Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Refreshing Fundraising

I got an e-mail from Misha Collins today.

Now, Misha is the kind of guy who connects with people (I've met him a couple of times), and who really believes in his cause, so it's possible he actually wrote the e-mail himself. It's enough that I can tell myself he did, anyway, and that makes me smile.

But that's not why the e-mail made me happy.

A while ago, I donated to Random Acts, his charitable organization. Way back last fall, actually, when he ran something like 80 miles nonstop. I got my confirmation and thank you for my donation.

And that was it.

In December, I got a gift for someone, a donation in their name through another organization. Within a day, I had another solicitation from them. Since then, I've gotten mailings every couple of weeks, as well as e-mails (until I unsubscribed). This is what usually happens when you give money somewhere, no matter how legitimate and worthy the organization. They incessantly beg you for more money, in logical and emotional language designed to make you feel guilty. And it drives. me. insane. It makes me want to never give money through them again.

In contrast, you know what Misha's letter said? Thank you. It described the organization's efforts in Haiti and Japan, and their plans for a trip down to physically get involved, and hopes for future endeavors.

And that's it. It's so refreshing, it makes me want to immediately give more money. It makes me want to boost Jason Manns' Crowdrise account and for a few brief moments I think, "Hey, I could join them on the trip!" And then I come to my senses. But in the meantime, it worked.

It's just really refreshing to be appreciated instead of guilt-tripped.

Speaking of fundraising, don't forget about the Brenda Novak auction for a Cure for Diabetes! That link takes you to two of the items I've donated, a one-chapter critique and a partial proofread. Bidding is low, so you could get them for a STEAL. You can also skim the Carina Press category for other stuff (Kindle and Nook loaded with books, and lunch with Carina authors!). And, of course, spend some time looking at all the other fantastic stuff.

The great thing about an auction is that:

1) You're not just being asked to donate money with hints about how awful you are if you don't. You get something out of it!

2) You can help things out by driving up bidding on really popular items. You don't have to spend money then, but you're still participating! :)

3) There may be tax benefits, if you pay more than the value of the item you win. (Consult your tax advisor.)

Have fun!


Ava Quinn said...

That's because Mischa is a class act and personally thanked you instead of farming out the job to a fund-raising corporation that has a mission statement equivalent to the singled minded fanaticism of a Dalek. Not to just exterminate, but to pummel you with come-ons and guilt to eke every last dollar out of your wallet and self-preservation from your soul.

See, I get it.

And my explanation isn't riddled with horrible personal experiences and conspiracy theories. (I can come off as normal when the need arises!)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

LOL I love your version of normal, masked or not. :)