I was looking at buying Christmas present socks at the weekend… so I thought I would check out ‘charity’ socks. They look great. But they are quite expensive. It got me thinking about giving and feeling good about it. I bought some other socks, and will give a donation to a good cause that I personally value and believe in and really want to support.
I have since, been reflecting on my ‘good cause’ giving. I often seem to end up giving to causes that are not the ones I would feel most pulled towards. I give donations via school for whichever charity they have decided to support this year, donations to friends who are doing some challenge/fundraiser and increasingly feel pulled to buy products that are also ‘doing good’ – socks, toilet paper… These are all great, and I love that good causes have got creative in the ways they raise money. BUT, if I’m really honest they can make me feel bad… am I being judged if my toilet paper isn’t also saving the planet? Should I have bought the socks that fund cancer awareness (or actually, there’s socks for lots of things now I’ve googled it)?
I have a budget for supporting good causes, and if it gets eaten up with the ones which are thrust in front of me, then the ones I am really passionate about lose out. And I don’t feel so good about my giving.
I think there may be some thinking and learning here: about helping people feel good about their giving and making it easy to give to the things they are passionate about. We also need to ensure smaller, local options are easier to support and help groups get the message across that they need our and your money.