Why I’m Put Off Giving to Charity

Written by Karen Bryan

donate nowI’m being put off giving to charity. This is due to the ensuing steady stream of letters asking for more money that follow making a donation.

Several years ago, instead of giving my Dad a Christmas gift, I made an online donation to his charity of choice, Help the Aged (now merged with Age Concern to become Age UK).  Since then, I’ve been receiving regular letters asking for further donations.

The same continuous follow-up happened when a couple of years ago, I made an online donation, equivalent to my hourly rate of pay, in an end of year fundraising campaign by Sightsavers.

I’m sure that more than the total of these two donations has been spent on sending me letters. I wanted that money to go towards helping the elderly and people with sight issues.

I used my debit card to make these online payments, so I assumed that revealed my identity, allowing the charities to keep contacting me. I thought that I hadn’t noticed a box which I had to tick or untick in order not to be contacted again. But I found this strange, as I am always on the lookout for the opt-outs.

Then I realised that taxpayers who want to increase the amount of money received by the charity need to complete a Gift Aid declaration which includes their address. This enables the charity to reclaim 25p per £1 donated from HM Revenue and Customs.

I don’t think that I am alone in being deterred from giving to charity because my earlier donations are being spent in follow-ups asking for more money.

I read that people who give to charity are the most likely people to give again. Therefore, charities are going keep trying to milk previous donors.