Charitable Conclusions

Charitable Conclusions (Original image from Unsplash.com)Last February, I wrote about my one-year plan of donating to a different US charity every month. I met that goal, and I’m happy I did! I donated over $300 to twelve different charities. During the year, I noted a couple of observations on this process, along with a whitelist and blacklist of charities for future donations.Whitelist & Blacklist

Whitelist
American Humanist Association
Cancer Research Institute
Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust
Equality Now
Kids in Need Foundation
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The Trevor Project

Blacklist
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
Americans for the Arts
No One Left Behind
Environmental Defense Fund
Planned Parenthood

Here are my whitelist and blacklist. I’ve gone into detail below on why I will no longer support the ones on my blacklist. I was quite surprised by a few of the ones that did make it onto my blacklist, but they did, unfortunately.

Seeking Solicitation

I don’t like solicitation. I don’t like it when people request me to do certain things, and begging for more money is one of the things I cannot stand. Imagine my surprise when charities I donated to kept asking for more donations. It seriously aggravated me to the point that I made notes of charities that kept asking for more donations. I get it — they need the funds to do their missions, but asking me for more does exactly the opposite: it turns me away. Let me do things on my own terms and time, for donating to charities is always in the back of my mind.

Misusing Money

The other thing that annoyed me? Getting junk paper mail from charities to thank me or to solicit for more donations. Every time I checked mail and saw those junk mail, this was going through my mind: !@#$%!@#$%!@#$%. It’s a huge waste of paper, and that in turn is a waste of my donated funds since it’s paying for the paper and postage. When I donate, I donate so they can use it towards their mission. Sending me paper junk mail is not a mission I support at all! I wish charities would give you the option to opt out of paper and email communication!

Patriotic Philantrophy

Regardless of the two issues about, it pleases me that I donated to these US charities. Being way over here in Korea means I am not able to donate my time, so the next best thing to do is to donate money. I will continue to donate to the charities on my whitelist whenever I can. I’ve also set my Amazon Smile to donate to American Humanist Association, so that’s another way I’ll contribute this year. Hopefully, the charities on my whitelist will not solicit and send me junk mail this year!

Comments

  1. It is so wonderful that you have been able to give and support a lot of charities! It is, however, very disappointing that you had to make a blacklist and that a number of the charities do things that turn people away or create more waste. Like you, I would much prefer to donate and have that money used effectively! :(

  2. Aweee, that is so nice to hear that you choose to give to those who need it. And I agree with what you said about seeking solicitation and misusing money. To me, it just defeats the purpose of giving. Giving should be done willingly, not because you have to. It also turns me off when I see organizations I’ve donated to don’t use it for their mission.

  3. Chansoriya on

    Yay, congratulations on reaching your goal! I like this endeavor a lot because I often think of donating but have very limited means to do so. So I stick to my local animal shelter and Skateistan that has two bases in Cambodia, very personal.

    You make true points about soliciting! I’ve unsubscribed to all those causes now, but I never noticed how much they bothered me. Thankfully, that’s all I’ve had. If I got physical notifications I’d be mad and recycle them.

    I’ve had my emails stacked with messages asking for more money and I never quite formed it into words. But now that I’ve read this I can say I can relate.

  4. Thanks for keeping us updated! :)

    I’m disappointed to see those latter three on the blacklist, though—especially EDF, but when I visited the site, I wasn’t big into the pop-up context.

  5. Congratulations on meeting your donation goal! I like how you took the time to look into the different organizations and decided which to donate to. Your money is hard earned and these charities better take full advantage of it towards their mission statement (instead of the founder’s pocket or something).

    I hate being solicited for donation! I totally feel you about organizations that ask for more money. Like they’re not thankful that you’ve donated and are wasting resources asking for more??? No! Like taking action would entice people to donate more…….. I feel the same about getting paper junk mail too. Definitely a waste of paper and imagine how much $$$ it cost for manpower and materials? @___@…..

    I’m proud of you for putting some money aside to support these causes. It’s totally understandable that you’re not able to donate your time. Heck, I choose to donate money because I don’t have the time or energy to put out. Either is fine and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (had to put a lot of !’s there XD). You go, Tara!

