I don’t want to be guilted into giving to charity 6



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I think Australian charities do a wonderful job, and by no means do I want to undermine what they do, but I really don’t want to donate to every single one.

When I go to the shops, I’m accosted by several people wanting me to donate. These are all worthy charities but unfortunately I can’t donate to them all. It’s hard to say no, but I shouldn’t have to feel bad about it. I had a girl come to my house to get me to donate for one worthwhile cause. She was very convincing and said even a few dollars would help. When I said I had no cash, she said that I could pay with card. I immediately felt bad, thinking well, you got me there. She said that many people choose this option.

It took a bit of convincing to make her see I was not going to donate but afterwards I felt really awful. And it shouldn’t have to be that way: I donate to two charities every month and I also do charity work at my local thrift shop. I am an active community member who cares for others, but does it make me a bad person if I have to say no?

If having people come up to you at the shops or to your house isn’t enough, the phone calls come flooding in too. It’s just a constant charity drive and I’m the first to say look, it’s not OK and I’ve given what I could.

My mum always said to me charity starts at home and that we should look after ourselves and give whatever’s left over. I do that and have always done. I just wish that society wouldn’t make someone feel bad because they don’t donate whenever they’re asked. You don’t know what I or others have gone through, or how little we have in our pockets.

I’d much rather give to a charity I feel strongly about than give money to a charity that can afford to pay people to stand in shopping centres and that have big CBD offices. I want time to select who will get the most of my money and truly benefit from it.

Add that to the lack of regulation of charities in Australia, and it’s no wonder that people can be apprehensive to donate – how do we even know it’s getting to the right people?

That’s my rant… does anyone else feel similar?

Tell us your thoughts about donating below.

Guest Contributor

  1. I agree, they are not volunteers and get paid a %. I just ignore them..

  2. I’m so glad someone else feels like me. On a personal level I give to a couple of big charities, trouble is I am bombarded with requests when a “special” project is on which is fairly often with some and I feel guilty because I can not afford to give all the time $250.00 will buy ………., I also run the office in our family business and have given over the years to various charities, every week I get at least one letter from a charity, very often there are cards or some other gift which I used to feel guilty and send some money but now I don’t because there are so many but I feel guilty every time. Then there are the phone calls, particularly at Christmas I can get many calls a day, sometime from the same charity. Then as a business it is the fund raisers -to be put in school diaries etc.Perhaps we need an central agency to collect all funds with an indication which charity we want it allocated to,that would also get rid of the scams, but I suppose there would be problems with this.

    1 REPLY
    • I agree Rosemary. I have chosen several charities close to my heart to support and I just can’t do any more. I object to receiving “gifts” such as address labels (with the wrong address I might add!), glossy brochures which must be expensive to print, calenders etc. Why do they waste donated money on these things? Puts me right off. I made the mistake of buying a ticket in a Boys’ Town lottery once, now they send me a big shiny brochure every couple of months, even though I mark them “return to sender” and put them back in the post. In the small print it says you have to ring them if you want to opt out, why should I waste my time and a phone call to do this?

  3. I so, so agree. And I so object to getting letters, addressed to me, delivered to my mailbox. They have got around the sign “addressed mail only’ sign by now putting on an address!! It is impossible to try and reduce the amount of mail. I now phone each charity as mail arrives and get them to remove me. Some are quite curt. My husband and I give generously to our selected charities.

  4. I agree and I really dislike the ones that try to make you feel guilty. I had someone ring once on behalf of blind and deaf children, when I said I couldn’t afford it as I already donated regularly to several charities – she said, so you don’t care about blind and deaf children. I can’t tell you how much this annoyed me. I worked for Red Cross for years, in their admin section and they would have always been so against that type of approach. I research those I give money to, but I regularly give to Oxfam, Doctors without borders and Red Cross. There are so many worthy charities, but none of us can donate to all of them, and you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty when you can’t or choose not to.

  5. I refuse to donate to any charities that call me cold on the phone. We can opt out of sales calls and should be able to opt out of charity calls too.

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