“If you’re helping someone and expecting something in return, you’re doing business not kindness.”~Author Unknown (to Lin).
Over the past several weeks specifically, I’ve noticed quite a number of businesses touting the donations they’ve made “during these troubled times,” during “The Season of Giving,” during….. fill in the blank. It always strikes me as a form of pandering. Ego-centrism even (utilizing that ‘person’ word for a corporation. Persons ~ and their egos ~ do make up a corporation. Ha).
- An international chain ‘general store’ reporting on the millions of meals to feed ‘families in need’
- An automobile manufacturer also donating “50 million meals,” with the goal of 100 million more
- An auto manufacturer donating $250 to ‘your charity of choice’ if one purchases or leases a new automobile. (That’s roughly the customer spending approximately $30K for a $250 donation.)
- Another chain ‘general store’ donating over 500-million pounds of food in the US
- Pharmaceutical companies donating drugs to “third world” countries for NTDs (Neglected Tropical Diseases)
- A local utility company arbitrarily chose to round up residential bills to the next whole dollar and donates the difference to an oversite Charitable Organization for use in designated other-organizations. (BTW ~ the customer has to OptOut to stop the company from automatically rounding up the bill. Huh.)
- Many pet-food industries are donating to foods and supplies to local animal-welfare organizations
And their Marketing Resources let you know.
Now please, please understand. I am an advocate of giving. Of helping when I can. Of reaching out to others.
Giving: “the act of bestowing as a gift; to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance.”
A ‘donation’ is defined as: “a gift for charity, humanitarian aid, or to benefit a cause. A donation may take various forms, including money, alms, services, or goods such as clothing, toys, food, or vehicles. A donation may satisfy medical needs such as blood or organs for transplant.”
For me ~ and my personal definition ~ the choice to give (or even tithe) is from the heart. As friend MarciaMae taught, it is giving “for fun and for free.” No strings attached. No expectations that the recipient will like it, use it, or even acknowledge it. None of that matters ~ as it is free. As it is generosity and a gift.
Using the gift-giving as a marketing tool ~ as a blow-my-own-horn ~ as a hey-look-how-great-we-are …. that’s the pebble-in-the-oats, as it were. That, to me, is what the above listed items were. Horn-blowing. Marketing. “Come shop here ~ come buy here ~ look at all the good we do.” Their Agenda; Your heart-strings.
There are phenomenal organizations that reach out and help ~ internationally, nationally, locally. If you resonate with their focused-works ~ give. There are powerfully helpful organizations that aid the human and/or planetary condition; if it resonates with you ~ give. There are individual people out there whom you have heard of that reach out and help people, places, things and events. Support them if you choose; give.
Not give-to-get. Not give-to-impress-others. Not give because others are trying to sell you something or may be pressuring you.
Have it mean something to you. No horn-blowing. No listing in the paper.
The only pay-back is you feel really really great and loving inside. That’s joy and gratitude.
Help. Give. Donate ~ for fun and for free.