Monday, November 19, 2007

Never a donor nor contributor be

Giving away money is not easy, perhaps because the amounts that I have to give away are so small.

As most of you know, I taught for many years. When you teach, your employer is your principal charity -- there are always fund drives going on plus incessant student bake sales and other annoying ways to pick your pocket.

A few years ago, it was discovered that the BIG CHARITY is St. Louis was spending 90 cents of each dollar it collected on overhead. Since the BIG CHARITY does not itself engage in any charitable activities that mean that only 10 cents of every dollar was being given to an actual charity. Since some of those charities, in turn, spend up to 50% of income on overhead, for your buck you got something between a nickel and a dime of actual good. (After the publicity, the BIG CHARITY changed it ways.)

More recently, one of the St. Louis TV stations reported that one of the Catholic Charities in St. Louis had raised $100 K on a trivia night. Very impressive -- until it was revealed that the head of the charity was paid $115 K per year. They were still down $15 K before they even covered his salary.

A few years ago I started to send small, very small, contributions to rural churches that I would see when driving around. Usually $50, and never more than $100. I stopped doing that when I finally realized that not one of the churches had acknowledged my gift or send a thank-you note.

So recently, all my giving has been going to various groups that support either active duty troops or disabled veterans. There are a lot of these so I have been giving a little to as many as I could (in effect, spreading the risk or increasing the chances that my few dollars would be used for some good purpose).

One such group offered a free t-shirt with each $30 contribution. I sent them $50. The receipt of the $50 was acknowledged through PayPal but the t-shirt never arrived. It has been about a month since they got my cash, so I sent an inquiry last night. Today I received an email that said "Clearly its got lost on the way." This, I assume, is the charitable equivalent of "My dog ate my homework!"
The Phoenix said...

You should still get your t-shirt, though.

Foen -- what would I do with it, not exactly a charity that I would want to promote. The quote in the post was a copy and paste, odd grammar and all. The guy also wanted me to resend my address -- which suggests that they are not even keeping records of what money comes in!

1 comment:

The Phoenix said...

You should still get your t-shirt, though.