Life Advice



Ubiquitous Fundraisers Not 'socially Acceptable'

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin on

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Why has it become socially acceptable for online funding campaigns to be made for everyone and everything? Social media is flooded with them, each one asking for thousands of dollars, and it feels excessive.

Am I missing something, that this has become acceptable? Or is it the guilt of people who feel the need to make a page for a struggling loved one that has caused the increase?

I especially cannot understand when a campaign surpasses its goal and people keep donating, rather than shifting the money to another cause -- or the organizer shutting it down.

I understand the financial burden a tragic event can cause, but where is the line drawn?

GENTLE READER: Socially acceptable? Says who?

Well, greedy people who are perfectly solvent but want more, and expect to get it from acquaintances, friends and strangers alike -- that's who. Oddly enough, they are not the arbiters of proper behavior.


Miss Manners, who is, recognizes that begging may be the last resort of people in desperate circumstances, or that generous people may organize relief for the victims of tragedy.

But then there are the "everyone and everything" demands: those who have dreams that they cannot afford -- a trip, a lavish wedding -- and want others to finance. Or, as you point out, those who continue to solicit money for a problem that has been solved.

No, those efforts are not socially acceptable.

They are, however, socially ignorable. Your charitable donations should be made to the causes you deem most worthy of help, and you should resist intimidation from those who merely deem themselves worthy.


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