A little of razzle dazzle goes a very long way

How is, that when we get those kind people knocking at our doors asking for charity donations we tell them we’ve already given…when we haven’t really.  When we see them in street and they shake their collection pot and smile willingly at us, we smile back and say we gave to the collector further up the street.  But no many how tight our bank balances are, when it comes to Comic Relief and a celebrity plea, we suddenly have a change of heart.

This year, Comic Relief raised over £65 million – incredible.  But as charities around the UK confirm their donations are plummeting and as our purse strings tighten, their survival rate is becoming more than a little questionable.  With that in mind, I ask should we be re-assessing our excuses not to give and dig a little deeper to share a few pennies for those even less fortunate than us.

Question: Why do we dig deep for such a glamorous events as Comic Relief, but choose to turn our noses up to those who can’t afford the luxury or the budget of celebrity endorsement?  It seems a bright smile and white, gleaming teeth go a long way these days.  Or is it that the one donation we make on 26 March is all we feel we need to do for charity this year?

Statistics released from The Charity Direct Debit Tracking Report 2009 show that cancellation rates of charitable donations rocketed since the onslaught of the credit crunch.  54% of consumers cancelled their charity direct debits last summer, and since then, they haven’t looked back.

Rather than giving to others who need, unless they fall under the umbrella of “Comic Relief”, it seems we are all falling back on that good old fashioned saying “charity begins at home”.  But what does “home” really mean?  do we define “home” as ourselves and our own needs and desires or do we stretch “home” wider… as in “community”, “friends” and “society”?

When the going gets tough, should we look out only for number one or should we be considering those around us who are also full of worry about the road ahead?  Although we’re watching the pennies, after spending £10 on a new top, £5 on McDonalds and £3.75 on a DVD that we feel we couldn’t do without….do we genuinely feel the need to stop giving to charity in order to ensure our own survival?  Can we really no longer spare a one pound coin?

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