Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sorry, I No Longer Donate Over the Phone

A couple of years ago I wrote about my experience with a fund raiser for The Breast Cancer Society, and the behavior of their representative in my comment thread has not softened my views on the organization. But alas, even if I'm contacted by a worthy charity, my present response is going to be, "Sorry, I no longer donate over the phone. Please remove my name and number from your list."

Why? Three basic reasons:
  1. I Don't Like the Interruption: When I'm working, eating dinner with my family, relaxing, I don't need the phone to be ringing with somebody asking for money.

  2. It's Probably Not the Actual Charity: Very often the person making the call is working for a professional fund raising outfit that may be taking 80% or more of the money raised. When that happens, I can hang up the phone, go on line, and give directly to the charity - and the charity ends up with a lot more money.

  3. Fraud is On the Rise: We've seen any number of "sound alike" charities arise, using names similar to established, quality charities in order to elicit contributions from confused donors. But we are now seeing overseas phone banks set up, pretending to be actual charities, soliciting donations by credit card and then using the credit card numbers to engage in fraudulent purchases.

By saying "I don't give over the phone", I get time to investigate a charity, donate directly to the charity if I find it to be worthwhile, preserve my donation for a better cause or charity if I find it is not, and avoid any possibility that the person on the other end of the phone line is actually trying to steal my credit card information.

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