How Do You Give?


I was speaking with a friend-acquaintance today about charitable giving.  She works for a non-profit organization and solicits charitable donations from lots of different people and corporations.

While I have monetarily supported her cause in the past, I have become more focused in my donating habits over the past few years.  I no longer give to every charity that comes my way and remain loyal to causes I personally feel strongly about.

This of course slightly angers this person (not much but enough to notice she is a little miffed) since I no longer contribute to the organization where she is employed.

I explained to her my position, one I feel many people share.  I believe charitable donations are often very, very personal and specifically chosen because of experiences having touched people’s lives.  I don’t believe we all just “give” to causes because someone asked us for a donation.  We want to feel a connection.

She feels the opposite, stating the “trend” in giving is currently geared towards more high profile donations and people give to organizations where they receive the most attention.   She then went on to tell me about how my name would be published in a book sent out quarterly to members if I gave a certain dollar amount.  The book would indicate my gold or platinum status as a contributor and I would be recognized by my peers in the community as a philanthropist.

Yawn.

I mean really?  This is why “most people” give?  I don’t believe it.  I mean some might but I feel it’s way more personal.

Am I currently missing out on “trendy giving”?  Is this really her sales pitch?  I must live under a rock.

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89 Comments

  1. nina 1

    With white collar crime in the order of the day here in SA, a lot of charities became victims to this. I feel that I want to help the smaller organizations who does not have a huge advertising budget. I also give lots to organizations that help children….maybe it is because I have my own children…your friend is way out of line, here!

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  2. Diane 2

    I’m maybe too cynical but I am always concerned at non-profit making companies being involved in collecting money for charities. There’s something much simple – give directly to a charity – and pick one that openly declares how much it uses for administration. When you start to see some charities being cagey about how much admin costs, or not being happy to publicly declare how many and how much their workers get paid it makes me wonder and worry.
    I wouldn’t want my name in a book to show how much I’d given – I’ve grown cynical over the DEC organisation too which raised such a lot for the tsunami but has to spend it all on that disaster even if there’s nothing else they can do. What do they do with the rest of the money?
    In the UK you can gift give which ties in to how much tax you pay and the charity gets more – gift aid I think it’s called.

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  3. ELRA 3

    Totally with you, my husband and I are very private about stuff like this and yes, we choose very carefully to which donation we want to give. And I hate those that offer your name in some publication or putting your name in wall. Give should come from the heart. Not selling your name, right?
    Cheers,
    Elra

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  4. There is something quite crass and tacky about donating to charity so your name will be in a book, or published for any and all to view. I agree with you, give to what your heart leads you to give to.Some of the most needy causes are often not the most “politically correct” or popular causes.

    Also, how “charitable” is a friend who would snub you for not giving to her cause?

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  5. DIane 5

    Personally I feel that giving to a charity that publishes your name is just tooting your own horn. It seems so vain and self-righteous to me. I feel so strongly about this that I believe that in doing such an act you negate any self sacrifice. It’s like paying to look like a good person….

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  6. wkf 6

    Unfortunately your friend is using the age old peer pressure technique. So many people have gotten caught up in status symbols and alot of them have no idea what they are giving to or for. They just feel good about being philanthropic. Most of them probably do not know what it means.
    I am with the cynical group, there is too much monetary abuse among some of the charital foundations , for me to give because it is the “hip” thing to do.
    Your friend is more than likely just trying to keep her job. Ask her if she didn’t work there would she continue to Give to them.

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  7. You do not live uner a rock…if people give only to be listed on a liece of paper to announce their giving status, then they are giving for the wrong reasons and are being used by the organization…

    I believe the majority of people give because it touches their heart.

    Tell her I said, “Whatever!”

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  8. We only donate to places we believe in. My company hits us up all the time for stuff and I blow it off. It’s not the best for me politically, but I don’t care. Why should I donate just because my boss will make my life hell b/c he doesn’t get brownie points? He already makes my life hell!

