Some notes towards something more later:
Yesterday I was approached by Greenpeace for the second time in three days while walking home. They were doing some fund raising. It was a typical deal, where a young man with a clipboard asks you an easy question like “do you care about the environment?” Of course I care about the environment. The problem is what this question leads to, will you give us money? Asking for money isn’t the problem though, it’s how they are asking for the money that is. Non-profits have started to use a new system where they automatically deduct “as little” as ten dollars straight from your bank account. What’s more, you won’t be given an other option. Either give a minimum of $120 a year or don’t at all. You’ll have to go to the website for that, but only after getting the hard sell on the street.
The explanation is that it lowers their overhead, which is undoubtedly true. The problem is that I don’t have a lot of money. I like to give to charity, but my little means makes it so that I can only give a little and what little I can give I like to break up among important issues. Yes, I like the environment, I also like the ACLU, and saving children, and ending Hunger and Homelessness in America, and so on. But I can not give every group $120 ever year, not without risking becoming a charity case myself anyway.
The Greenpeace hard sell was extra insulting because the fella implied that I should have given to him instead of buy my new shoes which I needed to keep my feet dry after four days of straight rain, which I explained to him. He then told me how I could say the environment for the price of X number of lattes, which I don’t drink (partially) because of the cost. I then explained that I just moved here and just got a job and that I have a bunch of bills and also need to get money together for a deposit so I can get an apartment. The solution? He’s signed up a bunch of broke college students so I should too. I won’t go into why that was a dumb thing to say, but it led me to this thought— non-profit funding is in crisis. If they all are depending on broke college students and people like me to support important issues there isn’t much hope. And this funding isn’t just money, but time and energy. I didn’t like the guy hard selling me, but I respect his commitment and I realize what good work these people are trying to do. I think from here it would be easy to get back into class, but I’ll hold off, I need to get ready for work anyway.
[tags]aclu, class, fund raising, funding non-profits, greenpeace, hunger and homelessness, non-profits, save the children[/tags]