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Charities must do better

November 7, 2013

Dear Sir,

As we move toward the holiday season, more and more individuals and firms will be making donations in one form or other to local charities. Some of us are fortunate to work for companies that have matching grant programmes available through which our employer matches donations made to registered charities. To do so, most require the charity to provide an acknowledgment of the donation. Unfortunately, my experience the last few years has been that some charities do not make this small effort, and so lose out on additional funds available to them.

As an example, in early December 2011 my husband and I made three donations, two were acknowledged and the matching funds were sent. One, a popular charity often in the news, didn’t acknowledge and lost out on receiving an additional $1,000. I will add that I made a number of phone calls to them and sent e-mails requesting acknowledgment so that the match could be made. There was always some excuse why they couldn’t do it then but that they’d get to it ... that never happened.

Last year in addition to a few monetary donations, we decided to shop for toys to donate to one of the toy drives being held. We spent about $550 and took the toys to the charity. We showed one of their organisers the receipt and left our e-mail information requesting they send an e-mail just to say that they’d received toys to the value of X and then I’d be able to get a monetary match sent to them. No acknowledgment ever received so no matching funds sent. Such a waste.

The point of this is not to say donors deserve acknowledgment because, quite frankly, I’d rather just fly under the radar regarding any donations we make. But the charities are continually requesting support from the community and some don’t take five minutes to enable them to get additional funds available to them. If this has happened to us twice, I can only expect that we’re not alone. Will we continue to donate? Yes, but not to the two mentioned above.