Over the final week 2011, I received almost identical emails from some of my favorite charities asking for money.
Not one of them took the time to recognize that I was a monthly donor. That made me angry.
I am so engaged with their mission that I give them something every single month to do their good work. I figured they might take the time to recognize that before they ask me for a second gift in December.
So, right off the bat, I’m mad. But then, because I am committed to their mission, I read on. A big mistake.
Rather than tell me something compelling about their work, they told me I only had a few days to get a 2011 tax receipt! By the time I got this email from the fourth charity I give to monthly, I was in a rage.
Apart from the fact that the entire message is an insult to a monthly donor (I am confident they will bank my December payment!), it’s as compelling as a root canal.
Surely they are doing something which might compel me to think about another gift. Surely they need my help one last time in 2011 to advance our shared mission.
But no, my reason to give is that it’s my last time to get a 2011 tax receipt.
By now, I’m apoplectic! Research shows that even for major gifts and bequests, the fact that there is a tax advantage is far down the list of motivations for giving.
People like me give because we want to give back, want to heal a sick world, want to do the right thing for the right reason.
I better stop writing now. I’m on the verge of canceling all my monthly gifts and giving up on my attempt to contribute to a better world. But if I stop now, I’ll be OK.
My two new year’s resolutions for those who sent me this offensive, stupid email (all of whom are getting a personal copy of this rant addressed to the President or Executive Director), are these:
1. Don’t talk to me without recognizing I give monthly.
2. To rephrase Bambi: “If you can’t say something compelling, don’t say anything at all.”