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  9. I’m with you, Cathy. I give to charities I have a connection with. Of course, I’ve given to celiac/gluten intolerance groups on an ongoing basis with money and time. When my late FIL was dealing with heart disease, I gave to the AHA in his name. I’ve given to cancer research because both my parents and both my ILs (to name a few) have been affected. I even participated in the Komen 3-day walk a few years back. My giving changes a bit yearly depending on my “connections.” The only book I know of that prints my name is my college and while I don’t do the donation for that reason, I am okay with that. The last several years I have been able to funnel that particular donation to an endowment in memory of a favorite professor and that has made that donation much more meaningful to me. :-( at your friend/acquaintance. Shirley

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  10. melissa 10

    I’m with you. I only give to charities that I personly like. I hate getting hounded for money.

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  11. Laura 11

    I stopped giving to charities many years ago and now only give to persons. I dont seek out any particular persons I think God puts them in my path and when I am so moved I give to them. For example check my blog entry for today. This is someone I will give to and I know that 100% of what I give will go directly to the person it is intended to go to.
    http://peach867.blogspot.com

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  12. Julia 12

    I’m sorry that your friend’s charity is in such desperate need for donations that she’s pressuring you. I agree with the comments, that she is a bit out of line. Especially now, we all have limited resources and need to be more thoughtful in our choices.

    I tend to choose the smaller charities for the very reason that I can make a bigger impact. I know that the Dana Farber Foundation, for example, while a very worthy cause, will be fine without my money — they have enough recognition that they get the funding they need. And I think a greater percentage of their budget goes to administration rather than actually funding breast cancer research.

    To your point, I pick causes I feel strongly about and can make an impact through my donation or my volunteer time — helping women develop self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship (http://www.cweonline.org), helping at risk teens learn life and career skills (http://www.futurechefs.org)

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  13. marcy 13

    I agree with you on this one Cathy. We have enough money to get by, so when asked for donations, it has to be something I truly believe in. I don’t give a crap if others know I donate and I don’t donate to charities that I’ve never heard of. I give to the local police department and Muscular Dystrophy Assoc, ( for obvious reasons) that way i know where the money is going…

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  14. I like to give to charities that work. That the money goes directly to the people and not some CEO to make hundreds of thousands. I like to give locally and for causes that make sense. We give to our church because we know they ARE helping the poor and needy. I think that is silly to get your name in a book- that book costs money that should go to the people who need it.

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  15. I also give to charities that I feel a close connection with. But lately I’ve been hit up by every charity on the planet. Everyone needs money, and I just can’t give to them all.

    I do believe there is a certain type of person who gives money just to get the recognition. I really do. It’s those people who like to see their name in a book or on a plaque. It’s sad, but it’s true.

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  16. Barbie with a T 16

    If you live under a rock, then so do I! I think these charitabe contributions are fine, but we should pick and choose and not be expected to give to each and every one of them. We are constantly asked for contributions at Church. We cannot possibly give to all. Sorry. I feel there has to be a limit somewhere, and if I feel the charity is not as worthy as another one, I prefer to give to the charity of my choice.

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  17. Becky 17

    I’m with you, Cathy.
    I give to help, not to have my name printed in some book.
    I don’t need recognition, I need results.

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  18. Your friend’s attitude makes me cringe. Giving to charity for publicity’s sake? Yikes. I understand that many corporations would clearly do it in that manner in order to be seen as kind and caring, but I have trouble believing that many individual people donate to charities so that they can be admired by their peers.

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  19. Terri 19

    We must share the same rock.

    I give to charities that I really believe in and that’s it. I won’t give to anyone that asks because that would reduce the amount that I could donate to “my charities” and then they would need to get it somewhere else.

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  20. tamilyn 20

    I hate having to explain that over and over to people who call on the phone that we only have x amount of dollars to spend on charitable giving and then they start with the “don’t you care about Sally in the wheelchair who won’t get to see Hannah Montana before she dies if you don’t donate at least $50?”. Seriously? I too give to where I know it is making a difference. Church, the food shelf, the Salvation Army, the local Red Cross and the local scholarship programs. I also donate blood. These are places that have helped people I know. I agree with all who said before that donating to see your name in print is giving for the wrong reasons. Shame on her for speaking to you like that.