  6. Well done on meeting your goal! I’m so glad you did this because it inspired me to donate to my chosen charity, as well. Thank you so much, girl <3

    Solicitation is so annoying. I want to donate to a charity knowing that yes, I've donated and that's it. I will donate again when I want to but in the meantime, just use my funds for good instead of bugging me! Ugh. I hear ya girl.

    Nevertheless, it's so lovely to see how many charities you've supported last year!

  7. Amy-Anne on

    Congratulations on raising so much for charity, I want to start doing that more by raising money for Crohn’s Disease. It’s a real shock that charities such as Planned Parenthood are on here, it’s so disappointing to see them misuse their values. Regardless, here’s to more charity funding in 2018!

  8. It’s so awesome that you’ve donated so much! We need more people like you.

    As someone who’s volunteered at a non-profit, I feel like I’m a little bit more okay with solicitation these days. I’ve seen the great work the non-profit does first hand, but I’ve also seen how many cuts they need to make or how little the “paid” employees make (versus the huuuge amount of time they put into the organization.) So I can kind of understand when organizations make that plea to people for more money to do what they do.

    That said, there’s probably a balance between asking for money once in a while and spamming your inbox every day/week/month (which has happened to me with organizations before, too.)

    I do agree with wasting paper though! :( This day and age, if you’re going to advertise, at least do it through email, where you’re at least not wasting money on paper and stamps that people will likely throw out anyways.

  9. Wow Tara! I think it’s amazing that you’ve donated so much! I’m really impressed. I’ve tried my hand at donating but I can never keep up with it – I chose to donate to American Red Cross but I might change it because I’ve heard several bad things about them :(

    I totally get you about being solicited for donations!! Like hello, a donation is a donation and is coming from my heart… don’t force me to do it!

    Regardless, still amazing you reached your goal!! Here’s to another year of helping charities!

  10. That’s interesting. I still have ACLU and PP on my donation list and they’ve been pretty good about not spamming me, and I find that their causes are just too important to me. I only had emails which I unsubscribed to.

    Ironically it’s the smaller environmental charities that spam me a lot with paper junk mail and share my address with similar smaller charities. And I can’t find any way to get them to stop. So much for trying to save trees…

    For this year, I’m doing something different. My friend recently has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and for her birthday, she has a list of charities that she has worked with (mostly animal related). Since I couldn’t pick just one, I decided to rotate through all of her charities.

  11. Chantelle on

    Great job! I’m glad you were able to stick with it and try out different charities. I’m really sorry you have to have a blacklist and that PP is on it, though. :(

    I don’t mind solicitations, in fact … if I ran a charity I’d encourage they because they work. I get that it doesn’t work on you, but it works incredibly well overall and it’s so important to get funds that I can’t be annoyed even by the junk mail (but they do need a clearer way to opt out of that). Honestly, I think charities that don’t ask for more donations are doing it wrong because they get so so so so much more money by asking that it’s ridiculous (and stupid and malpractice-like) not to ask. Asking is so easy. It barely takes any effort and it costs so little. It’s harsh to say but the annoyance of a few people is totally worth the money raised.

  12. Thanks for the list. It is hard to find the ones and hope that they are legit with their donations. I donate a lot to anime care, such as the anime shelter in my town or the Hope for Paws people. ♥

  13. I love that you did this throughout 2017 and thank you for sharing your findings! Although I haven’t heard of most of these organisations (not being from the U.S.!), I am disappointed about the ones that you blacklisted and that some of them tried to ask you to donate more money after you already made a donation. I’ve gotten a thank you from charities I have donated to, and that I don’t mind at all, but to give an extra push for another donation? Eep.

    I personally prefer to donate my time and volunteer rather than donate money. My company has avenues for this, as they work with organisations to actually give employees a few days a year to give back to the community or to organisations that need help. I also volunteer for causes that are related to my job in tech. So when I was asked by my university to donate money as an alumni, I politely declined and explained why. They still tried to push me to donate money. It made me feel really uncomfortable. :/ They also continued to call me after a few months, several times, and still send me brochures in the mail asking me to donate. Aggravating, and definitely a waste of paper too. :| There was no way of unsubscribing, that I could find, so I’ve since contacted the university by their website and asked if it was possible to remove me somehow. It really should be an easy process but I have not heard back!

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