I received an annual bill this week. I won't name what it was, but it was an expected bill. What I didn't expect was the additional $1 tacked on to the bill to a charitable organization.
At first, I was a little frustrated. I am very careful to choose good organizations to donate my money, goods, and time to. I don't want my money going to an organization that wastes the donations. I use Charity Navigator to check out organizations before I donate, just to be sure that it's a place I really want my money to go.
But it was only a dollar. And I figured it would take too much time and effort to get the $1 donation taken off my bill, so I figured that I would just pay it.
Conveniently, when I went online to pay, I discovered I had the option to check a box and not donate to the organization. Before I opted out, I used Charity Navigator to do a bit of research on the group, and found that it wasn't one I would normally donate to. Sure, they do good things, but Charity Navigator pointed out that a lot of their money went to administrative tasks and not to the cause at hand. Naturally, I opted out.
And to ease my conscience, I put an extra $1 into my charity budget category for the month.
How do you feel about these "required" donations? I don't mind so much when you can opt-in to a donation, but I struggle with the idea of opting out. Of course, if it were a good charity I supported, I would probably have a different view. Most people likely figure "Oh, it's only $1" and donate without thinking, which is great for the charity.
Maybe I'm just being too picky about one dollar tacked onto an annual bill.
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