Guilt campaigns

Caitlin - posted on 11/24/2010 ( 40 moms have responded )

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Do they work for you?

Today I got an envelope from Unicef that says on the front.. "A nickel can save a childs life" and they send me a nickel.. and "enclosed, your free mailing labels" So they pay postage to send me a nickel and free adress labels and all i'm thinking is:

1. Why send me the damn nickel if it can save a child
2. Why bother printing out labels to send to me for free when there are starving children
3 Do people actually send back money feeling bad? Don't they just use that money to print out more labels and send out more nickels?

Do these types of guilt campaigns work on you?

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Sharon - posted on 11/24/2010

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Not really. I feel bad but not enough to break out my debit card.

I do plenty around here. I use my managerial discretion to give the wrestling coach a discount on jump ropes for his team if he promises to share with the volleyball team.

Every Christmas our family buys pet toys & pet beds for the animal shelter. I wish they had a "sponser a pet" so we could donate money to keeping one alive versus being put to sleep because of a lack of space.

There are plenty of needy kids here in the USA. I make sure every child I know gets the back pack they want for the start of school. I buy extra crayons, colored pencils & markers - CRAYOLA for anyone who doesn't have them.

We donate food, we do the "pull a star" thing from local businesses. They have christmas trees with a hand made star ornament (paper) with a childs name and their christmas wish. Then we buy it.

I feel badly for children in other countries but to many of those charities are self serving rather than serving the needy.

Isobel - posted on 11/25/2010

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If you can collect $50 000 for starving children, should you just give the money straight to buying their food? or invest some of it so that next time you will raise $100 000? That is the question.

Social marketing works...and it's worthwhile. That is all.

Caitlin - posted on 11/24/2010

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I don't want to come off as sounding harsh.. I've bought 60$ worth of craft kits to drop off at the childrens hospital for kids that in long term stays and need something to occupy their time.. I too like to see where my money goes, and because i'm donating the craft sets themselves to the annual gift drive, I know exactly what will be helping brighten up a few kids days on christmas this year.

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Tah - posted on 11/27/2010

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i wish i could get one of those so i can throw the nickel in my change jar. They don't work. I help in ways i see want to..i do angel tree, clothes to the good will, red cross, food drives and i do them because i want to, not because someone is sending me a picture of a naked starving baby next to a xmas tree on fire...

Chrystal - posted on 11/27/2010

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No they do not work on me. I got one of those in the mail recently actually. I got one that was a dime instead of a nickel. I think it's crap and I don't fall for it.

[deleted account]

I used to do more but those envelopes I get in the mail I don't donate anything to ever. There are too many scams out there. My kids each pick a name off a gift tree and help me find the perfect gift knowing it means they will get one less gift. I don't do yard sales, I give what I can't use away to someone who needs it. I try to help in any way I can but it's mostly local.

Amanda - posted on 11/27/2010

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I don't feel guilty. I mean maybe I should but I really don't. Now when it comes to the animals being abused, oh that breaks my heart! But if a company is going to spend money on things to make people feel bad maybe they should spend the money of these poor children! Our family donates clothes yearly, and we always support the food drives, and bell ringers around Christmas time. I have to agree that I like to know exactly where our money is going, and that it better go to what it's needed for. You can never be too sure anymore, and we are a family of 6 and have a hard enough time getting through the month with our incomes so I don't really feel like sending money to someone else when we could really use it!

[deleted account]

They don't work on me. I always feel bad, but I can't give to every worthy charity in the world - and there are lots of good ones. I have my chosen 2 charities, to which I donate, when I can, and do stuff like write letters for Amnesty International and buy cards from local charity organisations.

[deleted account]

They're just annoying to me. I've never gotten one with any money in it (I'm not that lucky) but I think I might send a rather nasty retort if they did so asking for more money...

[deleted account]

I think its a little bit guilting and a little bit awareness.

But no, it doesn't work on me. Coming to the door does though hence why I now regularly donate to Save the Children. We also regularly donate to Women's refuge and the SPCA. We must have been put on a 'will donate to charity' list because every 2nd phone call we used to receive was a charity asking for money. We now no longer have a landline.

Cat - posted on 11/26/2010

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I have sent money back in the past, but since the recession I'm more like Joy, keep the nickel, toss the pamphlets and sometimes keep the stamps that come on the return envelope. I feel guilty sometimes but then I think that I have to fend for my family first before other people's kids. When we're in good shape financially then I willingly donate money as well as volunteer my time.

