Thursday, June 14, 2007

Give 'Til It Hurts

One thing I hate about attending the Capitol Pride Street Festival is running the HRC gauntlet. Every five steps one is accosted by a perky little volunteer saying, "Hi, do you have a few moments to talk about HRC?"

Erm. No. And I also don't have a few dollars to give to HRC either. Their cute little faces get these sad little crushed expressions, and it makes me feel a teeny-tiny twinge of guilt.

I don't really like explaining that 1) I don't give to political organizations, 2) HRC's administrative and fundraising (AFR) expenses seem a little high, and 3) HRC hasn't impressed me with their overall effectiveness.

According to Charity Navigator (which is a very cool site, until it stopped working for me), HRC's AFR is 35.4%. The Combined Federal Campaign website states that "an AFR in excess of 35% is considered high by many in the philanthropic community."

I prefer to give my money to smaller, more locally-focused organizations. I have donated this year to the Washington Animal Rescue League (AFR = 24.5%) and Food and Friends (AFR = 22.7%). I also usually donate to the Whitman-Walker Clinic; however, their AFR of 40.5% is making me think more seriously about that. Still, WWC does good work so I will probably continue to donate to them.

I also donate money to any friend of mine who asks me to contribute to their fundraising efforts. After raising nearly $2000 in 2001 for the AIDS Marathon Training Program, I feel individual fundraiser's pain. It's hard work, and I'm sure Junior Achievement, Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society have all benefited from my friends' efforts.

[Big finish. Excellent concluding remarks. Summarizes beautifully.]



  1. Vuboq knows strange knowledge. AFR? Wow. I guess you gotta have some kind of benchmark, else you'd be giving money away willy nilly.


  2. Disclaimer: If the comment above is bitchy in any way, I apologize.

  3. Canvassed. Canvassed. Not CANVASSES.

  4. Bossy really hates to part with money. Such sweet sorrow, without the sweet.

  5. HRC seems both useless and corrupt.

    In the meantime, please make your donation checks out to "GayProf's Bahama Fund."

  6. I can believe that clinics probably have higher overhead than other types of organizations; you might want to look into that before you give up donating to them.

  7. I can't believe that's an effective way of fundraising. I find it unfathomable that HRC thinks it is. It's one thing to do it at a gay festival, when you have a captive, generally favorably inclined audience. But at lunch hour in the middle of a weekday? I hate being assaulted on the street, no matter what the organization. I said that (and more) to an HRC canvasser a while back. It completely threw her for a loop, and I felt kind of bad . . . but not too bad. And I've even given to HRC on my own (despite sharing your misgivings about them)!

    Then there's the election-season classic: "Hi! Do you want to help put a Democrat in the White House?" Yes, I do, and that's why I'm voting for one. Now get out of my way.

    I was just thinking (for the millionth time) of blogging about this the other day. Thanks for doing it for me.