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  21. Mary 21

    Cathy, professional fund raisers see the world through a different prism that most folks. In a world consumed by status I’m sure there are those who give for recognition, but most people quietly give what they can to ease the burden of others. There are many who call themselves “anonymous.”

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  22. Katrina 22

    I’ll give what I want, when I want and how much I want and I don’t really care what anyone else thinks and I feel like we give plenty! Sometimes just what we give to our kid’s schools, alma maters and our church is enough. I haven’t been on the end with a friend trying to get me to donate though, so I’m not sure how that would be. But I don’t think she should even know if/and/or how much you decide to give.

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  23. Louise 23

    That name in the book thing must be a draw for many people, as it is used repeatedly. If I gave to such a charity, I’d be miffed that part of my money was used to glorify the people giving money. Ugh!
    We give to one organization in time – cooking for families with a cancer patient at home. Another we give money – the hospice that like an angel to my mother in law in her final weeks. Both of these are very close to our hearts.

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  24. Tallie 24

    Trendy giving is the most asinine thing I’ve heard all year. You aren’t supposed to donate to charities in order to get you name in a book. It’s not supposed to be about the attention you receive. That actually makes me ill. Cathy I’m sorry but your friend-acquaintance and those people who subscribe to her ideas seem pretty lame to me.

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  25. Catt. 25

    Sales pitch. We all know that usually less then half goes where the average person thinks it will go.
    Giving is a personal act.

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  26. I would hope that’s not why most people give! I’m sure some people give to receive recognition, but that is the wrong motivation. Your friend’s little speech would turn me off completely, and unless I really believed in her particular cause, I wouldn’t give to it again. If I ever did give to a cause that published the names of donors, I would request that my name be left off the list. I realize some of these causes feel this is a nice little way of thanking the donors, but it makes me a little ill. The reward for giving anything is knowing you helped someone or were able to bless them in some way. That should be reward enough.

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  27. Having worked in the nonprofit sector for the past 10 years, I can tell you that you are not way off. In fact, I see a trend amongst younger generations – baby boomers and younger – to give a larger amount of money to fewer charities, to be more skeptical, to give to causes that are well-understood and achievable, and to want to see a greater return on their investment, ie. see results. This is different from an older generation that believes you should just give, no questions asked.

    There are lots of reasons people give – I would say more often than the desire for fame is the desire to be connected to something important, to see their goals realized.

    While most charities do steward their donors (this is necessary, unfortunately, in order to keep their best donors because people do want to be thanked and often recognized) there is also increasing demand for accountability.

    There are always people who do want to be recognized in the community as philanthropists, but having had a lot of experience with Major Gifts, (often $250,000+) I can tell you that most major philanthropists share their names because they want to enhance publicity to the organization, and that they choose their charities very wisely.

    May I say your friend is way out of line. I would never demand a friend gave to my organization, even though I suffer from the very disease I’m advocating for. It’s personal.

    In case anyone is interested, I actually wrote a post on how to identify if the charity you are giving to is being accountable, using a few tricks from the trade:

    link to saverqueen.com

    PS Diane, I think her friend works directly for the charity – it’s not from an outsourced company, she’s a fundraiser.

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  28. I have never given money to let others know that I gave it, is that supposed to be a status symbol (I’m not broke, see I gave to FancyAssCharity). Since my husband and I are in the midst of a financial melt down, I almost never give money anymore, but I have given hundreds of hours to the charities I believe in. The local organization that helps people get off the street and back into society & the arts center that gives inner city kids a more creative outlet than graffiti all over the city are my two favorite. I have also agreed to help organize the local “Cops & Kids” program that gets books to underprivileged children.

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  29. Rindy R 29

    As a person of faith I always think about the passage in Matthew 6:3-4 which states: But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
    I think this passage says it all!