Charlie - posted on 11/25/2010

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I don't see it as guilting , I see it as raising awarness , I for one am thankful people take their time out to help our fellow human beings and animals , I do support oxfam and Amnesty international I think the work they do is tremendous , I do more than just donate money I write letters to various governments campaigning against child soldiers and most recently to release the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi , I believe the mass appeal to the public is what gave this woman her freedom .

It doesnt always have to be about money there are many ways to help and I for one am passionate about helping those who need it .

Without those Advertising campaigns many would be unaware of the attrocities and disasters both political and environmental going on , feel free to ignore it if you wish but the aim isn't to guilt people into donating afterall there isn't anything WE should feel guilty about but there is plenty we could feel compassionate about , these people have plenty of top financial people working on maximising those donated dollars to help people in need AND raise awareness after all without raising awareness there will be no charity to give .

Jodi - posted on 11/25/2010

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I donate a LOT, not loads of money, I don't have that. I donate a lot of my time and items. My current favorite charity (every couple of years I seem to find a new charity that really strikes a chord with me) is Bridge to Hope, it's a shelter for abused and battered women and shelter than helps them get back on their feet without the abusive partner. I never...and I mean NEVER give money through the mail, in looking into the charities, I have found that the most reliable, reputable and honest charities advertise more locally than the ones who send out to mass mailing addresses, that's just my own generalization though. And I certainly don't feel guilty about it, I can't give to EVERY charity knocking on my door, flooding my mail box or calling my house, perhaps I just prefer the less invasive tactics of other charities!

Caitlin - posted on 11/25/2010

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Laura - that's why I prefer local charities, there is much less overhead and it's easier to see where that money is going, like my favorite charities in the area are the childrens hospital and dans la rue (an organisation that helps homeless youth - started by one person many years ago who drove around a trailer hadning out hot dogs - it's come incredibly far.

[deleted account]

I agree Laura. That makes perfect sense. But SOME charities use TOO much money to line their own pockets. Not all by far. That's why it's important to do your own research, and part of the reason we only give to a select few charities that we trust.

[deleted account]

After reading through all the posts thoroughly...

Joy, thanks for agreeing to help in such a major way during Katrina (and anyone else who helped). I hate that you were never able to take in a family, the need was there. We (the state in general) were in such a state of chaos for so long, I'm not sure we were ever organized enough to take people up on such offers.

And that leads me to explain one of the things we like to do with our money. During disasters (Haiti comes to mind) we like to help pay for a relief worker to travel. Relief workers from all over the USA and the world were such angels in the aftermath of Katrina! Helping pay airfare for a nurse or doctor, bearing medications for those in the disaster, seems like a safer way to spend our money than a TV campaign.

[deleted account]

We have a select few charities that we give to, because we know where our money is going. We don't blindly give to everyone who asks. I'd rather send more money to one or two charities that I KNOW are doing the right thing, instead of spreading my money thin around to everyone who asks.

[deleted account]

I forgot this in my original post...



I don't feel guilty about the mailers and not donating to those charities. Like others have said, you're never sure how much of your money actually goes to the charity (this is why we do UMCOR - we send them $100 ever September, October and February - for each of our kids' birthdays). We also regualry donate to Goodwill and the Teen Challenge (a thrift store specifically for teenagers with children - it has everything from professional clothes to kids stuff and they're a great charity). I go through the kids' closets twice a year (spring and fall) and box up all the clothes that are too small. I also box up any toys that haven't been played with at least since the last time I went through them all (I think the toys are breeding - there's always more even though I don't buy any more! Eek!!!). Then I split the piles in half and they go to the two places.



Another thing my family does is that my grandma has a Christmas party every year at her local Boys and Girls club. We box about 4-5 presents in a box box and wrap it up, then we label it (boy, ages 5-7 for example) and it goes in one of the HUGE piles with other toys for that gender and age range. Then, at the party my grandma gets cakes and ice cream donated by local businesses (tow companies mostly since that's the kind of business my grandma owns) and each kid gets to sit on Santa's lap. They each get a few minutes with Santa and they each get a big box. For many of these kids, these are the only CHristmas presents they get and it's always wonderful to see the happiness in the kids' eyes when they get presented with a big box all for them. Last year we gave out 256 presents to needy kids. :)



So, because we donate all through the year, I NEVER feel guilty about throwing away the mailers. I feel that my family does our part and I am proud of what we do. :)

[deleted account]

I will also say that we as a whole (general we, speaking of the people I know) are pretty big on helping each other out. Most of the clothes my kids have are hand-me-downs from various people. When my kids outgrow them (if they haven't thrashed them first) they go to another kid. Things like that. :)

[deleted account]

I don't think I've ever received anything like what you are talking about. It wouldn't work on me though. I did receive a call a few weeks ago wanting me to donate to a local special olympics type thingy. I told the lady... I a single mom of 3 on welfare... I can barely do for my own kids... there is no way I can donate to them. She still tried to get me to donate SOMETHING. I felt a twinge bad, but sorry... no can do.

