I am very proud to have received it. I haven't been doing much lately and that's been making me kind of feel bad. I naturally want to throw out an excuse like, "I've been so busy" or "we're really broke." But that goes against my main belief about charity - which is that we all have something to give. I can make time and I will.
However, I also believe that being a good philanthropist means knowing your stuff. It means not falling for the lies of people who prey on helpful souls. Even in the wake of tragedy, there are always people looking to make a sucker out of a good, honest person.
That's why it is so important that charities' volunteers know their stuff as well.
When I was home last week, I was very busy
on the computer cleaning the house when the phone rang.
I looked at the caller ID:
I thought it might be the bill collection place that calls here a couple times a week and leaves messages. I’m pretty sure they’re calling for the guy who used to have our number and wanted to tell them to QUIT CALLING, so I answered the phone.
“Hi Ms. H. This is _____ calling on behalf of police officers in the Minneapolis area. Blah blah blah for two full minutes I can’t let you get a word in or you’ll tell me no so I’m just going to keep talking and not even use punctuation because that would give you the opportunity to shoot me down Our tax refundable donations start at just twenty five dollars but you can be a Gold donor for only thirty so how much may I put you down for Ms. H?”
“Do you have a website?”
“Uh. Um. Well. I…don’ t know what it is.”
“Really? Well, why don’t you call me back when you have that information, okay?”
“Well, ma’am, we can take your donation right over the phone.”
“So…you are calling me and telling me that you are Someone, collecting for Something and I’m just supposed to take your word for it and give you my credit card number - even though you don’t even know the website of the company you are representing?”
“Well, it’s just that I’m talking to YOU right now and…I can get someone to verify this for you…”
“You can get someone else there with you to tell me what you just told me? Impressive.”
“Well, they’re my supervisor…”
“Honey, I am BUSY. Why don’t you get that information and give me a call back when you have it, okay?”
“That sounds fair, ma’am. Thank you.”
Asking for donations is a lot like selling things. Really, you are selling your organization. I wouldn’t buy something from someone who didn’t have any information on their product. I also don’t buy things from telemarketers. Charities need to figure some of these things out if they plan to *sell themselves* to the future generations. Because we're smart, suspicious and critical.
And calling me "ma’am" repeatedly just makes me mad.