Almost every day, I get one. Since I’ve become a gainfully employed adult with a reasonably decent paycheck, the emails have been coming. The ones that read a little something like this…
Dear Friends and Family,
As you know, I’ve been involved in _______ for quite some time. Over the last few weeks, my fellow volunteers and I have been fundraising in an effort to _______. We are nearing our goal of _________, but I need YOUR help!
I realize that you receive tons of donation requests and it would be impossible for you to give to everyone, but I hope this issue touches your heart in the same way it has touched mine, and you may be able to help me reach our goal.
Every donation helps, so whatever amount you are able to contribute will be greatly appreciated. To learn more about , please visit their website at www.pleasedonate.com.
I’m not an uncaring asshole, I swear. I honestly think it’s great that my friends and family chose to participate in fundraising efforts that benefit truly worthy causes. In fact, I do the exact same thing once a year during a fundraiser for a local hospital that treats children with cancer. I do the whole bit – set up the online fundraising page, put the link in my email signature, ask my mom for a donation over a dinner out that she’s likely paying for. All of us – well, those of us with a heart anyway – have a cause that we care about and with that usually comes fundraising to support it. I’m 100% cool with that.
So I don’t hate the well-meaning people trying to raise money for a good cause, or even asking me to kick in some cash during our next run-in or phone chat. What I do resent, however, are these emails – those damn generic, send-to-everyone-in-your-address-book emails. The ones that aren’t even personally addressed to me, but yet somehow make me feel like an actual asshole if I don’t pony up $20.00 to help my cousin Jimmy who I haven’t spoken to in six years achieve his fundraising goal to help blind monkeys with learning disabilities or whatever his cause is this week.
I wonder how we got to this point, the one where we’ve gotten so casual about asking people for money that we think that it’s totally appropriate to BCC everyone we’ve ever met on a generic email asking for cash. And before you say that it’s ok because it’s for charity, let me call bullshit on that. Because we’ve all been hit up by at least one blast-from-the-past friend asking to make a donation (yet, one that you can’t write off on your taxes) to his Kickstarter for his product/movie/idea/thought that came to him in a dream; the one that will be the “next big thing.” The word “donation” is one that we’ve started to play fast and loose with, and we’ve become even looser about who and how we will ask for them. So what’s the next thing? Am I going to start getting emails like the one above, but instead of the worthy cause, my cousin’s husband’s sister is going to be asking me to donate to her vacation to Bermuda? WHERE DOES THE MADNESS STOP?!
Well, my friends, for me, it stops here, right now. How about this? If you want my money, have the balls to ask me for it in person or at least on the phone. Lord knows the credit card people aren’t shy about calling me and asking for cash if I’m 30 seconds late with a payment. But if you can’t do that because you’re chickenshit and/or “lost” my number – fine, here’s an electronic alternative: take it to Facebook. Post a general update about whatever the hell you are trying to raise money for and, for the love of God, don’t tag me in it. If I read it and it “touches my heart,” I’ll throw you whatever spare change I have after paying my student loans this month. If it doesn’t… well, honestly, I’m probably going to unfriend you faster than I would if you start posting Trump memes. But whatever you do, let’s keep my email out of it, okay? .
Image via Shutterstock