I do have a Compassion kid though. Our church is really big w/ the Compassion group.

Stifler's - posted on 11/24/2010

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I take all my stuff to Lifeline if I don't want it. That's helping charity... right?

Bonnie - posted on 11/24/2010

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Nope they don't work on me. I might feel bad at first, but than I think of the other things I do. We donate clothes and household items to organizations like Federation for Cerbal Palsy, Diabetes association, and a couple of others.

Serena - posted on 11/24/2010

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I am that type of person that these campaigns work on. I was giving to every charity that sent to me, not much just what I could afford. But my husband has put me on restriction so now I just give to the ones that I feel very strongly about.
So the others get left on the counter for my husband to keep the nickel and throw away the labels.
What happened to the days of dimes?

Jodi - posted on 11/24/2010

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I also refuse to donate to door knockers or phone cavassers. I just can't know that they are REALLY the charity. I know the door knockers have ID, but it is pretty easy to fake ID. I have heard of a lot of scammers doing this in recent years. So if I decide to give to a charity, I do it directly, not because they initiated the phone call or the door knocking. Mail is different, because you can check easily if that is legitimate.

But honestly. I contribute hundreds of $$$ to charities in one way or another over the course of a year. It may be in the form of donating vouchers from our go-kart track to Make a Wish Foundation, my time at the school organising fundraising events, our donations to the Special Children's Christmas Party, and more. I NEVER feel guilty. I always believe we all have an obligation, however, to give back to the community when we are capable of doing so.

Sal - posted on 11/24/2010

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if they want a 1 off donation they might get me out of guilt but if they want a regular donation they are out of luck as we have committed all we can afford to the charities we have already decided on, The guide dogs usually get me to buy some cute little thing....if i am approached in a shopping centre i don't do it, i just politly tell them i have chosen charities and can not commit to anymore (and i'm not lying on either count), i also don't buy tickets unless it is a child sports team (not adult teams) and i try and go local with things like bushfire brigades and medi vac helicopters. I do like the kids to buy a gift for the giving tree at christmas as it teaches them how to be kind and generous, and i do support the big kids hospital, after having a child there i think what the charity money provides is so important to the spirit of the place

[deleted account]

I admit that they do work on me. I can't live with the guilt of keeping the nickel in my home after reading the letters so I at least send them back even if I can't afford to give anything more.



I also admit that this type of campaign is wrong because the charites spend large amounts of money on campaigns like this that could have simply been used to do good. I struggle with the concept of donating when I suspect that my donation has either been used in this way or it's being used to line the pockets of directors who get large salaries from these charities.



I wish charity would go back to basics and simply ask for donations to do good and employ staff who have a passion for their cause rather than spending mega bucks employing business experts that dream up these marketing schemes.



I wish I could afford to give to everyone that asks and it worries me that they are loosing money by mailing so many people.

Nikki - posted on 11/24/2010

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I am with Jodi here, how much do they really receive with the heavy advertising campaigns they put on. I always give my spare change to the heart foundation and the red cross etc when they knock on my door but I don't sign up for anything and I don't give out my bank details. I also put a couple of toys under the kmart christmas toy appeal. I don't feel guilty because I do contribute to other charities and after all you can't give to everyone, we have a family to look after too, and that is my number one priority. I actually had a guy at my door yesterday for some heart thing I had never heard of, I went to get him some change and he said "oh no I don't need your money now, just fill out this form with your credit card details and we will direct debit" bugger off, I have never heard of this before, couldn't believe it, who would do that?

Nikkole - posted on 11/24/2010

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I donate to local places around me i donate clothes,toys, and sometimes money!! I see all these charities for other countries i feel sorry for those kids and if i could afford to take in everyone i would but we have soooo many kids here in th US that need help too! And yea i wouldnt donate to animals sorry

Jodi - posted on 11/24/2010

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I'm careful about which charities I donate to. I look at how much per $1 ACTUALLY gets to the recipient. Unfortunately a lot of charities have really high admin costs, so very little of the money genuinely gets used as it is intended. I never feel guilty about the ones I don't give to, because I do my bit, whether it be money, gifts or time.

