Demand and Demand

Posted: 08.01.08 in Blogging

I have decided on a New Year’s resolution. I shall only donate to HIV/AIDS charities, and I shall tell you why. I’ve often talked about why I’m such a supporter of the various and numerous HIV/AIDS campaigns, so I shan’t repeat why here. Instead I shall describe why I will be excluding other charities.

About a year ago, I was at home revising for my exams when the doorbell rang. A man with a clipboard said he wanted to ask me a few questions. I didn’t have a problem with that – I tend to enjoy being "quizzed". However, it soon became apparent that he was working on behalf of a charity, asking me questions about deafness in children. He would drop in the odd fact to highlight issues with deaf children. It transpired he was there to get people to donate regularly to this particular charity, the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).

Despite pleading my financial status (I am a student after all) he never relented. I really should have slammed the door in his face, but unfortunately I am quite diminuitive. So I agreed to pay £5 a month. He took my bank details (which, of course, I was extremely uncomfortable with, despite taking his identification to be legitimate), and stopped short of completing it. He asked me to raise my donation to £6.50 a month. I was astounded in short. So much so… that I agreed. I forget the exact reason he gave for me doing this, I believe it had something to do with them reclaiming tax on my donation.

Furthermore, two months ago, I got a phonecall from NDCS, thanking me for my continuing support. However, this quickly turned to a demand for me to raise my donation further. The woman was quite short and shrift, and after fending her off for nearly 15 minutes, I am fairly sure she abruptly halted and said "well I’m on commission so thank you for your time, bye".

I’m cancelling the direct debit this month. I don’t feel any better for having donated that money. In fact, it doesn’t feel like a donation – it feels like a mugging. So I don’t get the usual satisfaction of donating to charity. So I’m only going to donate to charities that I immediately support.

Lesson of the Day

Give to those charities that you truly support by all means. Don’t let people blackmail you into dividing your loyalties at the cost of your self-esteem and dignity.

  1. Weiran says:

    I never donate to people who come up to me and beg. They should get a real job and stop trying to force people into giving their money to charities they clearly don’t care about.

  2. wl says:

    I think sometimes you have to be tough and firm when dealing with charity people. I take train to get to central London, and sometimes you have donation collectors from some charities walking along the aisles asking for donation. Apparently lots of people donate. I never donated on such occasion but I did feel under pressure, cause one wouldn’t want to be the only one who ‘appears’ to be indifferent to constructive projects. Urghhh.. As you said when forced to donate you don’t get much satisfaction but rather anger about their strategy.

    And sometimes someone would come up to you and say something like ‘I’m short of 50p for a cup of coffee. Could you please spare me 50p?’ At this moment, you just have to forget about being kind-hearted and tell them you don’t carry cash. A cup of coffe is luxury. If you don’t have the right money then get water.

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