When we got married David and I already had our own charities. Mine go out on direct debit each month and so do his. I know roughly what he supports and visa versa. Lately there have been alot more phone calls about charitable giving. I know times are hard but you can be over pushy, anyone out there engaged in any campaign.
It doesn't help that all the calls seem to be in the early afternoon when one of is is having a little power nap! First rule of vicaring, don't arrive un announced at the door of anyone over 70 after lunch!
No ones told the charity workers that if they wake someone up their chances are very slim of getting more money.
Once it was just charities we didn't contribute to. Now its charities we do already support. I overheard my husband shouting down the phone yesterday.
"But I've already told you we support you....I already get your bleep bleep news letter. Look at your lists then if you don't believe me."
And so it goes. I have never worked out the proportion of our income that goes on charitable giving. but its quite a lot and I like to keep some out of the monthly pot to support things on a one off basis that stirs the soul.
There's a lot of desperation around just now. I do understand. But a softly softly approach when we are both awake is far more likely to get results than some of the brash calls we have had lately.
Yesterday a man rang me just as I was sorting out a christening. I cheerfully asked if he would mind if I passed him over to my husband. He asked why so I told him that my husband dealt with that particular charity. He was affronted. It was me he wanted to speak to. Perhaps asking if someone has the time to speak would be a good idea to start a conversation.
We are both aware of how lucky we are in being able to support those charities we feel strongly about but there have to be limits. We have both decided that our limit is just about reached, apart from serious emergencies like the recent tsunami.
I support the local charities as much as possible. There's so much unhappiness and poverty growing every day that it seems likely that the cold calling will increase...but beware, a newly awakened pensioner can be dangerous!