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  30. Jody 30

    Coming out of lurker mode on my first post to you. I’m totally with you on donating to charities or organizations that you have a connection with! I had a 1lb 14 oz preemie and donate to March of Dimes every year. I could care less if my name was in a book, (who is paying for the book anyway?) that money would be better spent on the cause! Then once your name is published ever organization in the world thinks they can call and so on and so forth. I get upset with all the free stuff that your given at Walk America, the money they waste on all the gimmes etc would go a long way in research and development!

    Times are tough, donations are down, volunterism is down. These charities have to work harder to get money so I’m sure the pitches and promo’s are going to be insane.

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  31. As someone who gives, and who also runs a small nonprofit organization, I’m so glad you have posted these thoughts. It’s always a slippery slope to fundraise from friends, yet friends are the core of support for my organization, and at a certain point in life I found that if I expected my friends to give to my charity, I would give to theirs in kind, no matter what they were raising money for. If I’m asked for a $50 donation for a sponsored run, for instance, I have no hesitation about asking for a $50 donation for my organization (which, by the way, is all-volunteer, with no paid staff). I feel that my organization gives value for each contribution, so I don’t hesitate to ask. But I also don’t take it personally if people don’t want to give. We all have to prioritize the limited amount of money we have to donate (unless, perhaps, we’re Bill Gates or Oprah). I do it too.

    The solicitations I don’t appreciate are ones where I’m asked to donate my professional services, but where the person asking has no connection to me, nor does the project for which he/she is raising money. Make a connection to me, and I’m more likely to give, even if that connection is a high school friend’s next door neighbor once removed! Just asking me to give my services isn’t enough.

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  32. jancd 32

    Your friend was pressuring you to do something to make her look good. You are right to contribute to the issues that are important to you and your family. Our family tithes to our church and gives to what WE choose. We do not want our name published with the amount of our gift.

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  33. I absolutely agree with you. Were I to give to everyone who makes a request, I wouldn’t be able to put food on the table or have a place to live! We have to make choices and it only makes sense to support those causes with which we have some heartfelt connection.

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  34. Since I work for a non profit and am in charge of fundraising (when I’m not buried up to my neck in IT issues) I feel I can speak with a certain insight here.
    1. You’re right. 95% of people that give to a charity are moved by that charity’s mission. Some donors may give because they’re asked to, or they’re supporting a certain project, but “favor givers” are not repetitive givers. Eventually they fall off and a good fundraiser will “bless and release”. Bludgeoning a donor does not bring them back.
    2. Donor recognition is a wonderful way to bond with your donors. It reinforces that partnership that you share in working on the mission. But you must pay attention to how the donor wishes to be recognized. Having your name in a book will not float everyone’s skirt. And some donors do not want to be recognized at all, that’s not why they give. And finally, recognition will not retain donors that gave as a favor to friends.

    It’s human nature to give to what you believe in. You must follow your heart.

    And yes, I wish more people would give to our organization, but I recognize that my best efforts are going to be with folks who are personally affected by our work.

    Great post!

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  35. Julie 35

    I don’t really have a lot of money to give. I remember when Katrina hit I felt so bad because there wasn’t really anything significant I could do to help. So I went and donated blood thinking I could at least help the nation’s blood supply. Now they call me all the time and I donate on a pretty regular basis. And it’s NOT just for the grape juice and cookies.

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  36. Cheryl 36

    Truthfully, I dislike giving to organizations that try to make a big deal of donors. That makes it not so much about giving anymore, but more about getting an ego/social stroke.

    How do I give? Cheerfully, but NEVER under pressure. (Even if I support the cause…)

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  37. Ugh. So not the point of giving.

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  38. KAYOLA 38

    Nope…not all! I give and would rather no one know at all…only the good Lord above…I feel that defeats the purpose by tooting your horn!!!!!

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  39. Pam 39

    Good for for. Giving isn’t about getting attention and a pat on the back. It’s about truly helping those causes that you feel strongly about.

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  40. I’m with you Cathy. I don’t know anyone (aside from corporations perhaps) that give purely for the recognition.

