Torn Between Your Heart Strings and Your Purse Strings

Go Red For WomenDear Ms. ePost: We are often solicited by very distant acquaintances for contributions to their pet charities. While most of these causes are of course worthy organizations in need of funds, we find it offensive to receive solicitations from acquaintances with whom we have not spoken in years or from the ‘friend’ who does not give us the time of day when he or she sees us but for some reason feels close to us when soliciting our hard earned dollars and includes a delightful, little handwritten note that may read, “This is such a worthy cause. Hope to see you at the dinner!” Please know that we are not ‘heavy hitters’ but do support our own charities of choice. Finally, we do not solicit/pressure friends to contribute to the charities in which we are involved.

We are very conflicted with regard to the manner in which we should handle the multitude of solicitations we receive. Of course in a perfect world we would like to contribute to all worthy causes but are obviously unable to do so. We would really appreciate your advice on this.


Dear Conflicted: Your generosity of spirit is highly commendable. Perhaps you receive so many solicitations because you are a caring and giving person. But generosity of ‘wallet’ clearly differs from generosity of spirit.

You seem to have answered your own question in that you support your “own charities of choice”. In targeting causes for donations, it may be helpful to evaluate the mission of the charities and differentiate them from your relationship with the individuals who are soliciting, thus resulting in contributions to causes about which you feel strongly.

We would all like to support every worthy cause but as you stated, this is not possible. I can understand why you are torn between your heart strings and your purse strings. Perhaps you could develop a charitable giving budget and donate to causes accordingly. For those causes that do not fit in with your budget, you could consider contributing in other ways, such as volunteering your time.

Ms. ePost