Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Was I Just Grouchy?

I'm going to tell you about something that happened today that you may have a totally different opinion about. I just arrived back at my office after a long afternoon meeting. I must admit that I was not in the best mood. The phone rang, and the caller at the other end identified herself as representing a local chapter of a national charity. She said that a "friend" of mine had identified me as someone who could be his/her "cellmate," meaning I would have to dial my way out of jail by calling friends and begging them to donate money to the charity. Of course the friend wanted to remain in the "secret witness" program. Unfortunately, it was a day that is already fully booked and I just couldn't make room in my schedule to don prison stripes.

I gotta' tell you that the whole thing left me out of sorts. I am a huge believer in giving to my community. Certified Networker has given a $50 check to the favorite charity of the MVP of every class we've taught since the very beginning. That's almost $2000 to date, plus we had a drawing at our December monthly lunch, and for each person in attendance we gave $5 per person to the lucky person's charity. Guess what? It happened to be to the very group that called today. In addition my husband and I give generously to several local organizations that always can use more. I know that charities, like all businesses today, are facing tough times. But I just don't like the connotation of forcing people to give to a group that they may not want to support just to get me out of jail. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it has something to do with the feeling of being used.

What's your take on this particular method of fund raising?


Greg Peters said...

My gut response says that you were absolutely right to feel uncomfortable. Of course, then I had to think about why.

It seems to come down to a violation of the Certified Networker way of doing things. It would be like your "friend" passing a referral to someone else saying that you wanted to buy that other person's product without actually asking if you were interested and expecting you to buy, just because you are friends.

In addition, the fact that your "friend" was unwilling to have their name attached to this whole process tells me that they didn't think terribly highly of the whole situation either. If they really thought it was a good idea, why didn't they own up?

Jeff LaCourse said...

I think a lot of people have fun with that event, but your friend should have asked you if you were interested in helping, instead of putting you in an uncomfortable position.

It was also not a very good referral to the charity. We all laugh about this type of referral in class when talking about the 16 shades. You better get your friend enrolled!