It's true. I have trouble turning anyone down. (Dave says he's the only one I can say no to.)
If you knock on my door to sell me a $100 bottle of all-purpose cleaner... well, then, you came to the right place!!
And without caller I.D. I probably would have bought at least 6 timeshares by now.
So you can imagine how hard it would be for me to turn down a telemarketer's request to send money to a cancer charity, right before Christmas. I usually don't answer the phone if it's obviously someone I don't know. But this number called and called and called. When I did finally answer they would ask for Dave, and when I told them he wasn't home, they would say "Just tell him ____ called, and I'll call back." Mmmmmkay. Finally I just wanted them off my back and I told them that this was his wife and asked if I could handle whatever they were calling about (I'm a genius for finally asking that after only a million phone calls!).
Turns out, the caller was trying to raise money for a children's cancer fund, that we have actually donated to in the past. Of course, my attitude softened at that, and even though I was SO frustrated with their tactics, I still agreed to send money. And when I told Dave about that, his head almost exploded. (He is very charitable, but he was equally as frustrated with the never-ending mystery phone calls, and would have preferred to give in another way.)
They wanted me to pay them right over the phone with a credit card. I told them I was not comfortable with that, and that I would send a check. So she stressed at least twice that I needed to send the payment as soon as I got the pledge envelope and asked me if I was really committing to it. I didn't like the high pressure, but I agreed.
Anyway, I did a little research on this fundraiser, and found reports stating that less than 1% of donations to this group actually go to cancer patients. Another article said 17%, which is better, but still not impressive.
So my point in writing this is simply to suggest that everyone look into the "charities" they are approached by before sending money. I am all for sharing with organizations that are honest and where the higher-ups have their hearts in the right place. But when so much of what you give goes to administrative costs and founders' salaries, it seems to me like they are making a business and a profit out of others' suffering, and playing on the givers' emotions and desires to really help. There are lots of organizations out there that are really doing good, so just be choosy! I know I will from now on!
If you know of any worthy charities, let me (us... anyone reading this) know in the comments.