Awkward situation with constantly fundraising family

Hi BPNers - seeking advice on an awkward predicament. A dear friend and her daughter are coming to me repeatedly for fundraising requests. The daughter is on a softball team and has sent me fundraising emails yearly for 3 years now. I have donated generously in the past and the daughter never sends a thank-you e-mail or message (in fact, I was visiting their house a few days after my last donation and the daughter not only didn't thank me, but barely acknowledged my presence.) Her mom, my friend, hits me up for fundraising 1-2 times/year for her charity runs. I always donate to my friend's fundraising, and she always sends me a warm thank-you e-mail. This year I don't feel like donating to the daughter's fundraising--am I a petty scrooge or would others have a similar thought? A little more about us:we live in a less posh neighborhood than my friend, my two kids have never asked for fundraising from this family, and my friend (the mom) works in wealth management and the daughter's grandfather is an investment banker with many millions of dollars and 5+ vacation homes. --Don't want to be Scrooge

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We think a thank you from the teen is appropriate. 

We have specific times that we donate (mostly during the last quarter of the year). 

Also try to have some funds available pre-school year for families who cannot afford backpacks, school supplies etc. 

Don't feel pressured by this family.  If they ask you for monies for their fundraisers, you can decline - because there are so many non-profits, groups in need now.

Scrooge, nothing. The whole idea of kids constantly asking friends and family for money so they can do activities is absurd. If our kids want to do something, we pay for it. If it were focused on ensuring kids who couldn't pay were the ones benefiting, then it would make sense, but it's rarely clear that's the point. That the family in question doesn't even acknowledge your contribution makes it clear this situation is so normalized that it no longer even registers as an effort on your part to be helpful. It's really out of hand.

Hi! Many of these fundraising companies will use past donations and hit you up to donate again, without the original person knowing it! I was donating to a family member even after she quit softball. It’s predatory what these places do, in my opinion. Anyways just throwing that out there. 

You are not a scrooge.

You can tell them, or not, but you have zero obligation to keep donating. Zero obligation in any event, but definitely zero obligation in this case.

And it is totally up to you whether you let the daughter or parents know why you're not feeling moved to donate.

I don't think you need to think of yourself as a scrooge. There should be no pressure on anyone to do anything they don't want to do. The fact that you have donated in the past should be enough. It doesn't make you a bad person in any way. You may choose to pitch in sometime in the future and that's fine. It's also fine if you don't.

Do not contribute generous amounts. Contribute the amounts, if any, that you feel do not require gratitude (you will not get any). Some people tend to abuse kindness...Treat them kindly but with less donations

Of course, you don’t have to give when asked and it sounds like your very wealthy friends could opt out by offering to donate more themselves. I am not wealthy and my friends are not wealthy. I work in the public sector and most of my friends do too. We don’t have corporate matching for fundraising campaigns or anything like that. My child has participated in some very worthwhile activities that use fundraising companies and I’m uncomfortable with the fundraising aspect but I’m not going to pull my child out of sports because they find so much joy in them. I find the fundraising embarrassing but I can’t buy my way out of it.  All families may be required or pressured to give names and emails/phone numbers of potential donors. Like the other reader said, these companies recycle names and contact information and they send requests and reminders that you can’t control. The worst thing is that these fundraising companies are basically banks that have a lot of money and they make more money with float, when their “work” is mostly automated. Our world is very imperfect and we as parents are trying our best to help our children navégate it. 

We tithe a chunk of our gross income to some serious causes and, no, I don't think you're a petty scrooge. I have plenty of friends and relatives with kids, some prosperous, some not, and few of them ask us to buy more than raffle tickets, although I did once give generously to help a close friend's daughter attend an international soccer tournament for public high school students, and we donate $25.00 to $100.00 to any local charitable projects that the grandkids are working on.

Even the kindest people can be a little clueless about such matters if they were born wealthy. You might consider explaining to your friend that you have other commitments this year and can only make one donation--and of course it's up to you whether you want to be more blunt. I'd also bring up the lack of thanks; apart from the fact that (most) human beings deserve basic courtesy, good manners will serve this child well as she grows up.

Just say no thank you or don't respond at all to the fundraising email, and don't feel bad at all about it.  

The "spam your friends" fundraisers suck. Some say it doesn't hurt to ask.   I feel it does hurt to ask, and your story is the evidence. 

Our family comes from humble backgrounds. Vacation for us typically means camping and travel means visiting relatives.   I could never ask my family or friends to help pay for my kid's hobbies / interests, / sports. 

My kid joined a sports team and another activity.    We signed up fully expecting to pay our own way, plus a bit extra for scholarships, and participate in some form of fundraiser for any gaps that needed filling.    I was not prepared for the "requirement" to spam our relatives and friends inboxes as a part of that.   The "fundraiser" for both of my kid's activities is an email writing session where my kid is required to bring a list of 5-10 contacts and then send fundraising emails to those contacts.  It's a bit entitled and pretty awkward for us, so we made up a couple of fake relatives, plus me and my spouse, plus my sibling who is in a similar boat with their kid, (we hatched an agreement to sponsor each other's kid for a set amount so they can participate)  For the fake relative or grandparent we  pay the money ourselves so it looks like kid is showing up for the team.   I don't like any of what this is teaching my kid, and my kid fully understands how we are faking it.

I understand that fundraisers are necessary for inclusion.  I understand that fundraisers are freaking hard to organize and some things like yard sales and bake sales do not make sense when you add up everyone's time vs. the fundraising outcome.   Rather than spam our friends, My spouse and I try to pick up some extra hours at work or do side hustles or sell stuff we no longer need  and then contribute the earnings from that.   When our kid reached teenagerhood, I expected the teens would contribute at least part from themselves - the kids could totally come up with a side hustle  either individually  (yardwork, babysitting, etc)  or collaboratively with minimal helicoptering (yard sale, flea market stall, hiring themselves out for a group labor project, or a  neighborhood-litter-pick-up-athon  which may find some happy donors while also doing good.   Having kids just ask people for money with no effort feels wrong to me, like we are raising our kids to be entitled young adults. 

End of rant. You are absolutely not a scrooge and shouldn't be pressured that way. 

I a different perspective. It’s hard to know what’s going on… if it’s a good friend, I’d donate 10 dollars and depending on how it’s donated- don’t  pay donation processing fees, write a check. Let them know your family has cut way back on non-profit donations- so it doesn’t send any hidden messages.   Communicating through not supporting something you have in the past because you are annoyed is bad for your friendship.  I get it though- reciprocation is always nice but this is an established pattern in your friendship to support your friend’s kid.  If your friend didn’t support your kid that’s a different matter.  

The reason I take this position is it’s not about the amount but participation.  Your friends child is a person separate from her- they benefit from having people in their lives who care.  It shows up on the roster of the school or sports team how many people donated.  You never know- your child may need a donation one day and maybe the “money filling that friend bucket” will come in handy!   Not sure if your kid is a teen- but it’s not a time to judge character- it’s hard to get teens to do anything.  Teens need our example of how to be a friend in the long run.  

Think of the friendship 10 years down  the road.   It’s hard to build friendships today and what we’ve built with eachother is  worth a lot!  Even if the history is a bit less than perfect.  If it’s a relationship had other issues I’d re-evaluate.  And don’t take on any new donations so you’ll never get caught again.