Each day, thousands of phone calls are made; hundreds of people are canvassed to the point where it feels very invasive and unfriendly. Certain charities have inadvertently given themselves a bad reputation over the past few years thanks to hard sell tactics that even the most amoral telesales business would blush at. In a notable case, one poppy seller was bombarded with more than one hundred and eighty charity letters a month seeking extra donations.
In recent years, a new method of getting donations was put in place, most notably by Shelter, the homelessness charity. They employ young activists to speak to passers-by in the street to talk them into giving regular donations. Such activists have been termed as ‘chuggers’ or charity muggers. The invasive approach and overwhelming hard-sell tactics actually helped Shelter receive one quarter of its total donations in 2006. The opinions of them are, unsurprisingly one sided. Some boroughs across the country have even regulated or outright banned them from working in the streets, citing the high pressure approach as unfriendly and invasive.
Of course with such methods employed by charities, it can be a weary experience if you feel like you want to donate to charities if at all. However, in spite of these unfortunate methods, charity is still a worthy cause. Without them, many people would be worse off. The strides made in research thanks to the efforts of Cancer Research UK has helped GPs identify cancer earlier in people, improving the survivability rate by 50%. These gains are only possible thanks to charitable donations. In order to be sure of the charity you’re considering giving to, Charity Choice is a fantastic service that allows you to see the breakdown of how individual charities (out of more than one hundred and sixty thousand) breakdown the donations they get and then how they spend them. The reports you can get offer a very useful insight for a free service and can actually really help you gain perspective when trying to make a choice, if you are so inclined.
That aside, don’t give up on charities. Nuisance phone calls can be blocked and you always have the ability to say “No” if asked for something you don’t want to give. Charitable donations are a keystone of modern society and always help those who need it the most.
Things you can do
If by reading this, your charitable spirit has been raised, then it may be worth having a look at ways you can raise money for donation. You are indeed welcome to sell cakes or tea for example but there are always other ways to achieve things. Charity events are useful for this as they act as a focal point for like-minded people. There is a great deal of events you can participate in that would normally be prohibitively expensive. Skydiving sessions can cost up to £200 or more depending on where you go. White water rafting can cost up to £280 for a group of people. Most organisations are happy to offer deals with charitable companies and as long as you manage to raise enough money, you can take part.
The amount of choice for charity events can be staggering in some cases. With events ranging from walking the Great Wall of China to reverse bungee jumps, you can easily find something suited to your tastes. This link, Charity Challenges UK will take you to a page where you can find something suited to your tastes.
Here are some of the more interesting charity events:
- Cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats
- Zombie Run
These events can generate a large amount of donations for the represented charity and whatever your opinions of charities at the moment, remember that everybody from cancer patients to the disabled have noticeably better chances of survival and comfort as their situation requires.
The Pursuit of Happiness
Many people who take part in these charity fundraising events get a lot of satisfaction from what they do. One of the leading theories about happiness these days is that you get your own by giving it to other people. People who earn insanely large wages or those in positions of power are often reported as being much unhappier with their lives than they would normally let on. A dream for many people is to never have to worry about money again. Those in that position then find themselves thinking “Well now what?”
Having such wealth makes it harder to enjoy your possessions as there would be very little effort required to obtain them. I.E, no more reward or stimulus. For the people in positions of power, the weight of their decisions affecting whole groups of other people leads to constant second guessing of their own decisions as time goes by, causing constant doubt. The same principle can be applied to asking out a person you’re attracted to. You convince yourself of all the ways it can fail before you’ve even done anything. A position of power is that all over again.
As for regular happiness, once you find that cooking a meal for someone is well received, you feel ‘warm’. This is proof to yourself that you have worth as a human being. The same goes for charity.