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  41. Sandie 41

    Giving is good, in any form. But I personally feel the best giving is done anonymously, to help where you think help is needed. Big or small doesn’t matter, as long as it helps.

    Giving should never be muddled with bragging rights. To boast over one’s generosity taints the spirit in which gifts are given.

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  42. Grace 42

    My husband once donated money to a well known charity and now we get mail from them every single week of the year, pretty much. We have since stopped giving to this organization because if they can afford mass mailings on a weekly basis, they don’t need our money. I prefer to donate to legitimate organizations that provide disaster relief around the world with a minimum of administrative costs or relief organizations that receive matching government donations.

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  43. Marjie 43

    I don’t give in to pressure, and I’m not afraid to tell people off, whether they’re calling my home or business. And I wouldn’t remain friendly with someone who thinks friendship comes with a requirement that you give to her charity whether you want to or not.

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  44. Alisa 44

    That is the exact “business” like approach that makes me run away from charities. Also, if I’m donating $$ to you, don’t send me dvds trying to convince me to send more $.
    I am much more likely to give to charities that don’t bombard me with reminders.

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  45. Egghead 45

    We give to places that are close to our hearts and places we know that the money will be put to use as intended. If you are giving to have your name put on a donor list then you are giving for your own benefit not the benefit of the charity.

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  46. I don’t like people constantly asking me for $ donations.
    I donate to my choices.
    Animal charities, eg. local aspca and shelters.
    NJ Food Bank, and Cancer Society.
    No one asks me for these donations, we make they yearly on our own!
    There are so many worthy causes!

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  47. I agree with you. I chose my charities very carefully. And I usually put the needs of my own community first.

    Contributing to charity for one’s own personal ambitions, very sad.

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  48. Could not agree more as in Mayberry here we must get hit up for one charity or another a few times a week. I support a couple as they are near and dear to me and I think that is the way it should be. If I supported everyone I myself would become a charity case and would be living in the poor house :)
    Sadly as well I think many people like the high profile donations because they want to see their name listed someplace as the giving is mainly for them and to support their ego.

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  49. I give out of my personal connection. Being a breast cancer survivor kind of dictates to my feelings on this subject. There are a lot of needy causes out there. I feel obligated through my experiences to give all my charity to those causes. 1 out of every 7 woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. I just happened to be 41 when I was diagnosed.

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  50. misty 50

    I think there are those who give from the heart, and those who give to gain… I imagine this is nothing new, and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. What is newer, is the non-profits finding ways to use this to their advantage…

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  51. Mrs. L 51

    And how much does printing that book cost? Wouldn’t it be better to take that money and give it to charity?
    We have several charities we donate to each year. We also have a bit of money set aside for those “one time” occasions (a good friend does the Avon 3Day walk or a family member does a BowlAThon to raise money for the disease their child has). Yes, we try to budget in our donations. We have gotten used to saying a firm “no” to everyone else asking for donations.

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  52. Chuck Whitaker 52

    I agree with you, Cathy. I’m not sure I know anyone who gives a contribution just so they can receive recognition from their community. I too have become much more selective in the last few years and give to those organizations I feel reflect my values and interests. I like your site a lot.

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  53. tipper 53

    Her sales pitch was kinda turn off. I give to a select few charities that I believe are worthy causes.

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  54. Kristin 54

    My husband had a liver transplant a few years ago — now almost all of our giving is geared towards organ transplants & donor awareness. I have a few other places that I give, but as you said, it is personal. I give to a local theater because I enjoy going and I want to continue to do so. I have my Target points go towards a local school, even though I don’t have children, because I want other peoples children to reap the benefits. I rarely give to new charities, unless someone has died and has specified a specific charity for donations. I give because I want to, not because I’ll be recognized.

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  55. Roz 55

    I am a senior citizen on low income. I got a phone call from the police asking for a donation to whatever. When I explained that I had no money to donate the caller was very rude. I was so shocked. He hung up before I could comment.

