Charities: Give Them A Fiver, Once…

Can I have a regular donation of £2 a month?

…And they never leave you alone. It’s never enough with these people. Specifically, I’m talking about the British Red Cross. About a month ago, they sent me (and I’m guessing everyone else) a letter explaining that they could really do with some money to carry out their worthwhile work and asking if I could spare a fiver to help out. I don’t have a problem with that. It was a polite request, they didn’t try to guilt-trip me or anything and they were honest. I respected that. So, since I felt I could spare a fiver, I gave them a fiver. I assumed that would be the end of it. But no.

For some reason they felt the need to write to me, under the guise of ‘thanking me’ to ask for more money. A thank you letter asking for more money. Where I can from, that’s considered rude. I’m pretty sure that if I wrote to my Granny: ‘Dear Granny, thank you very much for the money you gave me for Christmas, can I have a regular donation of £2 a month?’ she would not be impressed. What’s wrong with me just giving them a fiver? I’m happy to do that. That’s not a problem. I don’t even have a problem with them asking me for money, even though that is quite frowned upon in most social situations. I do, however, have a problem with them taking the piss. It’s like they’ve put me on the ‘if squeezed will give money’ database. You know what, Red Cross, I’m not a walking wallet, OK? Just because I gave you money, once, does not mean I want to give regularly. I had the opportunity to do so when I gave you that fiver, (there was a direct debit form enclosed, as well) I chose not to. Does that mean if you guilt-trip me a bit I’ll change my mind? No. It means I don’t want to. I really don’t mind being asked once and if I think it’s a worthy cause and I have the money to spare, I would give regularly but you already asked and I already said no. Just because I did feel I could spare a fiver at that particular time does not mean it’s OK to ask me for more, now. It’s like having a friend who’s always short of cash and, because you gave him money that one time, he will not stop asking you. Every other day he’s all ‘can I borrow a fiver?’ and then one day he comes along and says ‘you know what, you might as well set up a direct debit to save you the hassle of going to an atm. Just give me £2 a month, yeah?’ No. I work fucking hard for my money and I’m sorry that people are dying because they have no clean water and no food and it’s not that I don’t care – I do – that’s why I gave you a fiver but I work long, hard shifts for just over minimum wage and I’m trying to save up so I can eat while I’m doing my masters (which I’m doing to try to improve my situation) and I really cannot spare £2 a month. I don’t care if that’s the same as giving up a cup of coffee every month because, you know what? I don’t go out to drink coffee – I can’t afford it.

Sorry but these people really piss me off. I used to give to Barnardos in my final year of university – I think I either had a job lined up already or was still living in the dream-world where graduates get jobs because they’ve been to university – but then all I could get was a summer job, which ended (obviously) and I had to cancel the direct debit because I was unemployed and running out of overdraft. Not only was that a big hassle in itself but they still ring me asking for money. Three years later. Fuck off Barnados. Just cause I was fooled by a chugger one time when I was young and naive and didn’t really think it through does not mean it’s OK to call me up at random asking for more money. Wait until I have a decent job and am getting a decent wage, then you can all guilt-trip me as much as you want and whoever is the most convincing, I will give to. Until then, leave me the fuck alone. OK?

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2 thoughts on “Charities: Give Them A Fiver, Once…

  1. It’s subtle I’ll admit… but I think you might be quite annoyed about this.

    I’ve gone through the same exact situation – I’ve got regular donations setup to regular charities so that I can know I’m doing some good and feel too guilty about walking past people rattling buckets outside of supermarkets. But if you make to miss the expertly hidden away box to not receive further communications then they do just bombard you. And while yes I can understand they need to get money out of people somehow, all the constant nagging and pleading does feel very much like biting the hand that feeds.

    Ultimately the secret is to send them a letter that just says – “Please do not contact me by post, e-mail or phone”, give your name and address and they’re legally bound to stop. But then you could argue why should you have had to pay for that stamp. UNICEF actually monumentally failed to listen to my requests for silence and as a result no longer receive my donations – the money exchanged to another charity.

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