How to give to charity (3)

This can’t be right. Can it?

I once looked at a writing job with a large Christian charity.

‘It’s mostly fundraising,’ they explained, ‘and we’ve got a good system.’

Their good system was:

  • A fresh appeal every few weeks or months
  • Cheap-looking paper
  • Each mailshot made up of a few typed sheets, black and white photos, with “handwritten” additions and underlinings in red ink.
  • Sent out to a carefully refined mailing list. Single women in their 40s-70s were the favoured audience.
  • Guaranteed results.

I decided not to work for this charity.

Where does carefully monitoring the success of fundraising campaigns end? Where does cynical exploitation begin? I couldn’t figure that out, but I wouldn’t have felt right doing that job.

There has to be a better way, and that better way has to be us givers taking the initiative, giving regularly and generously to a set of good causes, and not letting ourselves be manipulated.

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