Sunday, December 2, 2012

Season of Asking

I'm a big fan of gift giving. And I'm also a big fan of supporting non-profit organizations. 

I have a handful that are important to me that I give to on an annual basis and I'm also generally pretty quick to support those that are important to friends and family when I hear about them participating in a fundraising walk, run, jumprope-a-thon, etc. I also always make a gift during times of greater need, like with Hurricane Sandy. In fact, I made several over the past month - both to the Red Cross and to smaller, community driven or personal fundraising efforts I was aware of. 

I'm not talking about major gifts, no one will be naming a building after me anytime soon (or ever) but I give pretty generously in my opinion, and have increased the amounts over the years as I've been able to. 

I'm not saying all of this to pat myself on the back, just trying to set the stage for the rant that is coming your way. 

I am so annoyed that I keep getting fundraising appeals from groups I've already given to this year. 

I used to work in a development office. Fundraising wasn't my role, but as part of that team I know that once someone made a gift that was it for the year in terms of asks. Sure, they'd still get our quarterly magazine and invitation to events so they had other opportunities to give, but the direct appeal letters came to an immediate halt once a gift was made. 

That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I keep getting letters in the mail or emails in my inbox asking for a gift when I've already made one. The best was a few weeks ago, when I got two envelopes from an organization in the same day. The first was a thank for you for a gift I had sent, the second, a letter asking for more money. 

Come on. 

Then there are the organizations that have sold my name to other nonprofits. I'm not sure who it was, but I have gotten easily a dozen, maybe closer to two dozen, fundraising requests from organizations in the past few weeks that I haven't given to before, many of whom I've never heard of. I'm not sure how they got my name, but I do know they aren't getting my money. 

I know times are tough, and nonprofits are struggling to serve more people than ever before, but really, alienating those who are already your supporters isn't going to get you there. It just comes across as being unappreciative and greedy. 

And makes me question my giving choices to begin with. 

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