Donor Fatigue

One of the things I dislike the most about going to the grocery store – and there are many – is the inevitable table immediately outside the entrance/exits to the building, populated by the Good Cause of the Day.  Looking for money.

I totally get that these are worthwhile organizations representing disabled veterans, volunteer fire departments, school teams, girl scouts, boy scouts, church groups, etc.  I like supporting them with a little here and there.  But I hate having them look at me with their big puppy dog eyes, trying to sell me food or simply make a donation to support their cause. It’s not that they are bad causes, it’s just that they are everywhere, all the time.

I have donor fatigue.

Public radio has upped their quarterly fund drives to what seems like a week every month, each time pleading with me to help them meet their goal.  I’ve been a supporter for years and always make a donation, but have to decide whether to give it all at once or spread it out through the year so I don’t feel guilty for not “pick[ing] up the phone and call now to speak with one of our volunteers.”

I give money to the Salvation Army and the food bank, and contribute regularly to Weather-Generated Crisis of the Month, such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  I buy school supplies to donate even though I’ve never even had a child much less been involved with public school since I graduated.

But my money only goes so far.  I have a careful budget that always significant charitable contributions – but I don’t always contribute to the same causes every year.  I wish they would just leave me alone to make my decisions.  The more I hear from the American Cancer Society looking for my annual donation, the less I want to give them money – even though I know there is need.

The devastation in Pakistan caused by horrendous flooding, with impending disastrous medical complications, breaks my heart.  But I have no more money left in the budget to contribute.  Please understand.  I feel horribly guilty that I can’t give to everyone who needs it, but there are always causes, people, emergencies that need support.

No one “makes me feel guilty” – I do that to myself.  I make responsible choices but there are limits to what I can do.  I just want to do more, but even that would never be enough for the need, especially in these difficult economic times.

I am only one person.  Please help and give what you can where you can, within reason and with consideration.  Include $40 or so to give in donations at the grocery store tables.  They are underfunded, too.  Being annoyed with them doesn’t make it any better, for them or for you.  Or me.

3 thoughts on “Donor Fatigue

  1. Don’t start making contributions to the candidate of your choice. That party will find you and haunt you and hound you for many election cycles to come. I’ve resorted to asking them to remove my name from their lists. I’m about ready to tell them I’ve switched parties!

  2. Lori W.

    Debbi’s right about that. But Anne, you wrote so eloquently about what we should do and it’s a good reminder to me to be more generous. We are all very lucky even with limited funds than a lot of other people. *hugs*

  3. I’ve never given to a political candidate and I don’t plan to start now! Well, at least not with a check. Debbi, I don’t actually HAVE a candidate of choice – more candidates at the bottom and the other, not as awful. Getting pretty cynical, aren’t I? Or is it just realistic?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s