I was chilling out on a warm Friday afternoon back in January after a long day at work. I think I even had a beer in my hand that day, something I don’t often do. The phone rang, and being home alone meant I had to drag myself off the couch to get up and answer it.
I’m not really one with much patience for charities/market researchers/telemarketers. Then again, who is? But the woman on the other end of this phone call asked me how my day was. It was so unusually nice. So polite. She then asked me if I knew anything about kidney disease. And I couldn’t help but open up to her. I told her I was a diabetic, and that kidney disease was a possible complication from having diabetes.
She then proceeded to tell me a touching story about sick children on dialysis and how this charity was raising money for a bus to make the dialysis more accessible to these children from home. Well, from memory anyway – don’t quote me on it. She told me that they were urgently needing to raise something like $17,000 in order to help these sick kids. I was really touched. It really resonated with me. That could be me one day. Touch wood, I hope not. But there is a possibility that one day, I might be the one sitting in that chair on dialaysis. I might be the one wishing for the support to make dialaysis easier.
I agreed to buy a raffle ticket. She told me that I had to call her back on a special hotline for the competition. I could have chosen not to call her back. Taken the easy way out. But, being the honest person that I am, I made the call. And she was ever grateful. She thanked me and wished me well, telling me to take care of myself so that she won’t see me come in for dialaysis. And I felt so warm and fuzzy inside. It was one of the best charitable things I could have done.
And then a few days later, my Mum told me about a phone call she received from the Kidney charity. Asking for a donation. Again. I had given them a donation. I was happy to do it. And yet they couldn’t even do the decent thing and cross my name off of the register. I felt as though I had been taken advantage of. That that one good deed went unacknowledged.
Which brings me to a few nights ago. I will emphasise that this was a mere FOUR months later. I was sitting at the dinner table as the phone rang. I got up to answer it, and it was none other than the Kidney charity. Asking for a donation. Again. Telling me that same sad story. Again.
I told the woman on the phone how I felt. I had given a donation, which I was happy to do at the time. And yet I felt as though I were being taken advantage of. They held onto my details (as most charities do) to keep calling me, to keep marketing to me. To keep making me feel guilty and asking for donations.
She told me absolutely not. She said they made absolutely no profit and receive no government support. She told me that they were absolutely grateful for my support last time. But this time around, I didn’t believe it. They’d used a good deed that made me feel good as a way to guilt me again. And again. And again. It just never seems to be enough with charities. So I think that next time, I will politely say no.
Some charities do take advantage of people feelings. Some of them misuse the donations so you never know where your $$ go. I would donate only to the established charities that’s been around for some time.
yes, that’s very true…sometimes I wonder how much of the money actually gets to the disadvantaged people
I feel it’s better to donate directly to people in need, may be, visit a place and help. That gives immense satisfaction and also an assurance that your contribution is going into the right place. 🙂
That’s a fantastic idea – definitely on the list for when I win lotto!
Well, I have a couple of thoughts. First of all, charities are in the business of raising money. They will always contact people who have previously given because you are statistically more likely to give because you already gave. They believe you care about the charity and will continue to support it. They aren’t going to just take your donation and never ask you again. When is enough enough? When there is a cure for kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, AIDS, etc. etc. That’s when charities will stop asking you for money. That being said, there should be a limitation on how often a charity calls you. I used to work for a University’s annual giving program, and there was a system for how often we could contact an individual for money. I believe it was about once a year, maybe a little longer. So the fact you were contacted so soon is surprising. The fact you were contacted again was not.
Thanks for your comment. I do agree that all charities do the same thing, this was my first hand experience as I usually fob those kinds of calls off.
That’s the one thing that really bugs me about charities: once you make a donation they keep soliciting more donations from you. I also find it very annoying, even though all charities do it.
And the worst part is that we don’t know how much of the money actually gets to those sick people. This charity had a lotto, there were fancy flyers and marketing material that were sent in the mail, plus all the phone calls…