I refuse to donate the the United Way. Don't get me wrong. I think that that work they do is for a very worthy cause. What I do hate is one of the ways in which they solicit donations. As part of their fundraising campaign, the United Way teams up with corporations, big and small. These corporations in turn launch these huge fundraising drives to get employees to donate. What I absolutely positively HATE is the fact that the corporations that partner with the United Way will bully their employees to donate money!
For example, at my old company, all of the ambitious keeners would volunteer to be United Way representatives to co-ordinate the fundraising. These people would harass all employees with e-mail after endless e-mail to donate money, until the weak finally broke down and donated. In addition to that, managers and higher would get threatening e-mails from the Big Guys in Suits emphasizing that as managers, they must set an example for the rest of the company by donating. Their e-mails mails would even be audacious enough to list off "suggested" donation amounts. What gives? The whole point of donating to a charity is that it's done on a voluntary basis, usually out of the goodness of one's own heart.
Now, I don't know about you, but when I'm being bombarded with e-mails being told that I must donate and how much I should donate, I take offense. I especially take offense because I know that most of these corporations don't give a crap about these charities and are just doing these things to look good in front of the corporate world. To the corporate world, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for your phoniness. I see right through you, but there are a lot of poor suckers who really do believe that you're doing something for the community. I know that it's nothing more than a way to bring up share values and to get a free photo op.
For the time being then, I will keep donating other cheritable organizations near and dear to my heart who don't bug me about when I should donate or how much; they're just happy that I'm supporting a worthy cause. And on that note, I would like to say a special thanks to the following organizations for doing the great work that they do, and for letting me donate without pressuring me: