make an assessment of
the financial status of charities and non-profit groups to help
you decide which among them needs your support most. It's simple. It takes a
short time and you
don’t need internet access or a computer. Remember the telemarketers
take up your
time by calling you and interrupting you often at inconvenient times
such as family dinner and want you to take out your credit card and
read off the details. Your contact details may be passed on to other
agencies so you get more annoying time consuming calls. The
telemarketer will want access to your money within a couple of
minutes but giving to charity deserves more attention than that.
Doesn't it? You
need to see the latest financial report of the charity. These
will be produced every year and accompany the annual report which is
released at the annual general meeting (AGM). AGM's are usually held in
October each year. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is
though you need to see the financial reporting of their last annual
Method Two (no internet access or computer): Phone the charity and ask them to send you a hard copy (ie paper copy, booklet) of the financial records for the latest financial year. Tell them that you are a potential supporter. Do not accept charges – you will donate to them if you are satisfied with the report.
If the charity doesn't
publish this information online don't support them and advise them why
you are not doing so. We know of telemarketing charities who have not
published their latest financial information. Same goes if providing you
with a copy is too much for them. If they can call tens of thousands of
people unsolicited then they ought to be able to comply with your
If you can't do either
of these ask someone to do it for you. Anyone who does this will be engaging in an excellent citizen building exercise.
If you spend say 20 minutes absorbing some of the information (not all of it, that's not necessary) you will have more relevant information than the combined knowledge of the entire call centre team even if they have had years of “experience.”
You are entitled to act
differently of course. You may think: “I don't wanna do all that.
It seems hard. It sounds suspiciously like I am being asked to think
about this. It would be easier just to get ripped off by a fundraising telemarketing salesperson again."