Do you give money to charity? What’s that? You don’t? No that’s fine. I mean, some people might call your stingy and skinflint and Scrooge and so on, but I wouldn’t do a thing like that. I’m sure you’ve got some really sensible, well thought out reasons for not contributing to a non-profit of your choice.
Y’know, unless it’s any of these reasons, in which case you’re basically talking rubbish.
Dumb Reason #1: It’ll Only Get Spend On Administrative Costs
You don’t want to give money to pay for “administration”! If you pay money to a charity, you want to see that money handed over to a third world school in a brown envelope, directly!
Only the thing is, you’ve got to post that money. And if you’ve got lots of people donating, that’s a lot of postage. Envelopes need to be stuffed, stamps affixed. Then people have to decide which of those third world schools are going to get the money, because there’s a limited supply. To do this takes time, a lot of time, and while a lot of that can be done by volunteers, often you will need to have someone on the job who isn’t also worrying about paying bills at the same time.
I suspect you’re also one of those people who thinks the NHS should only pay for doctors and nurses, not realising that all those secretaries are needed to type out letters, take phone calls, and generally make sure that the whole place actually runs.
So yes, many big charities do actually need to ensure their admin costs are met.
Dumb Reason #2: It’ll Only Get Spent On Marketing Costs
According to some guy on the Internet the American Cancer Society will spend 21.8 cents of every dollar it receives on marketing. So only 70 cents goes towards fighting cancer! Aside from the fact that Internet guy has clearly missed a big step out of his maths (it’s closer to 80 cents unless he’s also discounting some “admin” money) that’s still the majority of his cash going directly to fighting cancer.
And why would Internet guy give that money in the first place? Where did he hear about this charity? What provoked him to give in the first place?
The fact is, without spending that 21.8 cents on marketing, less people would give to the American Cancer Society, so there would be less money to spend on fighting cancer.
Dumb Reason #3: The Government Should Be Doing More
Okay, yes, I totally agree. This is especially true in Britain where the idea of the “Big Society” basically boiled down to “If the government stops doing all the things a government is supposed to do, people will just volunteer to help out in order to fill the gap”.
By giving money to charity you’re basically saying to the government “It’s working”. That’s fine, I get that.
So what are you doing instead exactly? Are you writing to your MP on a regular basis? Are you involved in political activism? Or are you just sitting on your bum making glib comments because you don’t want to shell out a few quid?
Dumb Reason #4 Something Something Something The Economy
This is another one from our dumb guy on the Internet.
If you have a pound you have a choice. You can spend that money or give it to charity. If it goes to a major charity, they’re not obliged to spend more than a small amount a year on actual charitable activity, instead keeping it to generate interest, which is what they normally spend off of.
On the other hand, if I buy myself a sandwich that money goes into the economy where it will help jobs, economic growth etc.
So I’m actually being a better person by buying myself lots of stuff then you are by giving your money to a charitable cause.
To which the correct response is: Shut up you massive idiot! You are so, so stupid! Really! Go sit in the corner! What in the name of all loving Christ makes you think buying a new hat is going to help anyone, ever?
Go give all your money to charity right now, then punch yourself in the mouth.
About the Author: Samantha Goodall writes about not for profit jobs. She thinks you really ought to give more to charity.