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People Who Give Grief to Volunteers!

Every now and then I will post a couple of entries on the same day ... and this is going to be one of those days (a) because I head out on vacation for a little more than a week, so blogging is not likely to happen and (b) because I want to get this off my chest.

I talk a lot about the importance of giving back to those less fortunate in our society ... the easiest thing in the world is to give a few dollars and people still don't do that enough. However for busy people the hardest thing to do is to devote time ... I know, because I devote a lot of time, but I do it because it is the right thing to do.

One of the roles that business people have in the non-profit world is to help raise funds, that can mean canvassing friends and colleagues, it can mean organizing events, marketing or any other means to help those good causes raise the money that they need.

My beef ... I hate it when I get grief from people that I canvas. I am perfectly fine with people saying no, or telling me that they support other charities ... but there really is no room for abuse. Snarky comments, irritable responses and pure bad manners not only make the canvasser (who volunteered their time remember) feel bad, they run the risk of turning them off volunteering!

Yesterday a friend of mine tells me this story ....

She is organizing a large event to raise money for breast cancer. She puts in a ton of her own time, gets support from her friends and uses her organizational skills to make this thing happen every year. She even uses her contacts to get help from newspapers, that use their distribution lists to publicise the event. A huge commitment from a very busy person.

She can't believe the number of terse replies she gets from people who don't appreciate getting a few emails about this event and several people even responded accusing her of spamming them. One very special person was even more direct, wanting to know how he got on her email list and he was particularly rude in his comments.

So ... she responds to this individual and politely explains what happened and how it works.

Having already established his credentials with his first response, he proceeds to give her inappropriate advice for her event. The title of her event is a play on the the fact it is for breast cancer (birdies for boobies) ... he believes adding sexual overtones would be a great idea. What are you thinking ... or more appropriately ARE you thinking?

This is a senior executive at a tech company!

Some advice for him ...

1. If you get an email for charity and don't want to respond or even read it ... then press delete.
2. Don't give volunteers grief ... its just not acceptable.
3. Don't make inappropriate suggestions to people you don't know.
4. You are supposed to be a leader in our community ... start acting like one!