Tele-fundraisers– you know, like telemarketers, only they’re just asking for money, instead of trying to sell something.
I’ve nearly stopped receiving calls selling something, and we’re in between elections, so no more political pitches, but I still occasionally get calls asking for money for this or that organization.
These organizations have varying degrees of value or interest to me, but I now have a standard line for all of them:
“We have a house policy of never giving donations over the phone, as it encourages calling to solicit money.”
The last time this happened (Thursday evening), the caller tried to assure me it wasn’t over the phone because they would be mailing me a recipit. (Hmmm.)
As he seemed to want it, I (seriously!) gave him the whole schpeal:
Anyone who wants us to support them must send the request in the mail, along with a record of how they spend their money, including how much goes to fund-raising. With those materials in front of us my husband and I will decide if this is something we’re willing to support.
This type of a policy does several things to promote healthy patterns of giving.
- it encourages accountability (I’ve been told some organizations spend 40% and more of what they bring in to raise more money.)
- it curbs impulse or “emotional” giving that may be unwise
- it allows time to pray over an opportunity, and be sure it is the best place to invest your generosity.
I’m all for supporting the ministry of trustworthy organizations: they have the connections and usually the experience to see the money is well managed.
The strike against telephone solicitors is the same as that against the people asking for money on the street: The need may be genuine, and the money may be well-spent, but the decision would be rushed either way, and not be subject to any closer scrutiny.
Money you give to a question-mark is money you can’t give elsewhere, so I urge you to use wisdom and discernment as you decide where to give.
Visit more of Works for me Wednesday.