Stifler's - posted on 11/24/2010

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If someone asked me for money to donate to their dog I'd laugh in their face. I have kids man.

[deleted account]

No. Never. I keep the nickle and toss the pamphlets. I avoid looking at them, almost as much as I avoid looking directly into the eyes of a girlscout selling cookies outside the local grocery store.



Edited to add: Damn that sounded harsh. It's true though. I find other ways to give back like donating regularly (money and unused items like clothing). I do feel bad for kids or any human being in any type of horrible situation. When Katrina hit, my name was on a long list of people who volunteered shelter to families displaced by the storm. They never called us but I would have happily helped any one of those people out. I like to see where my money and efforts are going, rather than just randomly mailing money to an organization who has employees to pay, not to mention paying for all that glossy paperwork they mail me.....

Meghan - posted on 11/24/2010

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Cathy that reminds me, I just had some teenage kid walk to my door last week and tell me this big long story about his dog having cancer and him needing 500.00 to save him (they needed it by 4 that nite...) and times are tough and the holidays blah blah blah...well if I had a twoonie on me I prob would have given it to him just so he would leave, but I had nothing- he ACTUALLY asked me to go to the bank and pull out money for him...*blinks*

Meghan - posted on 11/24/2010

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It doesn't "work per say. I always feel really bad (esp at this time of the year) for those who are less fortunate. We are having a rough go but I tell my son almost ever day that we need to be thankful for everything we DO have- everything could be gone in a flash. It pulls on the heartstrings but I guess I am too pessimistic and I don't actually believe those kids will see that money. I would much rather go through J's toys and clothes and donate them to a woman's shelter (which I will be doing with in the next week).

Stifler's - posted on 11/24/2010

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No. The Surf Live Savers, Rural Fire Brigade, PCYC and others ring me to try and get donations. I'm just like... look mate... I don't even have my own income. I used to donate when I had my own income. You can't donate to everything. We used to donate to Doctors without borders and got over the direct debits.

[deleted account]

We donate to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). They are through the Methodist chucrch (my dad's a Methodist pastor... see the correlation? lol) and I've been donating to them since I was 16 and had my first job. What I like about them is that ALL donation money (100%) goes to relief. ALL administrative costs come out of the Methodist conference, which is funded by apportionments from the churches.

[deleted account]

I usually send money back. Not to all of them, but the ones from organizations I know and trust. I do not do it b/c I feel "guilty" I'm not sure why I should feel guilty.

The way I see it, they have to get the word out in some way and mailings are still by far the cheapest and most effective way. That mailing, including postage, still probably cost less than $1. So if I send back $40 (my standard, I'm not rich), that pays for 2 more mailings, which would garner one more donation assuming that 50% of recipients give back, some admin costs, and still leave at least $30 for the actual cause, which isn't much, but according to some of these things, it can do a lot.



I do volunteer locally, but I, like most people at this time, am not in a position to give large donations, so given the opportunity to give a little here and a little there, is a good way for me to give back at a level that I can afford and still be enough to make a difference.

Becky - posted on 11/24/2010

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Well, I've lived in some of those countries, so yes, those campaigns do pull at my heart, because I've seen it firsthand. But, there's only so much you can do. I don't give to every charity that comes to my door or in my mailbox. I just can't! We wouldn't be able to feed and clothe our own children! So, I pick a few that I know are trustworthy and that really get to me. I have a couple of children through World Vision (although I'm starting to question their use of funds, after seeing that they sponsered a Nascar car!), give to our church's compassion and missions funds, and do Christmas hampers and donate to toy drives at Christmas. I volunteer too, and am hoping to invite one of the families I volunteer with for Christmas.
I think those of us who have enough have a responsibility to take care of those who don't, but there is only so much a person can do, so you have to pick what's most important to you.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 11/24/2010

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Not enough to actually send anything back, but my heart does go out to the children that are in the situation. Do I feel guilty…the mother in me does…a little.

It makes me very humbled and thankful that my boys have what they do…it keeps it in perspective for me.

But I would rather go down to my local missionary and help the kids that are there, because I like to see here my money and time are going, and not necessarily trust it in the hands of who knows…

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