mercredi, novembre 30, 2005

Giving 'til It Hurts (Not!); or: Call Us Back in May, K? Thanx!

When you ask non-profits they say they do it because it works.

Do what because it works?

Oh, that they all ask for money this time of year because people GIVE at this time of year.

Fair enough.

Problem is, every night, we have at least two (and sometimes as many as five) appeals, and I’m not even counting the phone calls we ignore (with apologies to The University of Minnesota, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Our Neighbors' Daughter Who Is Going to Stay Up All Night and Wants $15 for it (she's in college and probably stays up all night for free all the time!), and the Disabled American Paralyzed Veterans of Foreign Wars Minnesota Peace Officers Police Firefighters Widows and Orphans Retirement, Trust and Educational Fund, Inc.).

And how mean are we? 95% of them go right into the recycle bin, unopened (with apologies for last night to the Carter Center of Atlanta, Georgia, the Sierra Club, and the Children's Museum).

Maybe this is a middle-class construct (and oh the luxury of complaining about how burdened you are by charitable appeals), but our outlay in December (apparently there is a holiday of some kind with traditions which mandate the we buy people DVDs, socks, Foreman Grills, books, chocolates, nose-hair trimmers and video games) is already outrageous. We don't get more charitable this time of year, we get less charitable, because we have less money to be charitable with. Excuse me, make that "less money with which to be charitable."

Bah humbug!

In fact, I charted our giving, and we are downright stingy on the following months:

January (1/2 car and home insurance due)
March (1/2 property taxes due)
July (1/2 car and home insurance due)
August (baby girls birthday - and you know we represent)
October (1/2 of property taxes due)
December (Jesus' birthday - and you know we represent)

So on these months? Don't aks us fer a durn thang. We ain't got it to give. You feel me?

Best month to ask? May. Why? Because we have no major expense in April, in May, or in June, and I'm guessing we feel pretty flush (where "flush" = charitable) in May. Ask in May. Yes, I would recommend May.

And I guess we could finance our way out of it, but you try doing that when your wife's ancestry is traceable to Scandinavia. It ain't-uh gonna happen! You work hard, you stay quiet about what's buggin' ya, and you avoid debt with all you've got (it's not a bad life actually). Plus all that, we've barely taken our Christmas tree down...the bills are just coming from Santa, and BOOM! it's January, and we have 1/2 of our car and home insurance due.

Anyway (after all that), to add to my list and yours, here are some neato groups I read about at a great web site. If you can’t give, at least read about them.

If you can give at this time of year, tell me how you do it.