I am a fairly regular giver to charity, but one aspect of this gets my goat: I don’t know if it’s the same in UK, but here in France every mail brings bumf from one charity or another, many of them including small gifts, eg sticky labels or keyrings, which I keep. Some of them include quite large gifts, which I send back, asking them not to waste donors’ cash on such things. I know that if I give to a new charity there will be an onslaught of mailings to follow, which to me is discouraging. Think of the waste of trees. Think of the waste of effort which could be re-directed towards actually helping the situation/people the charity purports to be about. I don’t know what one can do to stop this pernicious practice. Does anyone?
I should prefer to give directly to the people in need, or at least to a trusted person on the spot – as we did in the case of the tsunami, sending our donation to a friend in one of the countries concerned, who informed us as to what our money was used for, eg to replace pots and pans which had been swept away, for one family and to replace a destroyed door for another. No big deal, but at least we knew that we had been of some small help.