I think I made the mistake this year in donating to the wrong organizations. As a result, my mail box is kept full of donation requests. I have a simple rule in which I would like to see my money go to an organization that will use my money wisely, but it seems that I found a few organizations that seem to use the donations to fuel more donations. We call that the administrative overhead. The trick to getting your money to go where you want it, it so find a charity that has a small administrative overhead. If you have a question about an organization that is asking you for your money, you might consult Charity Navigator to see their ratings.
In my world, I would hate to see my donations used for address labels , calendars, note cards, and journals; but, I have to admit that had I not received a bunch of Christmas cards in one donation request, My sister would not have gotten a card last year. Regrettably, I did donate to that organization because I was feeling guiltyfor using their cards. Otherwise, all I see in those inserts as wasted junk; a waste of funds that could be used for a better cause.
When donating to animal welfare causes, you have to ask yourself if you want to donate to help the animals in your community or to a national organization. Many people are confused when they see an ad on their local television of an animal in need, that the money, or a portion of it, will go to their local humane society. It does not. National organizations provide grant funding to humane societies, but not necessarily the one in your community.
Although I like to help the animals in my community, I recognize that without the help of donations to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), PetSmart Charities, American Humane, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), I would have been in a world of hurt with dealing with one of the largest cat hoarding cases in the United States. I and other animal shelter directors reach out to these national organizations when we get into a situation that is over our heads. In cases like these, our local humane society can provide limited support. The national organizations are the big guns.
Next year, I will not be donating again to those organizations that filled up by mailbox with the junk; that waste the donations that were given to them. I will give a little leeway to those who just gave a calendar… I can see the point in the calendar reminding me every month the good that they are doing. I just don’t know what to do with all of them. It is hard to give always calendars because each year people get more than they can every use. But those organizations who glue nickels in their letters asking for donations have got to go. And #### ####*, what the hell where you thinking with the address labels, planner, crossword puzzle book, Farmer’s Almanac, 3 calendars, and the pocket calendar? Was there anything left to help the children? Oddly enough, they are rated high with Charity Navigator; but, they missed the mark with me. I would be okay with just a thank you note, but I would prefer that you save the postage for the kids.
* I decided to block out the organization. I didn’t want my criteria to impact another’s decision to donate to them. Besides, if you did donate to them, you would be completing crossword puzzles now, instead of reading this blog. You have to decide for yourself as to your own criteria you want to use when donating. I believe organizations should use good judgement when using funds given by others, but I also know that some people respond to getting Christmas cards in their donation requests. So maybe someone might be enjoying a Farmer’s Almanac with receipts for feeding 50 or 100 people. As I have always said, “We are a funny species.”