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  56. eva! 56

    I think that is an incredibly cynical view of giving that definitely makes me a little sad. I know some people may give for that reason (the world is full of people who do things simply for the privilege of the claim) but I am positive most people give because of what is in their hearts. I mean, how many people (especially now!) have the money to be moved by such greed/social pressure? I know I don’t!

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  57. “Trendy giving” is a bit nonsense, but hey if it in the end will contribuite to anything then ok, I just prefer to give in other ways. I give blood, hair and most of all I give my time (when I have it) on voluntary work.

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  58. Susan 58

    Your right…..she’s wrong!
    Never would I give to a charity so I could get my name published.
    On the other hand several close people to me have, or have died from cancer, I donate in THEIR names!

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  59. Melissa 59

    I’m like you Cathy. Can’t imagine being comfortable with the other way.

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  60. leslie 60

    I agree with Rindy. The Bible sets the standard for giving. We are not suppose to give in order to draw honor or special favors for ourself..Jesus had the most honorable cause of all to give–he gave his time (teaching his followers) and his abilities (curing the sick, resurrecting the dead, healing the lame etc.) He did all this in his Father’s name, Jehovah, not to draw honor and fame for himself but to glorify his Father. The most important thing he did and was known for was “to teach”–he was known far and wide as “the great teacher”. The type of teaching he did benefited people who made changes in their life and brought their standards and mind set to be Christ-like. Noteworthy was the fact that he did not build hospitals, homeless shelters etc. but taught values such as “the man who does not work will not eat”,, he did not say can not work but does not–implying a willingness to do so. There is nothing wrong with building homeless shelters or hospitals to help less fortunate ones but his focus was on teaching them the things of God so they could be ensured of having everlasting life–not improving temporary standards. I give my time, ability, and money -although it is little of late, and I suffer from a rare disease but make the time to offer others the opportunity to learn what the Bible teaches. Not what mankind teaches but what the Bible’s standards are. More times than not, people only want the quick help and do not want to put effort into learning because let’s face it, it is hard to make changes. You must first learn than what the Bible offers is superior to anything that man can give. So that is how I give.

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  61. Debbie 61

    I give to causes that I believe in. I could care less about having my name on a plaque or paper or whatever.

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  62. In a city nearby, a man who was asked to donate to a cardiac wing withdrew his donation after they wouldn’t name the whole thing after him. Hope he never needs cardiac surgery in the future 😉

    I keep those things private. I was brought up not to speak freely to others about how much money you have, give, or spend as a matter of personal respect. No need to tout such things for all to see, in my opinion.

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  63. Flea 63

    I don’t think you’re missing out on anything. We’ve been one income so long that I don’t remember what charitable giving feels like. That’s probably a good thing. I give stuff. Time. Food. Attention. Volunteer hours. It keeps me from having to divvy cash. And, like you, my donations definitely go to those I feel strongly about.

    You go, Cathy. Good job.

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  64. I totally agree with you! Giving is personal and comes from the heart. I have celiac disease and my daughter’s Christmas gift to me was a donation to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. What a great gift! I was thrilled.
    Melissa

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  65. Dang! Lots of comments here!! Must have hit a nerve Cathy!

    1. On Giving: I also just give to groups that I have a personal relationship with – my kids’ school is the biggest recipient, in time, money, services…
    2. On Soliciting: As one of the fund raising ‘mamas’ for the school – we do list our donors on our posters and in a Thank-You ad in the local papers.. This is huge to our donors – which are mostly businesses… They love to see their names being recognized as a contributor to a community event/organization/cause… And actually, I had a business man give me the riot act yesterday because we had not asked him for a donation! Can you imagine??? We have a waiting list for next year!
    And, since we are in a very rural area, our businesses get ‘hit up’ for lots of requests… So we try to go the Extra Extra mile… we also mail a certificate with a photo of the kids thanking them for their donation – and most donors post it in their place of business…
    That’s how we do it out here where the cows out number the people!!!

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  66. imom 66

    I agree that giving is very personal and I do not care about my name and amount I gave being published at all. We have cut way back on monetary giving, since we bought a new house, but I do give generously of my time.

