Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

My life in 8 words: Organized chaos, by preference. Exhausting, but never boring

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do me this one thing...
stop that
suricattus
General request out into the world, because this has been bugging me for a while now...

Can we put a kibosh on "if you'll give up your double-whatever latte?" as push to get people to give money elsewhere?  Most of us cut double-whatever lattes out of our budget a long time ago, and the assumptions of spendthriftiness (when I know damn few people who aren't economized to the bone) are really... irritating.

And if a double-whatever latte is what someone has budgeted to get them through the day?  Telling them even by implication that they're selfish gits for needing that is...not really a good motivator for them to do something nice for someone else.  All it does is weigh down the hammer of guilt on someone who might already be barely making it through that day.





this post has been Boomer-approved.

Yes. I've had two charity requests today, no spending customers, and we're frequently stretched to put petrol in the tank to get home, let alone do anything else.

THIS! Well said. Boomer approves of good sense :-)

I agree, and I don't even drink double-whatever lattes!

Hear, hear.

Your post has also been approved by Mr Horrible.

The internet is all about the guilting.

You say that as though OUTSIDE the Internet isn't, also. Internet is people.

*Charleton Heston, looking haggard, enters the scene*

"It's PEOPLE! The Internet is made out of PEOPLE!"

I think this goes to the assumption (and working assumption in some quarters) that everyone is selfish and the way to get people to give is to fight that 'selfishness'. It's like assuming everyone is inherently lazy...

Given the emphasis on how much of a "positive change" selfishness is in some corners, such as the Ayn Rand people, it makes sense that they'd figure that everyone is selfish.

That's a very good point. The approach doesn't work on me because I don't put anything but hot water in coffee, but it has always struck me as deeply patronising, and both urban-centric and classist. (Though in the UK, studies have shown that those on lower incomes are more likely to give to charity.) But you're quite right, it plays on guilt and shame, which is unpleasant and unkind.

I think the numbers are similar in the US, and that's leaving out the tendency of higher-income donors to give money to museums/colleges/churches (often resulting in buildings or wings named after themselves) rather than food banks or homeless shelters.

I've been incredibly fortunate in many ways, including being in the right place at the right time with the right skills to get a series of amazing jobs; one reason I choose to give to charities is as a conscious counter to the Just World Fallacy, reminding myself of the contingent nature of my success.

Sometimes, though, my motives are a bit more base.

In this case I'd already donated before he showed his ass, but if I'd been a bit later in my most recent gift to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center I'd have been very very tempted to tell George Will it was in recognition of his recent accomplishments in the area of MISSING THE FUCKING POINT.

A charitable gift can be a very satisfying way of expressing dislike sometimes :-). When Margaret Thatcher died and our govt wasted millions on her funeral (and her estate paid almost no tax) I made a donation to a mental health charity in the name of everyone of us who her vile policies harmed.

I've worked on enough charitable giving campaigns to know that you used different incentives for different financial classes... but the subset of wealthy who give tend to give a LOT. It's more diluted among the not-wealthy.

Was this Dave Ramsey inspired? It sounds like the sort of thing he says.

I've been seeing variations of this for a while, but the straw was a comment this morning from someone who really should (and probably does) know better.

"Give up your X to support Y" is a very dangerous prod to use, in any instance. And phrasing it in the way of "you don't need X anyway you're frittering your money away" is really...just not good.

Reminds me of some of the charities that would come to church --back when I went to church-- who would try to pry money out of parishioners by saying "if you've got a habit of eating lunch out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, just skip Tuesdays and give us the money instead."

Yes, exactly. I was thinking this sounds like some of the Dave Ramsey hoo-hah.

"You should X. It only takes 5 minutes a day."

Yeah. I find that proponents of the prosperity gospel school of thought to be most annoying in this aspect. Hubby and I Have Discussions because while he's an excellent financial planner, there are times when he starts pulling this nickel and dime stuff.

Me, I budget treats into my weekly allotment, because...that makes it tolerable. And most of the time the organization that people are trying to guilt me into giving me that small amount of money for has some shady elements to it.

These days, our charitable contributions are going to helping out friends who need it, and a few environmental orgs. Otherwise...

I dont even like coffee, let alone lattes...

dont drink them anyways, so yeah, I can give them up.. no problem.. so the money I spend on them ... is still 0.

Sometimes it is the little treats we give ourselves that smooth over a rough day. True for everyone, and people who think we have to lash ourselves raw wish to deny us even slight joys and solaces. Which I find troubling on their part!!!

I fully understand your point. Now if you're giving Boomer "double-whatever lattes"...you should definitely give those up :)

for a short time in my life I worked as a rep for a pet product - (circa 2006) using someone's fancy coffee drinks as a sales tactic was one of the sales suggestions from corporate ... however, we weren't supposed to use it as a "give it up and spend money on this instead approach" but instead we were supposed to try and make people think about what they consider an inconsequential expense. Start with the question of "how often do you buy a coffee drink?" And in the case of what we were selling the point was to try and make them think about how they obviously don't love their pets since a couple of bucks doesn't mean anything for a drink they don't need but it's way too much money to spend extra a day for your beloved companion's food.

I'm not saying it's not still an annoying message. Being sold anything is annoying. I always got awful scores on not closing a sale. I liked to think that I was making them think enough and next time they might make a different choice.

The salesperson reading any script (and even if it is for charity they're still selling) really isn't thinking and you're right in that it's long past time for the person writing the script to get some new material. And it REALLY shows how they need to do more market research instead of writing scripts based on their own personal experience. Unless maybe they did, and you're not who they want money from.

Generally, though, we're seeing this from Well-Meaning Folk trying to encourage us to dig a little deeper and give to some cause or another that they've taken to heart, not from salespeople...

Also, can charities stop sending out mailers with an actual nickel in them, telling us "THIS NICKEL COULD SAVE A CHILD!" If the nickel could save a child, don't send it to me. I once didn't realize there was one in a pile to be shredded and it broke my shredder, which cost way more than a nickel to replace.

This probably makes me sound awful. I give to charities, I swear. It's just tactics that don't work on me.

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