Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hand Up or Hand Out? Should Organizations Work for Donations?


Should People Need to Work for their Donations?
Running in and out of Walmart this morning I was almost tackled by players of a little league football team. About a dozen had their little hands gripping their helmets and asking if I wanted to donate to their league. Good thing I've been working out to Shaun T's INSANITY Workout because I used my football feet to run away without dropping a penny.


Yes, call me scrooge because I'm sure others couldn't resist dropping a dollar or ten into their helmets after looking into their big, innocent eyes. These days, it's not just the homeless asking for money, seems as though non-profit organizations are using this tactic for their fundraising efforts, too.

Hand Up or Hand Out?
Whatever happened to the days of selling overpriced popcorn, cheese or candy bars? Back when I was a kid, our fundraising efforts required us to put in a little elbow grease. My field hockey team made and sold apple pies to raise funds for our annual banquet. We took shifts standing outside a grocery store selling them. They weren't very good - we were field hockey players and not home economics experts - but they were something.

Maybe I'm old fashioned (or old!) but I don't get these organizations standing outside stores with hands extended asking for money. I have so many questions:
  • Shouldn't these organizations have a strategy on how to raise funds? 
  • When it comes to youth organizations is this begging teaching kids to be lazy and dependent upon others? 
  • If they need to earn their money, such as by selling something tangible or offering a service such as lawn cutting, weeding the flower bed or walking the neighbor's do, isn't that teaching them life skills such as marketing, money management, being resourceful and interacting with others? 
  • Is it a time deficit issue? 
  • How are they different from someone who's asking for money to eat? 
This all reminds me of The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz. She was tasked at helping women in Africa. Rather than funneling donation money from the U.S. to various organizations she worked with African women to build businesses. She taught them a trade and showed them how to run a business so they could be sustainable. 

It's also like American Deborah Rodriguez who provided opportunity to Afghanistan women at the Kabul Beauty School. She taught women a trade so they didn't need to depend on men which also improved their quality of life. 

Maybe I should just take the easy way out and stand outside a store on a Saturday morning asking for donations for my travel blog. I'm guessing I'll collect more than the two cents I currently earn.

Chime In
What are your thoughts on handing money over to organizations begging for them? Should they offer something in exchange other than a smile?

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