Is GoFundMe a greedy thing

Donate more beautifully together!

Christmas is in the air. Like the warm candlelight, well-worded donation letters, alarming e-mails, informative newsletters, attention-grabbing charity text messages on posters and the motley donation marathon at the best TV airtime are part of the Advent season. They are all united by the request for a donation. But who actually writes all these letters and organizes donation galas? If you believe the media, they are greedy fundraisers who fit into the same drawer as grandchildren trick fraudsters and coffee trip sellers. But do they belong there? Are criminals really committed to the Third World, the youth club or the Salvation Army?

The engagement award with the beautiful title "Giving gives." Is more of an ideal than reality. Because only just under 40 percent of Germans donate. A lack of trust is often cited as the reason. This is also the case when you hear that people would rather send their nightgowns to the Philippines than transfer money to an experienced and professional aid organization that knows what is needed locally. “It all goes into the administrative costs!” Is a saying that is often heard. Hardly anyone knows how high they actually are, and what exactly it is. This is the revenge that organizations have muttered to donors with the mantra "100 percent of donations arrive" for years. But can that really be?

No of course not. Letters need postage, Telekom pays fees, and relief supplies are not only transported to Tacloban on weekends. This requires people who organize full-time and regularly ask for donations. Just recently a colleague told me that when he accepted a large donation check he was asked by an entrepreneur: “But you do all of this on a voluntary basis?” No, he doesn't. Volunteering is no substitute for daily work, professionalism and experience. It's nice when everything comes together, but that is not likely with the small time budget of volunteers. Working for a good cause needs fair paid full-time - and that costs money. But volunteers are of great help.

If donors accept that it takes professional work for donations to really make a difference, if they know that advertising is necessary to draw people's attention and convince them, then a lot has been achieved. Because then they are interested, demand clear accountability and need committed contacts who explain their work to them and are ready to answer questions. These people are responsible for the issue of donations in the organization. They earn their bread just like any other employee in a company, only that they work not for the profit of a company, but for the profit of society. Your work always helps other people. They call themselves fundraisers, and they don't hunt down donors, but try to inspire them every day for this good profit. It would be much easier for them if there were more people who donate without asking. But honestly, it is much nicer to achieve a lot together with enthusiastic, informed sponsors.

Matthias Daberstiel

Associate Editor of Fundraiser Magazine