Saying no to charities

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Does anyone else find it hard and guilt-inducing?
Today, in the post, I received a bag (shopping type but good quality, waterproof, zipped) from a charity with whom I've had no contact before. the idea being that I donate to them for it. I don't particularly want to donate to this charity but that leaves me with the option of keeping the bag and not donating (bad form really, even though I didn't request it) having to pay postage to return it (why should I spend money to return unsolicited goods) or paying up, which will then no doubt encourage them to keep requesting donations in the future. It annoys me no end that charities do this (this is the third time it's happened in the past few months) I know they're struggling as people have generally cut back on donations in recent times, but I think this is just wrong tbh, I feel they're just guilt-tripping people into donating. Even writing this here is making me feel like Scrooge, even though I do donate regularly to certain charities.
Sorry, just felt the need to vent a bit.
3b in South Australia.
i don't reply to, or pay for, unsolicited items from charities.

i give my money to the Canadian Cancer Society only. if anyone else wants to send me gifts, that's their problem.

and i don't feel guilty about it at all.

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If you don't want to keep the bag, you can donate it to a charity shop.

Don't feel guilty, you didn't ask the charity to send you the goods.
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I just had a conversation with my boss about this a couple of days ago. He says if he didn't ask for it, he doesn't pay for it (and he's an ex priest if that carries any weight) LOL

here's my thing - I do donate my time and money to several charities, and I get mad at ones that try to manipulate me. I don't want my money going to an organization that manipulates me, I'd rather give with my heart to things near and dear to me. I work hard for my money and I get to decide where it goes.

wow, I think I sound like a Scrooge now.

you could use the bag... and use it to tell other people about the organization - maybe you will cross paths with someone who is genuinely interested and they'll get a donation that way
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I wouldn't feel a bit guilty. If they are willing to send you an item, and you have had absolutely no contact nor requested it, that's their decision. You really have to be careful what charities you donate to these days. A lot of them keep a good percentage for themselves, then send the rest to the cause. I think it's BS. Always do your research before donating, if you feel so inclined.

Adding onto what PerriP said, it could just be a way to advertise.
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I feel a bit guilty, but I get over it pretty quickly. Like people who ask for donations outside stores and what not. I use to feel weird saying no, but I'm getting use to it. Charity is supposed to feel good. Not like a hustle.
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I think on some level it annoys me that they're using money, maybe from other donations, to try and get more money, rather than using it for it's intended purpose ie helping whoever/whatever the charity's aimed at.
The other two things I received recently were only small things - note-cards and a key-ring, so it didn't seem so bad, I kept them (they had my name on, not like they could use them again if I sent them back anyway). This bag seemed a bit OTT.
And another thing that's irritating me about it is that they've got my details through my giving to the RSPCA which I've done regularly for some years. I think, not entirely sure, that a lot of charities have kind of banded together for fundraising purposes and share peoples details between themselves. I think it's just wrong, just because I choose to donate to the one charity doesn't automatically mean I'm happy to donate to all their 'friends'. Hmmph. Need to let the guilt go.
Thanks for making me feel less Scrooge-like!
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3b in South Australia.
No, I don't feel guilty - I feel annoyed. Recently some young man waylaid me in the street saying "are you a nice person?" He clearly was with some charity and wanted me to donate on the spot. I growled at him "NO! I am NOT nice" and stomped away.

Ridiculous. I am a "soft touch" too soft hearted for my or own good, but I don't like being guilted into things.

Use the bag, give it away, throw it out - whatever. You are hereby given permission to feel no guilt about it whatsoever. Thus speaketh Curlypearl
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I do not like the info sharing either, Starmie. It really is not theirs to share, and people are far to free with others personal information.

I also do not care for tactics like the ones mentioned. I have noticed a huge shift into more manipulative measures. I brought up a phone call I received from a very pushy sales person at a makeup counter who was going to put a $70 bottle of serum on my card because a small % went to Saint Jude's. It is not even something I use, just a serum they gave free samples of a week or two before. I think SJ's is wonderful, but she was pushy and annoying so I declined. I will give to them in my own way. I know donations are down, but that is one was to ensure they remain that way.

To answer your original question, I would probably feel guilty if I kept the bag, but I would absolutely get over it. You have to be so careful with everything you do now. So many scam artists use the same tactics pretending to be charities of several different natures.
Starmie and curlypearl like this.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

OK, I shall just keep it and not feel bad about it. Maybe if enough people do that they'll realise their guilt-tripping tactics aren't working and they'll start going about their business in a better way.
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3b in South Australia.
If I don't ask for it, I don't feel guilty keeping it and not sending them any money. I only contribute to those charities I know are legitimate and that I believe in. But even those, if they send me something unsolicited, I don't feel obligated to send them money at that particular time.

I do have a SIL who sends it all back. I asked her why she felt she had to spend her money on postage for something unsolicited? She said guilt. I'm sorry but if a charity wants to play on my guilt, then they aren't something I want to support.
Starmie and curlypearl like this.
Do NOT feel guilty for keeping the bag and not donating.

Usually up-front premium items are only sent to high $$ donors (and thus, people more likely to donate again) So its their fault for sending these bags out to prospects (ie: non-donors) and if they take a hit financially... well maybe they will be smarter about their direct mail strategies in the future.
Starmie likes this.
My guilt is more about not giving to homeless ppl who are panhandling...not so much to charities.

But the unsolicited tote bag move was way manipulative of No like.
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