“Would you like to donate money to this charity?”

I used to hate this question. A lot. And it gets even worse if they are a good salesperson and word it differently. For example:

“Would you like to support our cause to fight world hunger? We are taking donations.”

If they ask like this and say “no”, it sounds like you don’t support ending world hunger. They try to make you feel like a jerk and guilt you into donating money.

Now I don’t mind it. Why? Because I have no problem saying no.

Don’t get me wrong; I love donating money to charity. In fact, this year I’m donating tons of money to charity. I donate substantial amounts of money to charity every other year. I donate $0 one year, and then double my donations the next year. This ensures that every other year, I donate enough money to itemize deductions and save money on my taxes. I put my money to good use in the world and save on taxes. Brilliant!

flower in hands

photo credit: flickr.com/hamed

When people ask me if I want to donate to their charity, the answer is pretty much always “no”. If I wanted to donate to that specific charity, I would have already done it. I know which causes I support and which ones I want my donations to go towards, and I make sure they go there. I don’t need a stranger deciding where my charity dollars are going; I can figure that out on my own.

The reason I feel no moral qualms about telling these people “no” is because I know that I’m already donating money to the level that I deem appropriate. I say “No thanks.” out loud, but in my head I’m saying, “No thanks. I’ve already got my charitable contributions covered with charities X, Y, and Z.”

I also think it’s very important to truly understand the organization you are donating money towards. Before I donate to any charity, I check them out on Charity Navigator. I want to make sure an organization is consistent with my beliefs before I give them my money.

It’s a lot easier to say no when you are already comfortable with your current level of giving. Whether you are giving 0% 0r 100% or anywhere in between, as long as you feel you are donating as much as you feel is necessary, this question should never bother you.

I also want to clarify one other thing — I’m not angry at people who ask for donations. In fact, I’m very happy they do what they do. I think there are a lot of people who want to donate money, but don’t actively seek out places to do it. These charitable “sales people” are great for someone who wants and needs a little prodding to donate.

Now that I have that out of my system, guess what I’m doing tomorrow?

I’m Walking to Cure Juvenile Diabetes

Next year will be my fourth year doing the JDRF walk to cure diabetes. My cousin has juvenile diabetes, and it’s really hard on her and her parents. So am I going to ask that super annoying question…

No. I actually can’t morally support this charity. Being pro-life, I don’t agree with their decision to use embryonic stem cells in their research. I don’t believe in destroying human life, even if you are destroying that life to try to find a cure for a disease. This is a good example of why it’s important to do research on a company before you give them your money; you don’t want to be unintentionally funding things you don’t believe in.

So why do I walk if I don’t believe in the charity? To support my cousin of course. She’s a 15 year old girl who has a difficult disease, and I am going to show my support for her. It’s the same concept as supporting the troops but not the war.

Oh, and I get a free t-shirt! That’s probably the main reason I’m walking.

Friday Link

Just one link today, and it goes to Len Penzo. I’m trying to make up for suggesting people vote for Ninja over him in the Plutus Awards. And you guys know I’m a sucker for a good article about Financial Tips for Teens and Twentysomethings. Nice one Len!

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