How Much Asking Is Enough?

Sunday evening, we met friends at a local restaurant for dinner. The dinner and the company were both wonderful. When the waitress came to bring our checks, she asked if we might like to add a dollar to our check for them to donate to a charity. The couple we were with immediately said “yes” and I immediately felt annoyed by the request.

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One of my pet peeves is being hit up at the businesses where I trade, to donate to THEIR chosen charities. I’ve been asked to give in restaurants, grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations and drive-through lines over and over again.

You might say, well then just say “no”. But who wants to say no when someone asks you to help. I would simply like to be able to enjoy an evening out or a trip to the store without being asked to give my (limited) money for a charity I know or care nothing about.

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We live in a very altruistic and charitable nation. According to the Giving USA website, ( in the year 2015, Americans donated an estimated 373 billion dollars to charities. This number includes donations from individuals, estates, foundations and corporations.

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According to the Philanthropy Roundtable website, ( this is how charitable giving in America is targeted:

40% to religious organizations

19% to educational organizations

15% to human services

10% to health organizations

6% to arts organizations

5% to charities overseas

4% to nature preservation

This total adds up to only 99%, so I’m not sure where the other 1% of charitable giving is directed.

Like many of you, I have charitable organizations I have supported for over 20 years because of the work they do. I believe in giving, but also in giving to organizations whose mission and purpose I want to support.

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Over the last 40 years, I’ve donated many, many hours of my time for school, church and community volunteer work, and many, many dollars to charitable organizations. I also regularly donate my books to public libraries and to elementary schools.

This week, I donated 10% of my Labor Day Weekend book sales to One America Appeal. ( This is a new, 501 (c)(3) charitable organization established by all five-living former American Presidents…Carter, Clinton, Bush, Bush, and Obama to support the recovery efforts for those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

What I like about this organization (besides the fact that our former presidents from different political parties all came together to help) is that every penny donated goes immediately to help those in need.

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We are all bombarded on a daily basis with opportunities to give online and in person. For most of us, money is not an unlimited resource and we must choose wisely how we allocate what we have to give.

I suspect I am not alone in wanting to be able to leave my house without being asked for money every single time. Oh, and yes, we did give $1.00 to the restaurant’s chosen charity. I’d love to hear how you feel about and handle these types of situations?

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2 thoughts on “How Much Asking Is Enough?”

  1. I would love to be able to afford to give to every charity, but I too have limited funds. So, yes the constant asking is a bit annoying. (Not as annoying as when stores ask if you have a memebership with them–Argh! I hate that.) When I do say no I feel a little mean but it’s my hard earned money and I don’t like feeling forced to give it away.
    I do think the charity by the presidents is fantastic. The Hurricane relief charities certainly are a good cause.

    1. Andrea…thank you for understanding this post in the way I intended. I simply feel that if corporations want to help and give, they shouldn’t use their employees and customers to do it!

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