News flash corporate America – asking me, a consumer and thus your customer, to make a donation to your charity du jour and then shaming me when I chose not to participate in your charity fund raising is not generous. It does not help your standing one iota. Here’s why: you, Mr/Ms CEO/CFO/COO, are not being generous. Your corporation is not being generous. You are fleecing your customer in the thinly vailed attempted to look like a good corporate citizen. But you aren’t! Generosity is giving your profits, your executive bonuses to support the Wounded Warrior Project/Save the Dogs/Protect the Butterflies. That is generosity. That aligns your corporate core values with your strategic plan and makes people who care about your charity du jour feel all warm and fuzzy. Pat on the back to y’all if that how you are doing it. Even if I think your charity is some progressive mamby pamby horse hockey, I applaud you for putting your money where your mouth is. However, if your brilliant idea of corporate charity is to ask me to give my money, that is left over from what I am paying you for a good or service, to your charity, that is the opposite of generous. And since this isn’t a fairy tale and we aren’t living in the Sherwood Forest, you are simply taking money out of my pocket, funneling it to your pet charity and probably reporting it on your annual report with a resounding pat on your own back. Wrong.
Get out of my pocket book. Leave my charitable giving alone. I don’t need your sensational support of Mama Janes Home for Wayward Husbands pushed by your rank and file clerks shoved down my throat. No I will not round up. No I will not drop my change in. And no it is none of your freaking business how and where I give. Your assumption is that I don’t give and you are thus making it easier on me to be a good person. Because I may like your seasonal latte or have a craving for curly fries, does not mean that I support what you support and that I want to give my money to what you want to give my money to. I give until it hurts but only to those places that align with what I believe in, you know my personal core values. I also get receipts and I write it off on my taxes. Plus I give hours and nights and weekends and hundreds of other ways in the thing that God has called me to do, not what Arbys thinks I should support.
So here’s my response, besides, “no”. I will go to business that understand that I am visiting their establishments to conduct business and do not mow me over with pan handlers outside their store and certainly do not ask me to support their charity by rounding up and I’ll shop, spend and support their corporate strategic plan and my need for goods and services. Starbucks, gone. Chipotle, gone. Arbys, gone. Walmart – I’m looking at you. Get rid of the charities on both sides of the doors. Want to let the boy scouts/girl scouts do their thing? Set them up inside the store but let me walk in and out without someone grabbing at my wallet.
What happened to the good old days of a plastic pickle jar on the counter with the picture of a cute little boy needing help? That didn’t offend. Know why? Because we the stupid consumers understood that 8 out of 10 times that was placed on the counter after little boy’s mom/dad/aunt/uncle came in and had a discussion with the store owner and asked if they could put their pickle jar up. We knew it was a neighbor in need and we could give if we felt led to do so or we could just ignore it and go on about our business. That’s why I like Go Fund Me, most of the time. The idea that I can help a person I know or know of with my small donation makes me feel good and helps them directly, not a corporate board somewhere in Boise. I have taken a break from the Go Fund Me stuff lately because, seriously, go fund my divorce, go fund my kids summer camp, go fund my girls weekend. No. Really, Stop that Stupidity. But that’s another topic for another day.
These Nuevo Charity drives are corporate greed dressed up as charity. And it doesn’t go to our neighbors, it goes to another Not For Profit corporate entity which I’m betting you Mr/Ms CEO/CFO/COO sit on that board. You want to be charitable, do it. Tell me all about it in your commercials or in your annual report. Heck, fill up those food trays with flyers describing all your corporate goodness. I love to read that stuff while I stuff in a #3 with a large unsweet tea, but stop with the fake corporate goodness. Y’all are some greedy people thinking you are Robin Hood but you are really the opposite. Coercing hard working folks out of their change so you won’t have to tap into your bonus/executive profit sharing/perks budgets and can reap improved PR out of our wallets and parley the seat on Joe Blows Charity with annual meetings in Milwaukee to a seat on a more prestigious charity board with bi-annual meetings split between Nassau and Park City.
Please, we aren’t that stupid.