In the last week or two I have received several guilt-centric fundraising packages. You know, an envelope containing some “gift” along with a donation form and a note about the charity in question and their needs and good works.
In the past personalized notepads have been popular, and other items I can’t recall right now. This year, however, it is ALL ABOUT the self-adhesive address labels. 247 of them. And 24 smaller ones that have flowers and whatnot but no addresses on them.
Now in my possession are labels with:
- photos of flowers and trees
- pictures of stylized fowl with gold accents
- pictures of stylized flowers with swirly gold accents
- my surname initial with stylized flowers and swirly gold accents
These are courtesy of the Leukemia Research Fund of Canada, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and the Heart & Stroke Foundation. It’s kinda too bad I don’t really mail stuff very often…
I realize charities have to get creative with fundraising, and there is certainly no shortage of “competition” for the consumer donation dollar, but I’m really not a fan of the guilt strategy. For me it’s right up there with the strong-arm techniques often used in office environments to get people to donate to this cause or that, or participate in this team or that, or — the worst of all possible worlds — participate on this team or that and collect pledges prior to participating. I learned me some passionate hatred of pledge collection as a child, and it serves me well to this day.
My philosophy is this: it’s my money, and I’ll spend it when, where, how, and in what quantity I choose. I don’t care what you send me; I don’t care what you say to me; I don’t care how your marketing copy is written or what heart-wreching photos you accompany it with.
Which might make me sound like a stingy bitch, but I’m not. I walk dogs, give blood, buy chocolate bars from small children, and contribute to any number of diseases and disasters in a given year. I will also cut any of my family or friends a fat cheque before I’ll hand one to any charity. ‘Tis how I roll.