Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
What do all these things have in common?
- Buy (Red): 10 to 50% of the proceeds of which go to eliminating AIDS in Africa.
- Book Sale: 20% proceeds go to your child’s school!
- Would you like to buy some wrapping paper to support our band trip?
- How about a beautiful $200 beaded bracelets that supports JDRF? An undisclosed portion of the proceeds are donated to the organization.
- Rubber bracelets for sale for every cause possible. Typically $1 each.
Obviously, these are all ways of coaxing a donation out of you; that is, providing a rationalization for a purchase that you might not have otherwise made. A blunter way of saying it: These sales feed on people’s desires to get something back for their donation or circumvent our reluctance to make a donation in the first place.
The book sale example is from my own life just last month. My daughters’ school sponsored a book sale at a local book store, and 20% of the proceeds went back to the school. As you probably know, I rarely buy books and certainly not new books. But there I was, shelling out $65 for four children’s books. (Yikes! Thus reinforcing why I prefer the library.) The return on my investment to the school? $13.00. They would have been way better off if I’d just handed them $65. But, quite honestly, I wouldn’t have, because my husband and I just made a large donation to the school for our annual fund drive. The book fair was really fun – there were special readings and meet the author events, the honors orchestra (including my eldest) played, and it was a great opportunity to socialize. Also, a lot of the parents at our school do buy books and lots of them. I was surprised my friend G could even carry her basket of books it was so loaded up! Nonetheless, for me, it was really a moment of buying something I did not particularly want or need in order to make a donation to the school.
One of the things I like about our school fundraising gala, which happens in the spring, is the “fund-a-need” auction. The Head of School selects something that the school needs (last year, a bus), and at the gala, you can bid in any amount toward the purchase of the need, but you get nothing in return except knowing that you contributed to the school.
Dan and I tithe bi-weekly to our church. The bottom of the form that we receive tallying our donations says something like “No goods or services were exchanged for these donations except spiritual ones.” I like that.
So next time you’re confronted with the opportunity or desire to buy something to support a charity ask yourself
- Do I really want and need this item?
- What portion of my sale is really going to the organization?
- Wouldn’t this charity be better off if I just handed them the amount of money I intended on spending anyway?
Today’s Declutter Item
During my recent reshuffle of the garage due to space opening up on my shelving units I decided that this bin is really not needed. We don’t generate enough trash in the garage to warrant keeping it especially since the outside bin is so close by. That’s one more large item that isn’t taking up space.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
My parents made it home safe and sound after their visit. It was a trying trip for them as my mum was really not well, but they are home now and can recuperate in the comfort of their own abode.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast