Giving Makes You a Better Person: Pressuring Others to Give Makes You a Jerk

We have a salaried exempt HR employee whose daughter who is a teacher at a local school. Every year this employee sends an email to all employees asking them to give Christmas gifts to a needy child – in her daughter’s class.

This HR employee will even ask other employees to cut out angels – during work time – to help in her personal charity.

It’s very time consuming for this employee collecting all of the gifts and then getting them to her daughter.

I don’t participate because I feel that it is just one more large solicitation initiated by our HR department. This isn’t the only charity the HR department pushes. I’m tired of being asked to bring in canned goods and to give money to HR charities.

I’m made to feel that I am not a team player and that I don’t engage enough.  I’ve even been told that I need to promote the charities – even if I don’t give.  (By my HR Manager).

Am I wrong to feel this way?  I think that United Way is enough to ask employees to do as the company charity.  But all of these other things – that are constant – really are going over the line.

To read my answer, click here: Giving Makes You a Better Person: Pressuring Others to Give Makes You a Jerk

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7 thoughts on “Giving Makes You a Better Person: Pressuring Others to Give Makes You a Jerk

  1. Speaking as someone who used to work in fundraising (and still does so on a volunteer basis) – that is crazy obnoxious, and does a disservice to charitable giving as a whole in the long run. I’m surprised TPTB haven’t told her to stop.

  2. And on the canned goods thing? Every food charity around has the ability to get more if you gave them cash. None of them really want your canned food drive stuff but they can’t tell you that some of it isn’t useful, and that if you gave 50 cents instead of that can of veg, they have agreements around where they could probably get 3 or 4 of those exact same cans, of the veg they NEED and their clientele will actually use, for that same amount of money you spent.

    If you really want to do a food drive that does not consist of putting together holiday meal boxes specifically so a family can have a festive dinner, give the cash or better yet buy gift cards. A ten buck gift card to a general local grocery type place will allow them to get stuff the food bank cannot give them – diapers, menstrual products, baby bottles, pet food, cat litter, etc. And yes if their stressful life needs an addition of booze, wine or cigarettes, then dammit they can get a pack or a bottle, which is their right.

    Call the local pantry or the charity you want to help and ask them in specifics what they really need. And do that thing.

    It’s the same with disaster relief. Money is better than goods. You don’t have to sort, transport, store, find a way to give them out, etc.

  3. Hear hear on United Way, as well. The collection model is to insist that 100% of the members of each department must contribute. Managers are scolded if they fail to force every last employee on their team to share, even the ones who need charity themselves and those who have given as generously as they can directly to a charity, perhaps one supported by United Way. It makes United Way, which probably is a good charitable organization otherwise, look sleazy.

  4. Apparently, there are over a thousand “United Way” organizations, operating under the guidelines of the umbrella organization. The umbrella organization does not like the coercion approach, and apparently tries to discourage it. But the independent organizations are widely varied in their interpretations of the rules. And many companies take it upon themselves to go overboard.

  5. If forced to raise team participation goals, I give only token amounts. For my real giving, I check recipients on Charity Navigator.

  6. Pushing someone to donate anything for a charity is obnoxious. Giving is a personal matter and it does depend greatly on your personal circumstances.
    I totally agree with your comments and those who are doing the asking should expect a few naysayers at their word and not push the guilty routine.

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