Shut up and put up

We see the commercials, advertisements and websites all the time. For ever dollar you donate, we (insert company name here) will match up to a certain amount. If we get 100,000 likes on Facebook, we’ll donate X dollars to charity. If you enter codes, found on the inside of our packaging, on our website, we’ll save a panda (or other random animal). The essence of each is the same, buy our products, subscribe to us on Facebook. It isn’t about the good that is being done, the charity that is being helped or how many people are helped. It is about putting a company in a good light instead but also getting you to view their website or buy their project.

Isn’t it about time that these companies discover a different way to be seen in a positive light? How about not requiring anyone to watch a three minute intro on a website simply to enter an eight digit code, only to have to try again and again because the code is difficult to read? How about not cluttering up your facebook threads by inane posts from a company asking which of their products you prefer to use?

How about simply donating the money? Don’t make a big fuss about doing it. Don’t hold a press conference, don’t make an commercial boasting about how wonderful your company is. Just donate the money. Let your employees know what you are doing though. They will feel better about the company and hopefully feel as if they are contributing as well. No money spent on advertising, no time wasted in meetings to decide which font to use, less money spent planning, more money donated.

The whole idea about charity is to help others less fortunate than ourselves, not to use it as an opportunity to make us look good. To be fair there are companies, some very large ones, who do follow the quietly donate and don’t make a fuss route. If you look on their websites you can usually find information on what they do but it isn’t shouted from the rooftops. It doesn’t make these companies superior or better. It just means they have their priorities in the right order.

Have you ever changed brands or picked a certain product because of their donations to charity? Avoiding a company because they don’t announce that they give millions to people in need?

There are so many ways that the man on the street can help charities quietly. Donating clothes to Inn out of the Cold, or in the summer the Diabetes organization. Donate money through legitamate websites. There is always something suspicious about people canvasing door to door for charity so when in doubt, the website is the better way to do it.

Ask yourself a simple question. Would it be better to be known as the person who donates money and/or clothes to charity, or just an average person who feels good inside?

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3 comments

  1. As someone who works in fundraising for non-profit, I can tell you that your comments are not well founded. Charities not only need money, they also need profile. So when someone comes along and says I will give you a million dollars and I am going to tell the world about it, we support that every time because we also benefit from the marketing and buzz created. It will bring our cause to thousands of potential new donors. So, if you want to quietly donate, that is great, but don’t suggest that any corporation doing so for their own benefit is wrong because we all win.

    If you want to focus your attention on a problem with corporations giving donations, do it on the ones that make a big voting contest out of it…force little groups who are in desperate situations do a ton of work and dance like circus monkeys for their entertainment…now this is wrong.

  2. Hi Brian,

    thank you for the feedback. I agree that it is important to have a high profile, but McHappy Day is one day of the year, so are we supposed to keep the Ronald McDonald charity in mind all year round because of one day?

    I keep Inn out of the Cold in mind because they make regular posts on Facebook, because it is local and because it is one of the charities that take contributions that aren’t financial.

    I agree that contests are very wrong, if workers are the charity are volunteers, it isn’t fair to ask more from them!

    Brian, you mention you work in fundraising. Please feel free to let us know of any and all events you are involved with. We can make a post and a calendar event, and share it with our Facebook group.

    Also if yourself or someone else involved with a charity wanted to write an article on how and what the charity does, we would be more than happy to post that as well. It would both raise awareness and also explain why the charity should be supported.