Happy holidays! Happy Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Year’s, et cetera!
T’is the season for sending and receiving holiday cards and well-wishing. T’is also the season when many churches and nonprofit organizations come a’knocking!
Not to be left out, Giving Tuesday—a day identified by many nonprofits to make a big petition for charitable giving—comes hot on the heels of Thanksgiving, Black Friday sales, and Cyber Monday ads!
When it comes to receiving holiday cards—which, for my family, are mostly Christmas cards—my wife and I love to. We don’t actually send any, but we sure do appreciate receiving them.
However, every now and again, we’ll receive a Christmas card like this one. This card is a fine example of a Christmas card (or any holiday card, really) that should never be sent.
This card was received from a nonprofit I’m close to; they know me and I know them. On the cover, we have a reproduction of a child’s drawing. It’s an illustration of a nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus with the handwritten words, “Merry Christmas”. Very nice.
Inside, we have an envelope and a sweet message that reads: “May the joys of the Christmas season shed light and hope, and fill your heart with peace.” Aww!
But then, below that, in fine print: “Please consider a Christmas donation to [this guilty organization] this Christmas season. Your gift will be greatly appreciated by [the children].” Signed, “In Christ’s peace,” [the administrators that thought this card was a good idea].
And the envelope that came falling out of the card? It’s a donation envelope that asks for money in a variety of ways. I can stuff a check, I can write in a credit card, I can direct my giving toward this fund or that and I can contact them if I’m ready to set up a larger endowment. Convenient!
Listen. If your audience is already in a state of expectation in the card-sending season and you send them a rubber-stamped, you’re-one-of-a-million card—if it’s pretty and at least attempts the illusion of being thoughtful—we’ll still keep the card and display it with the ones we actually cherish.
But if you send a holiday, we-care-about-you card whose whole mission is to ask for a handout? We’ll keep the card just long enough to make a video about your poor taste and gross lack of discernment, and then throw the thing away.
Hey, I get it. According to Network for Good, about 30 percent of all financial giving happens in December and a third of that happens in the last three days. I’m sure the nonprofit directors who agreed this was a good idea thought they were doing something kind by recognizing the holiness of the season, blessing the names on their mailing list and—oh, by the way—asking for money. But this mixture of blessing and begging wrapped in holiday gift wrap was an unsavory surprise.
Bah-humbug! Let this be a warning to you! Don’t be this organization!
That’s it. End rant. No matter when you’re viewing this, I hope whatever season you find yourself in is filled with His joy and peace. And, for faithfully viewing this video to the end, I would like to give you the gift of a dancing Santa. Merry Christmas!
Network for Good. The Network for Good Digital Giving Index. Retrieved from https://www.networkforgood.com/resource/the-network-for-good-digital-giving-index/