Thursday, December 01, 2011
Of course you would. You’re a good person. But wait a little minute before handing over your money.
Next time a cashier asks whether you’d like to donate a couple of bucks to X or Y charity or noble cause, think about where it’s going and why they’re collecting it.
The first place it’s going is into a bundle of dough handed over by kind-hearted souls like you. And the supermarket (or Post Office or other fill-in-the-blanks corporation) is holding onto it, counting it, and getting ready for the day THEY get to donate it to charity. Such presentations are often accompanied by plenty of frou-frah – frequently, even a photo op for the local paper.
They’re using YOUR money, then getting the credit. And that credit is not only of the feel-good variety, but also the tax credit for making a charitable donation.
If this practice annoys you, don’t take it out on the cashier. That person has been directed to ask – in fact, MUST ask every single customer, and can be reprimanded for not doing so.
These days when I’m asked, I say: I’m sorry you have to ask me to make a donation. I prefer choosing my own charity and then making a direct donation – that way I not only know where it’s going, I’m the one getting the tax credit, not your employer.
And where it’s just turned December, this is a good time to think about who you’d like to share with, where you’d like your charity dollars to go. Without the coercion of yet another corporate ploy.