The internet has made it amazingly easy to share things. Also, to ask for things. Like favors and charitable donations.
Asking for money online is a lot better than doing it in person. And between services like Kickstarter and PayPal, microdonations are helping people raise large amounts of money for great (and not so great) causes. And that is just fine with me.
But like most any human interaction, people need to exercise a little restraint before sending out their money grubbing emails.
Dear Former Coworker Who Never Spoke To Me When We Shared An Office, But Is Now Running A Triathlon And Wants My Money: I am talking to you.
I don’t know how you got my personal email address. And you never sent me a note to wish me well when I got laid off. But now you want money from me so you can reach your charity goals? Kindly fuck off.
It’s one thing to put out a generic message to your Twitter stream asking for donations to your favorite charity. It’s another entirely to trawl your email address book for every acquaintance you’ve ever met and hit them up for money so you can avoid paying for a race bib. It’s great that your running some huge marathon, or bike race, or whatever the hell crazy athletic feat you’re attempting. But if I don’t know you, I don’t want to pay for it.
And yes, Random Comedian From My Improv Class Who’s Trying To Start A New Theater Company Through Facebook Donations: This also applies to you. We took one class together. You seemed nice enough, until I clicked through your Facebook links and actually saw your “web show.” Oh my goodness. I don’t think you should be doing that anymore.
I politely ignored your first request for funds. But now it’s getting to the point where I have a message from you every other day. And yes, I know we haven’t spoken in awhile. But I don’t want to give you money.Even if $5 would really make such a difference.
I actually don’t think you should be starting a theater company. I think you should probably get a day job. And it’s simply not cute that you think I should pay for your bad comedy. I’m sorry.
As a final note, I’d love to leave you with Nick Kroll’s excellent diatribe against coworkers asking for charitable donations from last week’s episode of The League. But it’s not online yet. So I’ll leave you with a few of his wise words:
“I don’t negotiate with charity terrorists, it’s almost a jihad against my wallet”