddled with outright scam charities as well as other well intentioned organizations that fail not due to lack of cash but due to mismanagement just like a regular for profit entity.

If you feel strongly you could make a "restricted" donation. The restriction could be "for use in the following programs" or to fund an endowment from which only interest could be used for operations (the corpus would be forever whole). The charity could, of course, refuse any restriction but then what does that say about them?

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored- Aldous Huxley
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