Monday, March 27, 2017

Catholic Fundraising in Lent ...



Flooding my mailbox.

I don't care what anyone says, religion is a business.

When a church - e.g. the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of the Snows, National Shrine of St. Therese, or any other mega-church sends out unwanted gifts such as calendars, cards, holy oil, plastic rosaries, with a check-off of suggested donations* for the unwanted gift as well as an enrollment form for inclusion in the prayers and Masses offered - with a vigil light option - and a computer generated personalized letter to make me feel special - I call that a fundraising business strategy.  Just like other secular charities who send you nickels, dimes, pennies, and sometimes a dollar bill, while requesting a minimum return donation starting at $75-, if you spend that much money to ask me for funds, go away.  Keep your gifts and your small change and get a Go-Fund Me page.  Businesses hire and pay people to make money for them.

I've given to these charities, once or twice - but now I get multiple mailings and their gifts, my name is also rented to other religious fundraisers.  It's too much.  I've decided to give to charities who do not do that - who do not run seasonal, liturgical-cycle, fundraising campaigns with gifts and awards.

Sorry - I just got a pile of stuff in the mail again today.

So anyway.

Remember - the Missionaries of Charity do not even engage in fund-raising.  From an interview with Mother Nirmala, M.C.:
Q: What about financial means: food, medicines, material goods?

Sister Nirmala: Absolutely nothing is lacking. God provides-- everywhere in India as well as abroad. You know, that is the promise of God for us. When Mother started the society and Mother was called, she did not start on her own, Jesus called her to start this congregation. He wanted her to be poor and the poorest of the poor. He wanted her to be empty-handed and serve the poorest of the poor free. It is such a paradox, isn't? He said: I will provide. That was Mother did, and that is what we are continuing to do: trusting in God's Providence, serving the poorest of the poor, free. And God does it. His promise is fulfilled every day. All we need to do is to keep being faithful to our commitments, to answer the call of God, everything else follows.

Q: But Sister, what would you tell those people who are so afraid of lacking the "indispensable?
things every day, or those who want to possess more material things?

Sister Nirmala: Trust in the Lord and do your best. Let the kingdom of God in your lives and he will provide everything.

Q: How does the Order cope with all the financial and economical demands?

Sister Nirmala: By trusting in God, and he is providing. We never ask for things. People just come and give. Everywhere they want to carry out fundraising activities, we say: "Please don't
fund-raise; we don't want to use Mother's name. No."
We want people acting on their own. We want their spontaneous collaboration. But if somebody is going around fundraising in Mother's name, we don't accept it. We want to depend on God's providence--only. - Source

*If you don't respond you often get a follow up letter asking where your donation is.

12 comments:

  1. Catholic guilt ... I get that every time I see one of the many mailings I get too online/mailbox. I open, look at it, say a prayer for them, then proceed to toss it in the trash.

    I just can't donate to them all ...

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  2. Yes. I don't mind giving to charities, but now they have my name in some sort of list, cause now the requests are coming from way out there. I like Yaya's method. Say a prayer than throw it away.

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  3. Argh... The vestibule library of our Perpetual Adoration chapel is full of such stuff. Sensitive souls cannot bear to throw out pictures of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart, medals and plastic rosaries which are "freebies" in these charities' envelopes, so they end up being dumped there. So it goes.

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    1. That's where I drop my stuff off! LOL!

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  4. We are a nation of beggars. I too receive many "free gifts" I give to the ones who have an active ministrliy like Maryknoll and throw the rest away. It is like feeding cats. It only takes once to have them forever at your doorstep. It seems however wherever you go some is asking. The supermarket cashier wants you to buy a shamrock for the wall. At Lowes last week it was donate your change by rounding up the total. On that day Girl Scouts were at the exit with sweet smiles and begging tone. My wife did buy their cookies which made them very happy. The Red Cross calls and now texts me begging for my blood. O neg is always in short supply. All good causes to be sure but it is out of hand. I do not know for sure but I suspect my generation is generous and supporting a lot more charities then the younger. A few years back I became a volunteer for a very good organization. Within a week I was being solicited for money too! No sense being aggravated since it will not change but it is annoying.

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    1. I was forced to contact the national headquarters of the Red Cross in D.C. because of the calls. I used to give blood, but it got so whenever the Red Cross would set up anywhere within 50 miles of my house they'd call me for a donation. One day I received eight calls.

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  5. I feel guilty for sounding so Scrooge like on my post. Your cartoon about Catholic guilt trip is so true! Anyway, I do give what I can but selectively.

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  6. Better to give to 2 - 3 charities than many. Small donations just end up going to cover admin costs and don't help the ones that need it most.

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