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  67. I won’t give to organizations that publish my name and some indication of amount.

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  68. Donations make an organization/movement grow, so I am careful to select what I want to see grow and generous to facilitate the growth. This trendy nonsense is . . . well . . . nonsense. Never heard of such silliness.

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  69. Melynda 69

    Stick to your guns girl! I am with you. Why would anyone of integrity do anything without a connection. The world does not need another book of names. Call me old fashioned, opinionated or any other unpopular term, but you can always call me honest!

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  70. Stephanie 70

    I agree with you too – we don’t have much to give so we are very choosy with our donations. I am not impressed with with “gold” or “Platinum” status. I don’t want a portion of my donation to be used for a book of names!! Sheesh, no thank you!

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  71. Bunny 71

    Several years ago my mother had to take over the responsiblity of her aunts affairs, my mother soon found out that my great aunt had been giving huge amounts of money every month to charities that she really didn’t know anything about. When my mother decided to stop the donations she received THREATENING phones calls from these people. The money train had stopped and they were mad. Cathy how much money does it cost to make up these books with everybody who donates name in it? Money better spent on the people they’re trying to help I would think.

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  72. I’m not sure where the question lies. For us it’s simple, we give the /lord 10 percent of all our income, on the gross not the net. We give to the church because Jesus set it up that way, He doesn’t need the money, He needs for us to trust in him, trust him with our money and then the promises of blessing for trusting in him. So my bottom line is to give, cheerfully, happilly an expectantly, to bless those who need a touch from God.

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  73. Mai 73

    It seems a little redundant to donate simply to have your name in a book. I mean, who really cares if your name is printed in a book that no one will really read? Your acquaintance almost seems to suck the purpose behind donating away. To me, you donate because you do, not for personal motives or anything you can gain from it. You do it as a way to support something, a cause that you may or may not have time to dedicate to.

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  74. Gloria 74

    I think most people give quietly, without any need for recognition, because of what has touched their lives in a meaningful way.

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  75. Laurie 75

    Cathy, How awful and awe-full – as in really???

    I used to give at least a small donation to anyone who asked. I just couldn’t help it. But then I learned that some of those “causes” were less than reputable. For a while I was on a phone list to donate to Vietnam vets and then (literally!) a person showing up at my HOUSE the next day for the check. My step-father’s brother who worked for the VA explained this was not something they endorsed.

    The next time that person called, I explained what I learned and he has never bothered me since.

    Now I just tell everyone who calls or asks that I do all of my donations through my church and the fact that I have a “system” seems to stop them from the guilt.

    But in addition to donations to my church, I give to small local organizations that I actually witness helping in my community.

    Great topic!!!

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  76. vada askew 76

    Donations are personal…give for the need!! Not for someone elses idea of where YOUR money should go..It’s no ones business but yours…

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  77. vada askew 77

    Not much of a friend is she? Donations are personal. What gives anyone the right to tell another person when, where or how to use their MONEY? TRAVEL YOUR ON ROAD..You’ll respect yourself more…

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  78. I think Diane, way up above, has a very valid point about the reasons/expectations involved with giving.

    I am directly involved with a very small charitable group, that I helped found, the core group of which is made up of longtime friends and fellow charitable workers, with our primary efforts being to assist families in need in Mississippi. Which is pretty much what I have been doing for the past two years on a personal mission down here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, assisting folks rebuild their homes and lives after Hurricane Katrina.

    The reasons people give to charitable organizations are many, some vane and some from the heart. It is my feeling that giving to others, whether it is directly to people, or to organizations, should be from the heart. The bible urges us to give love to others (which includes donations of whatever kind) unconditionally, without the expectation of receiving something in return (your name and fame in a book, etc., or even a thank you – of any kind).

    In my 3 decades of work in Mississippi working with families there, we who work there, seldom receive a formal thank you of any kind. We do not assist with the thought of receiving thanks, in mind. We do it out of the love for others, period. It is amazing how many times in those three decades I have received requests for a receipt for a few pieces of donated used clothing a person has given, which should have been put in a dumpster, it was so worn or soiled.

