Friday, June 02, 2006

Money money money....

Now that I'm working from home, I am even more horrified by the number of charities and political calls that we receive than I was before. We are on the "Do Not Call" registry, so we don't get the sales calls, but charities and politicians are exempt from the rules, there.

Part of me would LOVE to give them all some money. They are all worthwhile organizations, out there doing good work. But I have a couple of issues.

What percentage of the money I donate goes to the telemarketer? I have read that for some of these charities, 75%-80% of the money goes to the expense of raising the money. Sorry, I'm not interested in funding that job. Not that I want those folks to be unemployed, mind you, everyone needs a job. But come on.

I fear that once I give someone money, not only will they beg from me more aggressivly, they will also sell my name south, and I'll get MORE phone calls in the future, from other well meaning organizations. It's like exponential algebra or whatever. It only gets worse.

Actually, I have this fear about the organizations to whom I regularly donate as well, through the mail or whatever...if I can only afford to give Planned Parenthood $15, and they call me and harass me for more money every other damned week, is that what my $15 went for? Because once again, I want to fund the actual work that they do. I want MY money to go toward health and reproductive care for women who couldn't otherwise afford it. Is that asking too much? Is that like pretending to myself that MY tax money only goes to schools, my Grandmas' (that's not a typo, I have two) Social Security payments, roads, and things like that? None of MY tax money goes to corporate welfare or funding wars that I don't buy into? Is that unreasonable of me?

So this is how I deal with them. If when I answer, their computer hasn't kicked it over to a real person yet, I just hang up. No harm done. If they actually get me on the phone and give me their schpeal, I either tell them point blank, "I don't have any money", or "I have a budget that I adhere to, and the amount that I give to worthy organizations is already spent". That feels better to me than "I'm not interested" or "I don't have any money", but it sometimes elicits a response of asking me for a smaller sum, when my goal is really to make them GO AWAY. I could do what Ted does, which is to just hang up on them. Except recently, he got a call from the Democrats, wanting his money, and he told the guy that not only was he NOT giving them any money, he's so disgusted with the lack of spine in the Democratic party, he's thinking of registering as an Independent (not the party, but basically, no affiliation). Go, Ted, GO!

By the way, the charities that I mentioned above are all worthy and wonderful. Maya has 'giving money' as part of her allowance, which usually goes to the World Wildlife Fund, so that's why I put them in there. :) Gotta plug for the Panda!

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