Donating to Charities

Around this time of the year, I become disillusioned with my decision as to who I have decided to donate to.  I walk away from the experience feeling that I was scammed.  Charitable organizations put too much junk in the letters that they mail out to request donations.  I have received more return address labels to last me several lifetimes.  I used to think the little note cards were cute, now I am just irritated by them.

I have to make weekly trips to my Post Office to clean out my mail box that is usually overflowing with donation requests; so, clearly the charities are selling their mailing lists to other charities; which I think is stupid because we ALL live on a limited income and a charity  might sell my name and address to another charity that I might choose to donate to rather than the original  organization; and in doing so, they cram my mail box with unwanted junk.

I believe that all of the junk that goes into those donation letter requests is misspent and diminishes the amount that goes to the charity.  Some charities go overboard.  The one time I appreciated an organization going overboard was a veterans group who sent me a stack of Christmas cards.  I only mail one Christmas card and the donation letter provided me with a card to send to my sister.  I think they sent me a half dozen cards so I am good for the next several years; any additional cards that they send later this year will go to waste.  The other day, one donation request letter was so full of junk that the Post Office had to place it in a package box to deliver to me.  It looks like midyear the veterans group sends out a request with a stack of all season cards,  so I am all set with get well cards and birthday cards. What a waste.

I am beginning to believe the only saving grace of the massive amounts of charity junk mail is to keep the Post Office a float.  I would be willing to pay a little extra with my Post Office box rental to have them toss out all of that junk mail… like we have scam filters on our emails.

I get really irritated by the charity requests that glue coins onto their request, whether a dime or four nickels.  Infrequently, I get a check from a charity for a small amount like $1.50 or $3.  The idea is to make you open the envelop to see what the check is about and then make a plea to not cash their check and help their cause.  I have  no  interest in donating to a cause that waste my money to pay for the people who cash those checks.  I could  just as well walk around town handing out dollar bills.

This disillusionment that I feel is that these are good charities that do good things, but most of my donation goes to the administrative overhead of trying to get more donations, that in turn, goes to getting even more donations.  I hope some where down the line a few dollars actually get spent helping the animals, children, or veterans that I really wanted to help; but I will never know because I don’t trust the process.