    As workers in a charitable organization, we appreciate whatever donations we receive and do the best we can with whatever we have to work with. And, besides the efforts of an organization, there are other ways to reach out, too, in a personal way, such as a mission, if it fits into one’s goals in life. Pray about it, and search for a way to make it happen…

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  79. Mary 79

    Cathy, I can see why a final choice was so difficult. They are allwonderful recipes.

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  80. Funny, I just posted this week on giving and charities. If this is why people give, then we’re in worse shape than I thought. To be published. Geckkkkk!
    You are not under a rock, my dear. You are on top of it.

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  81. Cath,
    You sure did A LOT OF COOKING THIS WEEK!
    Congratulations to all the winners.
    Everything looks very festive, perfect for Super Bowl!

    I made your white bean dip which is on my blog today! That is a sure winner in my book, and healthy!
    Stacey

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  82. oooh, that’s a tough one, but stand your ground woman! I used to give to every single charity that came to my door or in the mail. But the same ones request donations it seems almost monthly, and God knows I still have to feed my family for crying out loud. I am so tired of getting indian blankets and nickles and dimes in the mail. Of course I can’t throw them away, but I ain’t givin you any money either. Especially when they come from out of state…charity begins at home! Needless to say not only have I become more scruntinizing of my donations but money just doesn’t flow as freely these days.

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  83. Liz C. 83

    It’ been a trendy thing here for a long time and the primary reason we quit giving to the bigger organizations. Now, we mainly give to the newer organizations that don’t yet have all the big bucks rolling in. Usually, most local charities have parties & the contributors names listed for different levels of giving. You know, so everyone will KNOW how much you gave. It’s really turned into a status game here, which I don’t care for in the least. We like to give quietly…

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  84. My parents have always been generous donors for a few causes close to their heart. But they set a wonderful example of anonymous donation. My dad always said, “I give because I want to help, not because I want a thank-you.” I think the gratitude always made them uncomfortable. I’ll never forget watching my mom pay for the groceries of an obviously struggling young mother who had left the register to put something back. My mom made sure the cashier didn’t void the purchase, paid for it and swore the checker to secrecy. We left before the woman returned.
    So when I give, I do so anonymously. I know that doesn’t work for everyone. But you asked how we give, and yo, that’s how we roll. Fo’ shizzle.

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  85. Laura 85

    How obnoxious! Just because marketing to the lowest common denominator works is no reason for your friend to try to sell it on you!

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  86. phillygirl64 86

    This reminds me of a story…

    Guy became very wealthy and gave lots of money and had lots of things named after him…So he dies and goes up to Heaven…St. Peter is showing him around; the buildings are A-mazing! and full of many people who had led good, but ordinary lives…Guy thinks “Man, I can’t wait to see where I get to stay”

    St. Pete leads him to a house…clean and well kept, but simple and nondescript…Guy says “Hey, what gives? I gave all that money to all those causes…not to mention all the ones for the church…this is what I get?”

    Peter tells him “You got your recognition on earth”

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  87. magpie 87

    She’s spouting some bill of goods that she’s gotten from a fundraising “bible” or something. No, that’s not how or why people give. They give like you.

    (I work for a non-profit; we don’t ask that way, we don’t have donors like that.)

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  88. Carole 88

    I just have to wonder how much of your “donation” would go to printing up that “attention-seeking” book. In every organization there’s too much waste with “someone else’s money”. I have one charity that gets all my donations. I trust them implicitly, don’t have to wonder who’s “dipping into the til”, and I know my money won’t go for any cause that I would NOT support.

    It’s always bothered me that people feel it’s their right to call a complete stranger and ask for money (whatever the cause). As a child my mother taught me “It’s not polite to ask for money.” Everyone should have a mom like mine, eh?

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  89. I received my first loan when I was 25 and that helped my relatives a lot. But, I require the credit loan again.

    Reply

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