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Ice Madness: Don’t Just Donate, Brag About It

10363886_10152606137929857_6103897311128288230_nDennis Miller, before he turned into a raving right wing lunatic used to have a TV show where he’d start a segment by saying “I don’t want to get off on a rant here but…” He’d then proceed to go on a rant for the next several minutes.

So, let me start this by saying… I don’t want to get off on a rant here but, what the hell is wrong with people? I don’t mean everyone, I just mean people that share this meme.

The people that are sharing this meme are understandably tired of the ice bucket challenge taking up their newsfeed, websites, and Twitter. I get it. A number of times I’ve seen Buzzfeed or some other site claim “THIS IS THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE TO END THEM ALL” – only to several days later say that all over again with a different video. Believe me, I get it. Personally I think Charlie Sheen had the best one, where he dumped $10,000 in cold hard bucks over his head and then challenged 3 other people to do EXACTLY the same.

But that’s not what people are complaining about when they share this meme – they’re complaining about the fact that THEY donate to charities, and don’t expect recognition for it. That’s fine. I really hope that many people continue to do that. The quiet repeat donors are the ones that often will keep organizations alive through the years. BUT, by sharing this meme and the sentiment behind it, they’re also saying that they’re better than those that advertise their donations and support for a cause. As a former Catholic I can tell you that expectation of recognition of a good deed negates the good of said deed. In fact some nuns would consider it a sin. Matthew 6:6 reads, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” There, you’ve got me quoting the Bible. You happy?

It’s not just the back-handed ‘I’m better than you’ that bothers me about this type of thought – it’s the fact that it’s wrong. The people that do the ice bucket challenge, or advertise their support of a cause, are in fact doing more good than you. When you donate quietly, you’re donating in a vacuum. When the people that donate and put a video up telling other people to do the same, they’re making ‘good’ go viral. Sure, they might be looking for a bit of attention – but they’re spreading the good word.

As a person who makes part of his living from a 501(c)3 charitable organization, I pay my rent on these people’s good deeds. When someone sends me an e-mail response to a donation plea saying ‘Sorry, I wish I had the money to donate – but I forwarded this e-mail to 10 of my friends and posted it on facebook’ – I send a genuine thanks back. That person just donated his connections – and did so on a personal level. That’s money that we just saved by not having to buy advertising – and very likely will get more donations out of.

If you look at the mission statements of any number of non-profits the words “bring awareness” are likely to be in it. There’s a reason for that – awareness means money. The more people care about something, the more money the cause brings in. That’s why breasts are huge fundraisers, even though diarrhea kills scores more people. Boobs understandably get more attention than spraying poop. So, don’t shame those that figure out a way to bring attention to their cause… copy them.

End rant.

So, when you donate – share it. Scream it. Vine it. Make it viral – flaunt it, make sure that you get others to join you in it.

By the way… if you wanted to support The Mudflats…

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Donating.vs.Death-Graph.0

 

 

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2 Responses to “Ice Madness: Don’t Just Donate, Brag About It”
  1. slipstream says:

    “Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention;
    otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven.
    So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you;
    this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration.
    In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.
    But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right hand is doing;
    your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who see all that is done in secret will reward you.”

    Matthew 6:1-4

    There, you’ve got me quoting the Bible. You happy?

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